The Tasaday Language: A Key to Tasaday Prehistory

Date
1992
Authors
Reid, Lawrence A.
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Abstract
In this chapter I examine two bodies of linguistic evidence in order to determine whether there was a systematic attempt to deceive investigators as to the true identity of the Tasaday. First, I will look at the linguistic material gathered from the Tasaday during the 1971-72 contacts by outsiders; second, at the linguistic evidence that has become available since then. I will test the claims of the ‘hoax’ proponents regarding the identity of the Tasaday against the form of the Tasaday language. New linguistic evidence now available in papers by Johnston (1992), Elkins (1992), and Molony (1992; Molony with Tuan 1976) makes it possible to draw conclusions regarding a possible hoax. I will address the following issues: the nature of language versus dialect; the position of the Tasaday speech variety vis-à-vis other Manobo speech varieties; implications for whether the Tasaday are a hoax; and the extent to which the Tasaday may have been isolated from other Manobo communities.
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Tasaday ‘hoax’, Tasaday language
Citation
Reid, Lawrence. "The Tasaday Language: A Key to Tasaday Prehistory." In The Tasaday Controversy: Assessing the Evidence, edited by Thomas N. Headland, 180-193. American Anthropological Association Special Publications, Scholarly Series No. 28. Washington, D.C.: American Anthropological Association, 1992.
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21 pages
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