Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota Session




The principal problem in the historical reconstruction of Proto Mon-Khmer is the great diversity between the modern descendants. This paper proposes to simplify that problem by reconstructing the East-Katuic branch of the Mon-Khmer family.

Three languages are compared: Brou, Pacoh, and Katu. Because of gaps in the cognate lists, both Brou and Pacoh had to be used as witnesses for the sub-family of Brou-Pacoh.

[Lists of vowels and consonants that are reconstructed herein.]

The main outline of the phonemic system of Proto-East-Katuic is clear. The remaining problems, involving further work on the vowels, pre-syllables, and final stops, can no doubt be handled when more data are available. However, it will take considerable effort to find enough cognate sets to provide a minimum of attestation in some cases because of the rarity of the phenomena involved. The present paper should be of immediate help in reconstructing a still earlier stage of the language.

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