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North Borneo Sourcebook

Vocabularies and Functors

North Borneo Sourcebook by Jason William Lobel
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North Borneo Sourcebook seeks to address the lack of available data for the languages of northern Borneo, where forty to fifty distinct languages are spoken in the Malaysian state of Sabah alone. While members of the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) have worked in Sabah for several decades and have published articles on individual languages, until now no comprehensive survey of the languages of Sabah had yet been done. In addition to the languages native to Sabah, also included in this monograph are closely related Southwest Sabah languages spoken in neighboring parts of the Malaysian state of Sarawak, the Indonesian province of Kalimantan Utara, and Brunei Darussalam. The author has included 594 entries with equivalents in each of the forty-six languages that represent the linguistic variation in north Borneo, along with introductory sections listing the personal pronouns, demonstrative pronouns, and case markers for each language.


This sourcebook thus fills a critical need in surveying the languages of a single large area in an island of Southeast Asia. Many language communities in this region are endangered and likely to disappear as functioning entities within the next generation or two; this book may be the only record we will ever have of their existence. Linguists and those with an interest in Austronesian languages will appreciate the breadth and detail that illuminate the linguistic scene in an area where before there had been only pinpoints of light.

University of Hawaii Press; January 2016
288 pages; ISBN 9780824857820
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Title: North Borneo Sourcebook
Author: Jason William Lobel; Robert A. Blust