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The Origins of the Austronesians Book Launch Event: Taiwan is the Origin of Austronesian-speaking People

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  • Modification Time: 2021/10/13 16:51:38
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Today, the Council of Indigenous Peoples convened The Origins of the Austronesians book launch press conference. The press conference was hosted by Icyang Parod, the minister of the Council of Indigenous Peoples, and members in attendance included Dilmei Olkeriil (ambassador of the Republic of Palau), Tadataka Ikeda (director of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association), Joy Lin (a political section officer of the American Institute in Taiwan), Larry Tseng (director general of the Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and Jen-kuei Li and Kuo-fan Chung (academician and associate research fellow of Academia Sinica, respectively). The Origins of the Austronesians was Taiwan’s first-ever book that combined different research perspectives to explore Taiwan’s status as the origin of Austronesian-speaking people.

In a pre-recorded video shown at the press conference, Robert Blust (a famous linguist and a professor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa) and Peter Bellwood (an archaeologist and a professor at the Australian National University) gave a speech explaining the divergence and diversification of Taiwanese indigenous languages, which were the origin of the Austronesian language family. In fact, Taiwanese indigenous people began to migrate and spread to Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands as early as over 5,000 years ago. Professors Blust and Bellwood further expressed that the migration of Austronesian-speaking people is a significant chapter in human history and should be included in history textbooks worldwide.

Minister Icyang Parod stated that when studying the origin of Austronesian-speaking people, one must not overlook Taiwanese indigenous people. Accordingly, in 2019, Taiwan, the United States, and Japan organized the 2019 GCTF International Austronesian Languages Revitalization Forum at the Republic of Palau to investigate the origin of Austronesian-speaking people from perspectives such as language, archeology, genetics, and paper mulberry research. Most research results over the past nearly 50 years have revealed Taiwan to be the origin of Austronesian-speaking people. Minister Icyang Parod further commented that through publishing the book, he hoped that Taiwanese citizens would learn more about Taiwan’s importance within Austronesian societies and that the world would recognize the amazing migration history of the Austronesian-speaking people, so that the world can together cherish Austronesian languages and cultures.