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      Kalunga in the lusophone context: A phylogenetic study

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          Kalunga is a variety of Afro-Portuguese spoken in a rural community located in the state of Goiás, Brazil. In this study, we compare Kalunga with other varieties of Portuguese spoken in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, and Portugal and Portuguese-based creoles from a contact linguistics perspective. We investigate typological similarities, differences, and possible connections between these varieties. The results support previous sociohistorical and linguistic studies that reveal significant differences between Kalunga and standardized varieties of Portuguese, and the typological distinction between creoles, more vernacular varieties, and more standard varieties.

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          Language phylogenies reveal expansion pulses and pauses in Pacific settlement.

          Debates about human prehistory often center on the role that population expansions play in shaping biological and cultural diversity. Hypotheses on the origin of the Austronesian settlers of the Pacific are divided between a recent "pulse-pause" expansion from Taiwan and an older "slow-boat" diffusion from Wallacea. We used lexical data and Bayesian phylogenetic methods to construct a phylogeny of 400 languages. In agreement with the pulse-pause scenario, the language trees place the Austronesian origin in Taiwan approximately 5230 years ago and reveal a series of settlement pauses and expansion pulses linked to technological and social innovations. These results are robust to assumptions about the rooting and calibration of the trees and demonstrate the combined power of linguistic scholarship, database technologies, and computational phylogenetic methods for resolving questions about human prehistory.
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            Structural phylogenetics and the reconstruction of ancient language history.

            The contribution of language history to the study of the early dispersals of modern humans throughout the Old World has been limited by the shallow time depth (about 8000 +/- 2000 years) of current linguistic methods. Here it is shown that the application of biological cladistic methods, not to vocabulary (as has been previously tried) but to language structure (sound systems and grammar), may extend the time depths at which language data can be used. The method was tested against well-understood families of Oceanic Austronesian languages, then applied to the Papuan languages of Island Melanesia, a group of hitherto unrelatable isolates. Papuan languages show an archipelago-based phylogenetic signal that is consistent with the current geographical distribution of languages. The most plausible hypothesis to explain this result is the divergence of the Papuan languages from a common ancestral stock, as part of late Pleistocene dispersals.
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              Strong and weak pronominals in the null subject parameter


                Author and article information

                Journal of Portuguese Linguistics
                Ubiquity Press
                23 March 2020
                : 19
                [1 ]Aarhus University, DK
                [2 ]Universidade de São Paulo, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico – CNPq (Bolsista de Produtividade de Pesquisa), BR
                Copyright: © 2020 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See

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