A Grammar of Neverver by Julie Barbour

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By Julie Barbour

Neverver is an Oceanic language spoken by way of simply over 500 humans at the excessive island of Malekula in Vanuatu. Drawing on an in depth corpus of box recordings accumulated among 2004 and 2008, the research unearths a really fascinating phonological procedure with six prenasalized segments, wealthy structures of ownership, tense/aspect/mood marking, valence swap, and verb serialization. The grammar is of curiosity to experts in Oceanic and Austronesian linguistics, in addition to to common linguists, specifically these drawn to linguistic typology.

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Elsewhere, the allophone [ɂલ] is mostly attested in low frequency lexical items, many of which have fallen out of use. Overall, the phonemic sequence /pu/, realized phonetically as [ɂલu], is rare. A prenasalized voiced trill [mɂ] also occurs in the corpus. ). 2. The /t/ and /k/ segments The plain voiceless plosives in alveolar and velar position both occur in initial as well as final positions. Initially, these segments may also occur in geminate and heterogeneous sequences. 30 (14) Phonology [kut] [koko] [k:or] [krax] [krut] [p:ek] [prok] ‘the place, LOCPN’ ‘hunt (with spear, club)’ ‘make funeral house’ ‘hunt (birds)’ ‘together’ ‘wind’ ‘listen’ [tur] [tox] [t:or] [traƾk] [trus] [ȕet] [slot] ‘stand up; wake up’ ‘exist’ ‘rotten (of tubers)’ ‘cluck (of hens)’ ‘leak’ ‘weave’ ‘give gift’ Like the neutralization between the /p/ segment and the bilabial fricative /ȕ/, the contrast between /k/ and the velar fricative /࣢/ is neutralized in some morphemes in the word-final position.

Not only that, it can offer a standardized set of spellings, and a record of the attested usages of words. 8. Paviour-Smith (2008: 5–7; 16–17) provides a comparable description of the role of the Church in the Aulua community of central Malekula, and a justification for the introduction and support of vernacular literacy in this domain. 4. 2. Literacy in entertainment As a language with a very short history of writing, narratives in Neverver belong to an oral tradition. Few people read for entertainment, and what reading does take place is most often for religious purposes.

7. 4 is used by permission of Oxford University Press, appearing previously in: Barbour, J. 2010. Neverver: A study of language vitality and community initiatives. ). Endangered Languages of Austronesia. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. 225-244. Statements made about the vitality of the Neverver language are based almost entirely on my own ‘outsider’s’ observations of the speech community, although comments made to me by community members have shaped my interpretation of the context. 10 Introduction The language is being transmitted to children in almost all households, although there are a small number of households with young children where Bislama, or another local language, is the dominant tongue.

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