North Halmahera
Halmaheran
Geographic
distribution
Maluku Islands
Linguistic classificationWest Papuan or independent language family
  • North Halmahera
Glottolognort2923

The North Halmahera languages are a family of languages spoken in the northern and eastern parts of the island of Halmahera and some neighboring islands in Indonesia. The southwestern part of the island is occupied by the unrelated South Halmahera languages, which are a subgroup of Austronesian. They may be most closely related to the languages of the Bird's Head region of West Papua, but this is not well-established.[1]

The languages were possibly brought to the region as a result of migration from New Guinea,[2][3] likely predating the arrival of Austronesian languages.[3] The best known North Halmaheran language is Ternate (50,000 native speakers), which is a regional lingua franca and which, along with Tidore, were the languages of the rival medieval Ternate and Tidore sultanates, famous for their role in the spice trade.

Genetic and areal relations

The North Halmahera languages are classified by some to be part of a larger West Papuan family, along with the languages of the Bird's Head region of Western New Guinea,[2] while others consider North Halmahera to form a distinct language family, with no demonstrable relationship outside the region.[4] The languages of North Halmahera appear to have the closest affinity with the languages of the Bird's Head, which suggests a migration from the western Bird's Head to northern Halmahera.[5] However, Ger Reesink notes that the evidence for genetic relatedness between the different "West Papuan" groupings is too skimpy to form a firm conclusion,[1] suggesting that they be considered an areal network of unrelated linguistic families. Moreover, many speakers of North Halmahera languages, such as the Ternate, Tidore, and Galela [ru] peoples, are physically distinct from New Guineans, while Papuan traits are more prevalent among the Austronesian-speaking peoples of South Halmahera.[6] Robert Blust (2013) considers this paradox to be a result of historical language replacement.[6]

Ternate, Tidore, West Makian, and Sahu have received extensive Austronesian influence in terms of grammar.[3] Bert Voorhoeve noted a set of lexical similarities between the North Halmahera languages and the Central Papuan languages of the south coast of Papua New Guinea, possibly arising from potential language contact.[3]

Internal classification

The family is dialectally heterogeneous, with blurry lines between different languages. While different authors tend to disagree on the number of distinct languages identified,[7] there is general accord regarding the internal subgrouping of the family.[8]

The classification used here is that of Voorhoeve 1988.[9]

 Core Halmaheran 

TernateTidore

Sahu: Sahu, Waioli, Gamkonora

Galela–Tobelo (Northeast Halmaheran): Tobelo, GalelaLoloda, Modole, Pagu, Tabaru

West Makian

West Makian is divergent due to heavy Austronesian influence. It was once classified as an Austronesian language.[10] It should be distinguished from East Makian (Taba), an unrelated Austronesian language.[8]

There is a degree of mutual intelligibility between the Galela–Tobelo languages, and Voorhoeve 1988 considered them dialects of a language he called Northeast Halmaheran, though most speakers consider them to be distinct languages.

Ternate and Tidore are generally treated as separate languages, though there is little Abstand involved, and the separation appears to be based on sociopolitical grounds.[7] Voorhoeve groups these idioms together as varieties of a unitary "Ternate-Tidore" language,[8] while Miriam van Staden classifies them as distinct languages.[8] Other North Halmahera languages, such as Galela and Tobelo, have received significant influence from Ternate, a historical legacy of the dominance of the Ternate Sultanate in the Moluccas.[11] Many Ternate loanwords can be found in Sahu.[12]

Vocabulary comparison

The following basic vocabulary words are from the Trans-New Guinea database:[13]

gloss Sahu[14] Tidore[15] West Makian[16]
head sae'e dofolo apota; tabia
hair utu hutu gigo; onga
ear kocowo'o; ngau'u; 'oki; sidete ngau kameu
eye la'o lao afe; sado
nose cu'dumu; ngunungu; payáha ngun mudefete
tooth ngi'di ing wi
tongue yai'i aki belo
leg tarotaro
louse gane gan bene
dog nunu'u kaso aso
bird namo namo haywan
egg gosi; tounu gosi esi
blood ngaunu au uni
bone 'bero; 'obongo goka subebi
skin eno'o ahi fi
breast susu isu susu
man nau'u nau-nau at
woman weré'a faya papa; songa
sky diwanga sorga tupam
moon ngara ora odo
water 'banyo ake be
fire ci'du; naoto; u'u uku ipi
stone ma'di mafu may
road, path ngo'omo; tapaka linga gopao
name lomanga ronga aym
eat 'doroga; kou; oromo; tabu oyo; talesa am; fajow; fiam
one maténgo; moi rimoi gominye; maminye; meminye; minye
two 'di'di; romo'dí'di malofo dimaede; edeng; je; maedeng; medeng

Proto-language

Proto-North Halmahera
Reconstruction ofNorth Halmahera languages
Reconstructed
ancestor
Proto-West Papuan (or language isolate)

Proto-North Halmahera consonants are (after Voorhoeve 1994: 68, cited in Holton and Klamer 2018: 584):[12]

p t k q
b d ɖ g
m n ŋ
f s h
w
l (r)

Proto-North Halmahera is notable for having the voiced retroflex stop *ɖ, as retroflex consonants are often not found in Papuan languages.

