Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 06 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter gives a general introduction to the Austronesian languages of Taiwan, their important position in the Austronesian language family, and the internal and external relationships of the languages. Bunun, a Formosan language, is described in detail, as an illustration of the structures of Formosan languages. Male and female forms of speech in Mayrinax (an Atayal dialect) are also touched on. Leading Austronesian scholars generally agree that Formosan languages are the most diverse and archaic in the entire Austronesian family. The great diversity of the languages indicates that the Austronesian speakers have settled on the island in a great time depth; hence Taiwan is one of the oldest settlements and conceivably the most likely Austronesian homeland. The most archaic features of the languages indicate that these languages are indispensable for reconstructing Proto-Austronesian. Consequently they are extremely valuable and worth careful study, whether actively spoken today or extinct but with written documents.

Keywords: Austronesian, Formosan, diverse, archaic, Bunun

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.