The Syntax-Semantics reading group and MULL-lab will be meeting on Wednesday, October 18th at 4pm in Rm. 117 of the McGill Linguistics department, with a Zoom room open for those unable to join in person.

This week, Austin will be presenting a MULL-themed talk entitled: ‘A puzzle for voice typology: Infixation in Simpakng’.

Western Austronesian languages are conventionally categorized as “Philippine-type” or “Indonesian-type” based on their voice systems—how they map thematic roles to syntactic positions (Himmelmann 2002, Arka & Ross 2005). I share a puzzle from Simpakng, a Southern Land Dayak language spoken in West Kalimantan (Borneo), Indonesia. Verbal -en- infixation co-occurs with extraction restrictions characteristic of Philippine-type voice systems, with apparently Tagalog-like morphophonology to boot (De Guzman 1978). In other respects, however, these infixed constructions behave like Indonesian-type voice systems. Characterizing Simpakng’s intermediate position between the two typological classes, I describe the distribution of -en- infixation and discuss implications for Simpakng’s classification among Bornean languages (Sommerlot 2020).

Please register in advance HERE to receive the Zoom link. You can also share this link with others who may want to join.