The following proto-North Halmahera reconstructions are listed in Holton and Klamer (2018: 620–621).[12] Most of the forms in Holton and Klamer are derived from Wada (1980).[17]

proto-North Halmahera reconstructions (Holton & Klamer 2018)
gloss proto-North Halmahera
‘back’ *ḋuḋun
‘bad’ *torou
‘bark’ *kahi
‘big’ *lamok
‘bite’ *goli
‘black’ *tarom
‘blood’ *aun
‘blow’ *hoa
‘blue’ *bisi
‘boil’ *sakahi
‘bone’ *koboŋ
‘brother’ *hiraŋ
‘burn’ *so(ŋa)ra
‘child’ *ŋopak
‘cloud’ *lobi
‘cold’ (1) *alo
‘cold’ (2) *malat
‘come’ *bola
‘count’ *etoŋ
‘cry’ *ores
‘cut’ *luit
‘dance’ *selo
‘die’ *soneŋ
‘dig’ *puait
‘dirty’ *pepeke
‘dog’ *kaso
‘dull’ *boŋo
‘ear’ *ŋauk
‘earth’ *tonak
‘eat’ *oḋom
‘egg’ *boro
‘eight’ *tupaaŋe
‘eye’ *lako
‘fall’ *ḋota
‘far’ *kurut
‘fat, grease’ *saki
‘father’ *baba
‘fear’ *moḋoŋ
‘feather’ *gogo
‘female’ *ŋopeḋeka
‘few’ *ucu
‘fight’ *kuḋubu
‘fire’ *uku
‘fish’ *nawok
‘five’ *motoha
‘float’ *bawo
‘flow’ *uhis
‘flower’ *leru
‘fly’ *sosor
‘fog’ *rasa
‘four’ *ihat
‘fruit’ *sopok
‘give’ *hike
‘good’ *loha
‘grass’ *ŋaŋaru
‘green’ *ijo
‘guts’ *toto
‘hair’ *hutu
‘hand’ *giam
‘head’ *sahek
‘hear’ *isen
‘heart’ *siniŋa
‘heavy’ *tubuso
‘hit’ *ŋapo
‘horn’ *taḋu
‘hot’ *sahuk
‘husband’ *rokat
‘kill’ *tooma
‘knee’ *puku
‘know’ *nako
‘lake’ *talaga
‘laugh’ *ḋohe
‘leaf’ *soka
‘left’ *gubali
‘leg/foot’ *ḋohu
‘lie’ *ḋaḋu
‘live’ *oho
‘liver’ *gate
‘long’ (1) *kurut
‘long’ (2) *teka
‘louse/flea’ *gani
‘male’ *naur
‘many’ *ḋala
‘meat’ *lake
‘moon’ *ŋoosa
‘mother’ *awa
‘mountain’ *tala
‘mouth’ *uru
‘nail’ *gitipir
‘name’ *roŋa
‘narrow’ *peneto
‘near’ *ḋumu
‘neck’ *toko
‘new’ *momuane
‘night’ *putu
‘nine’ *siwo
‘nose’ *ŋunuŋ
‘old’ *ŋowo
‘one’ *moi
‘person’ *ɲawa
‘pierce’ *topok
‘pull’ *lia
‘push’ *hito(si)
‘rain’ *muura
‘red’ *sawala
‘right’ *girinak
‘river’ *selera
‘roast’ *tupu
‘root’ *ŋutuk
‘rope’ *gumin
‘rotten’ *baka
‘round’ *pululun
‘rub’ *ese
‘salt’ *gasi
‘sand’ *ḋowoŋi
‘say’ *temo
‘scratch’ *rago
‘sea’ *ŋolot
‘see’ *kelelo
‘seed’ *gisisi
‘seven’ *tumuḋiŋi
‘sew’ *urit
‘sharp’ *ḋoto
‘shoot’ *ḋupu
‘short’ *timisi
‘sing’ *ɲaɲi
‘sister’ *biraŋ
‘sit’ *tamie
‘six’ *butaŋa
‘skin’ *kahi
‘sky’ *ḋipaŋ
‘sleep’ *kiolok
‘small’ *ece
‘smell’ *hame
‘smoke’ *ḋopo
‘smooth’ *maahi
‘snake’ *ŋihia
‘speak’ *bicara
‘spear’ *kamanu
‘spit’ *hobir
‘split’ *raca
‘stand’ *oko
‘star’ *ŋoma
‘stone’ *teto
‘straight’ *bolowo
‘suck’ *suyu
‘swell’ *ḋobo
‘swim’ *toboŋ
‘tail’ *pego
‘take, hold’ *aho
‘ten’ *mogiowok
‘thick’ *kipirin
‘thin’ *hina
‘think’ *fikiri < Arabic
‘three’ *saaŋe
‘throw’ *sariwi
‘tie’ *piriku
‘to dry’ *ḋuḋuŋ
‘tongue’ *akir
‘tooth’ *iŋir
‘tree’ *gota
‘true’ *tero
‘twenty’ *monohalok
‘two’ *sinoto
‘vomit’ *ŋunaŋ
‘walk’ *tagi
‘warm’ *sakuk
‘wash’ *boka
‘water’ *aker
‘way’ *ŋekom
‘wet’ *pesa
‘white’ *ares
‘wide’ *ŋohat
‘wife’ *peḋakat
‘wind’ *paro
‘wing’ *golipupu
‘wipe’ *piki
‘woods’ *poŋan
‘worm’ *kalubati
‘young’ *kiau

