Andrea Acri andrea.acri at ephe.sorbonne.fr
Thu Feb 9 10:06:30 UTC 2017

It is worth noting that problems still exist in the classification of Austroasiatic languages, and an increasing number of scholars (like Geoffrey Benjamin) now think that the Munda languages do not form a primary-level subdivision of Austroasiatic separate from Mon-Khmer, and the very term “Mon-Khmer” is currently being replaced by “Austroasiatic”. Sidwell (2013:454) points out that this ‘is an unfolding story that, however it pans out, promises to offer important insights into the origins and nature of cultural diversity in South and Southeast Asia’.

Paul Sidwell, 2013, ‘Issues in Austroasiatic Classification’, Language and Linguistics Compass 7/8 (2013): 437–457.

Paul Sidwell, 2015, ’Chapter 3: Austroasiatic Classification’, in M. Jenny and P. Sidwell (ends), The Handbook of Austroasiatic Languages, Vol. 1.


Andrea Acri
Maître de conférences
Études tantriques/Tantric Studies
École Pratique des Hautes Études (Sciences Religieuses), Paris
andrea.acri at ephe.sorbonne.fr
Publications at: www.ephe.academia.edu/AndreaAcri

> Le 4 févr. 2017 à 16:48, Witzel, Michael via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info> a écrit :
> Dear All,
> Re: Blench et al. (below) on a South-East Asian origin of Munda (and other Austroasiatic languages), the opposite position has been argued by P. Donegan and D. Stampe (U. Hawai’i, Mānoa) :
> P Donegan, D Stampe. Rhythm and the synthetic drift of Munda <https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=GHzXs3FHeFUC&oi=fnd&pg=PA3&dq=donegan+stampe&ots=KjInYVFx7-&sig=daQvRdCqtP0TUypIvOcXYnAMqEo>. The yearbook of South Asian languages …, 2004 
> The polarity of Munda vs Mon-Khmer recalls that of ancient vs modern Indo-European: 
> synthetic head-last vs analytic head-first (Lehmann 1974). But Munda and Mon-Khmer are 
> far more divergent. Indo-European was never/w/ysynthetic, but many Munda languages are...
> P Donegan, D Stampe. South-East Asian Features in the Munda Languages: Evidence for the analytic-to-synthetic drift of Munda <http://www.ling.hawaii.edu/faculty/donegan/Papers/2002mundadrift.pdf> Proceedings of the Twenty-Eighth Annual …, 2002.
> The Munda (South Asian) and Mon-Khmer (South-East Asian) branches of the Austroasiatic 
> language family are so exactly opposite at every level of structure that Sir George Grierson 
> in his Linguistic Survey of India remarked that if they were descended from a common ...
> cf. also:  http://ling.lll.hawaii.edu/austroasiatic/AA/rhythm1983.pdf <http://ling.lll.hawaii.edu/austroasiatic/AA/rhythm1983.pdf>
>>>> http://www.rogerblench.info/Ar chaeology/SE%20Asia/Blench%20A A%20prehistory%20final.pdf <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.rogerblench.info_Archaeology_SE-2520Asia_Blench-2520AA-2520prehistory-2520final.pdf&d=CwMFaQ&c=WO-RGvefibhHBZq3fL85hQ&r=tFXzIbyKS2C0TpVqKsMrj46qwsAermBN5wzaDe51So0&m=he3VBRBYUqYb2aD3vFDO3b3dYNbfiOg9FavfOaJTbVE&s=ST8bUE4HIn08fZ5VRA4xzanm3dDi0DRcQr4BXIRD0uo&e=>
>>>> Munda people expansion is said to be only from 3500 BP.
>>>> Reconstructing Austroasiatic prehistory
>>>> by Roger Blench,
>>>> Chapter in Jenny, M. & P. Sidwell (eds.) 2015. Handbook of the Austroasiatic Languages. Leiden: Brill.
> More on the  Indus languages (and signs) separately, when I get a moment.
> Cheers, 
> M.Witzel
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