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Ref ID: 27519
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Denham, Tim
Donohue, Mark
Title: Pre-Austronesian dispersal of banana cultivars West from New Guinea: linguistic relics from Eastern Indonesia
Date: 2009
Source: Archaeology in Oceania
Abstract: Against the backdrop of a comprehensive archaeobotanical review, we present linguistic evidence that allows us to develop a model of the dispersal of bananas westwards from New Guinea. This westward dispersal is a window on pre-Austronesian contact between New Guinea and regions to the west. The linguistically derived model is compatible with archaeobotanical and botanical data. Our interpretation accords with evidence for maritime interactions from the early Holocene in western New Guinea and eastern Indonesia. In the first half of this paper the history of banana domestication, which has been partially documented through archaeobotanical, genetic and phytogeographic research, is reviewed. On the basis of this multi-disciplinary and chronological context, the second half of the paper presents a detailed, linguistically-derived interpretation for the westward diffusion of bananas from New Guinea into eastern Indonesia. Apparently cognate terms for ‘banana’ in the modern languages of Melanesia and eastern Indonesia are reviewed and evaluated. The distribution of one particular cognate term correlates with the range of a linguistic substrate identified in western Melanesia and eastern Indonesia, and is argued to be associated with an early, pre-Austronesian diffusion of banana cultivars westward from New Guinea.
Date Created: 2/1/2017
Volume: 44
Page Start: 18
Page End: 28