References

  1. ^ a b Reesink, Ger (2010), "West Papuan languages", Concise Encyclopedia of Languages of the World, Elsevier, ISBN 978-0-08-087775-4
  2. ^ a b Blench, Roger; Spriggs, Matthew (1998), Archaeology and Language: Correlating archaeological and linguistic hypotheses, Psychology Press, p. 136, ISBN 9780415117616
  3. ^ a b c d Bellwood, Peter, ed. (2019), The Spice Islands in Prehistory: Archaeology in the Northern Moluccas, Indonesia, ANU Press, pp. 216–220, ISBN 978-1-76046-291-8
  4. ^ Enfield, Nick; Comrie, Bernard (2015), Languages of Mainland Southeast Asia: The State of the Art, Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG, p. 269, ISBN 9781501501685
  5. ^ Foley, William (2000), "The Languages of New Guinea", Annual Review of Anthropology, 29, JSTOR 223425
  6. ^ a b Robert Blust (2013). "The Austronesian languages". Asia-Pacific Linguistics, School of Culture, History and Language, College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-922185-07-5.
  7. ^ a b Bowden, John, Emic and etic classifications of languages in the North Maluku region (PDF), Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
  8. ^ a b c d Palmer, Bill (2017), The Languages and Linguistics of the New Guinea Area: A Comprehensive Guide, Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG, p. 577, ISBN 9783110295252
  9. ^ Voorhoeve, Clemens L. 1988. The languages of the northern Halmaheran stock. Papers in New Guinea Linguistics, no. 26., 181-209. (Pacific Linguistics A-76). Canberra: Australian National University.
  10. ^ Voorhoeve, Clemens L. (1982), "The West Makian language, North Moluccas, Indonesia: a fieldwork report", in Voorhoeve, Clemens L. (ed.), The Makian Languages and Their Neighbours (PDF), Materials in languages of Indonesia, vol. 12, Pacific Linguistics, p. 46
  11. ^ Dalby, Andrew (2015), Dictionary of Languages: The definitive reference to more than 400 languages, Bloomsbury Publishing, p. 620, ISBN 978-1-4081-0214-5
  12. ^ a b c Holton, Gary; Klamer, Marian (2018). "The Papuan languages of East Nusantara and the Bird's Head". In Palmer, Bill (ed.). The Languages and Linguistics of the New Guinea Area: A Comprehensive Guide. The World of Linguistics. Vol. 4. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 569–640. ISBN 978-3-11-028642-7.
  13. ^ Greenhill, Simon (2016). "TransNewGuinea.org - database of the languages of New Guinea". Retrieved 2020-11-05.
  14. ^ Visser, Leontien E., and C. L. Voorhoeve. 1987. Sahu-Indonesian-English dictionary and Sahu grammar. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
  15. ^ Pikkert, J. J. et al. 1994. Kamus bahasa Tidore, Indonesia, Inggris. Tidore, Maluku, Indonesia: Pemerintah Daerah Tingkat II Halmahera Tengah.
  16. ^ Voorhoeve, C. L. 1982. The Makian languages and their neighbours. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
  17. ^ Wada, Yuiti. "1980 Correspondence of consonants in North Halmahera languages and the conservation of archaic sounds in Galela.". In Ishige, Naomichi (ed.). The Galela of Halmahera: A Preliminary Survey. Osaka: Museum of Ethnology. pp. 497–527.