The Katuic Languages
Classification, Reconstruction and Comparative Lexicon
School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University
The Katuic languages are a branch of the Mon-Khmer family with more than a million speakers in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The present study compiles data from various sources, including recent fieldwork that has helped to reveal the extent and diversity of the family. Sixteen languages are compared to produce a comparative reconstruction of the Proto Katuic phonology and lexicon, including 1400 etymologies and reconstructions, and many wider MK comparisons. Katuic languages are particularly significant for their rich vowel systems, which are among the most complex in the world, and include contrastive phonation types or ‘registers’. In some cases these arose from the splitting of vowels in connection with changes in initial consonants. Interestingly it appears that register systems arose independently at least three times in the history of the Katuic family.
The reconstruction of Proto Katuic reveals an archaic phonological system not far removed from Proto Mon-Khmer, and the study is augmented with an index of Proto Mon-Khmer reconstructions by the late Professor Harry Shorto (previously unpublished).
The author is a Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Pacific and Asian Studies of the Australian National University, where his work is supported by the Max Planck Institute (Leipzig).
ISBN 9783895868023 (Hardbound). LINCOM Studies in Asian Linguistics 58. 250pp. 2005.