Bethwyn Evans

Bethwyn’s research focuses on historical and comparative linguistics and how language can be a window on the linguistic and non-linguistic past. She is particularly interested in the ways in which historical linguistics, in conjunction with archaeology and population genetics, can tell us about the past of particular ethnolinguistic groups, as well as about the general processes and mechanisms of linguistic and social change. Her current research explores the history of linguistic diversification and contact among Austronesian- and Papuan-speaking groups of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea. A major part of this project is the documentation and description of several languages of southern Bougainville, including Nasioi, Torau and Nagovisi.

Dr Evans can be contacted via email.

Research area/theme
Detecting Remote Historical Signal
Holocene Revolutions
Local Diversification
Island Melanesia after Lapita
Relevant publications

Book Chapters

Evans, Bethwyn. 2009. Beyond pronouns: evidence for the South Bougainville family. In Bethwyn Evans (ed), Discovering history through language. Papers in honour of Malcolm Ross, 73-101. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.

Evans, Bethwyn. 2009. From aspect/mood marker to discourse connective particle: reconstructing syntactic and semantic change. In Maj-Britt Mosegaard-Hansen and Jacqueline Visconti (eds) Current trends in diachronic semantics, 165-187. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Evans, Bethwyn. 2008. Third person plural as a zero morpheme: object marking in Marovo, in Claire Bowern, Bethwyn Evans and Luisa Miceli (eds) Morphology and language history. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 281-298.

Evans, Bethwyn. 2008. Ethnobotanical classification. In Malcolm Ross, Andrew Pawley and Meredith Osmond (eds) The lexicon of Proto Oceanic. The culture and environment of ancestral Oceanic society. Vol. 3 Flora, 53-84 Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.

Edited Books

Stebbins, Tonya and Bethwyn Evans and Angela Terrill. 2018. Papuan languages of Island Melanesia. In Bill Palmer (ed.) Papuan languages of New Guinea. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 775-894.

Bowern, Claire and Bethwyn Evans. 2015. Foundations of the new historical linguistics. In Claire Bowern and Bethwyn Evans (eds) The Routledge handbook of historical linguistics. London: Routledge, 1-42.

Journal Articles

Dugan, Ana, Bethwyn Evans, Françoise R. Friedlaender, Jonathan S. Friedlaender, George Koki, D. Andrew Merriwether, Manfred Kayser and Mark Stoneking. 2014. Maternal history of Oceania from complete mtDNA genomes: contrasting ancient diversity with recent homogenization due to the Austronesian expansion. The American Journal of Human Genetics 94:1-13.

Evans, Bethwyn and Bill Palmer. 2011. Contact-induced change in southern Bougainville. Oceanic Linguistics 50(2):484-523.

Evans, Bethwyn. 2008. Subject agreement in Marovo: diachronic explanations of synchronic conditions. Oceanic Linguistics 47(2):383-408.

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