Genetic Setting

Genetic affiliation

Closest to Kanakanavu linguistically, but not too well documented, is Saaroa (Lha’alua). The (genetic) relations between Tsou, Saaroa (Lha’alua) and Kanakanavu have caused considerable controversy recently, and a number of publications on the subject have appeared or are forthcoming. Even though these are valuable references for the present dissertation, there will not be too much focus on them.† The following table shows the subgrouping suggested by Ross (2009).†


Figure 2: Subgrouping hypothesis in Ross (2009)


The system of Kanakanavu is similar to other Philippine-type languages in many respects: very little nominal morphology, rich verbal morphology with a large set of verbal prefixes, and a so-called voice system interacting with aspect and mood.†Thus, Kanakanavu’s closest relative is Saaroa, a language that is not too well documented itself. The close relationship of this doublet to Tsou is disputed in Chang (2006). Ross (2009) suggests a closer relationship between Kanakanavu and Bunun, another Austronesion language.

Typologically, Kanakanavu is similar to Philippine languages: Very little nominal morphology, syntactic relations coded by prepositions, person/number enclitics on full verb or auxiliary, voice system by verbal affixes, tense/aspect affixes on the verb, word order consistently right-branching, SAE adjectival and adverbial meanings categorized as verbs.


Copyright: Ilka Wild 2013