Rote-Meto Comparative Dictionary

Rote-Meto Comparative Dictionary

Authored by: Owen Edwards orcid

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This comparative dictionary provides a bottom-up reconstruction of the Rote‑Meto languages of western Timor. Rote-Meto is one low-level Austronesian subgroup of eastern Indonesia/Timor-Leste. It contains 1,174 reconstructions to Proto-Rote-Meto (or a lower node) with supporting evidence from the modern Rote-Meto languages. These reconstructions are accompanied by information on how they relate to forms in other languages including Proto‑Malayo‑Polynesian etyma (where known) and/or out-comparisons to putative cognates in other languages of the region. The dictionary also contains two finder-lists: English to Rote-Meto, and Austronesian reconstructions with Rote-Meto reflexes. The dictionary is preceded by three introductory chapters. The first chapter contains a guide to using the dictionary as well as discussion of the data sources. The second chapter provides a short synchronic overview of the Rote-Meto langauges. The third chapter discusses the historical background of Rote-Meto. This includes sound correspondences, the internal subgrouping of the Rote-Meto family, and the position of Rote-Meto within Malayo-Polynesian more broadly.

Searchable electronic versions of the comparative dictionary are provided in two formats at The first electronic version is a Lexique Pro export of the dictionary. The Lexique Pro file contains the same data and information in the book version of the dictionary, but does not contain the introductory chapters. See the "About Rote-Meto" tab of the Lexique Pro file for more information on this version of the dictionary. The second electronic version is a text file. It is formatted as a tab separated file and is intended to be read in spreadsheet format. This text file does not contain all the data and information in other versions of the Rote-Meto Comparative Dictionary and should be used in conjunction with these other versions. See the associated readme for more information on what data is included and excluded from that text file.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Nov 2021
ANU Press
Asia-Pacific Linguistics
Arts & Humanities: Linguistics
Pacific: Timor-Leste; Southeast Asia: Indonesia


‘The RMCD is a thorough, well-implemented, and highly valuable resource. The gathering of comparative data from multiple sources, many previously unpublished, makes this a must-have for anyone interested in Rote-Meto, the languages of greater Timor, as well as anyone with an interest in Austronesian languages more generally. Edwards explains the details of the languages, their histories, and their interrelatedness in such a way as to make this book approachable even for those with little or no previous experience with these particular languages.’

– Alexander D. Smith, Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society, (15)1, January 2022.

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