Other Funding

Analysis and description of Malagasy dialects form an Austronesian comparative perspective

Project Leader : NISHIMOTO, Noa

Project Members :

Period : FY2013-2014

Research Summary :




There live more than 20 ethnic groups in Madagascar. They all have their own languages, or dialects, belonging to the Austronesian language family. The main language which I have been analyzing and describing is Tandroy dialect, but neighboring dialects such as Vezo, Antanosy and Merina are also under my scope of investigation.

The objectives of this study are :
(1) to analyze the verbal categories of Tandroy dialect of Malagasy,
(2) to describe the morphological system of the language (because derivational morphology in Malagasy is extremely productive),
(3) to analyze the gerundive phrase which is used as an abstract noun and a verbal phrase in the same morphological structure,
(4) to compare Tandroy with other Austronesian languages that I have started to study since 2011, namely Rurutu (in French Polynesia) and Rapanui (Easter Island), and
(5) to observe not only linguistic aspects but also cultural and social aspects when carrying out field survey.

I will create a database of the languages under study and publish their reference grammar as one of my final goals and contributions.