A Grammar of Vaeakau-Taumako by Åshild Næss, Even Hovdhaugen

By Åshild Næss, Even Hovdhaugen

Vaeakau-Taumako, often referred to as Pileni, is a Polynesian Outlier language spoken within the Reef and Duff Islands within the Solomon Islands' Temotu Province. this can be a space of significant linguistic range and long-standing language touch which has had far-reaching results at the linguistic scenario.
Historically, audio system of Vaeakau-Taumako have been shipbuilders and navigators who made alternate voyages in the course of the sector, bringing them into consistent touch with audio system of the Reefs-Santa Cruz, Utupua and Vanikoro languages. The latter languages are just distantly relating to Vaeakau-Taumako, making up an only in the near past pointed out first-order subgroup of Oceanic. Polynesian audio system first arrived within the sector a few 700-1000 years in the past from the middle Polynesian parts to the east. whereas this day such a lot intra-group verbal exchange happens in Solomon Islands Pijin, commonly the placement was once certainly one of wide multilingualism, and this has left profound lines within the grammar of Vaeakau-Taumako, which exhibits a few structural houses now not identified from different Polynesian languages.
A Grammar of Vaeakau-Taumako is the main complete grammar of any Polynesian Outlier up to now, and the 1st full-length grammar of any language of Temotu Province. according to huge fieldwork, it really is established as a reference grammar facing all facets of language constitution, from phonology to discourse association, and together with a range of glossed texts. it will likely be of curiosity to typologists, Oceanic linguists, and researchers attracted to language touch.


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Io/: io ['io ]'flesh', iotakua [jota'kua] 'decide'. /iu/: niu ['niu] 'coconut palm', iuloa [ju'loa] 'species of shark'. Disyllabic words of the form Cae, Cao, Coa frequently have their vowel sequence reduced to a single long vowel: - /ae/: thae [thae, the:] 'reach', mae [mae, me:] 'refuse' /ao/: mao [mao, rna:] 'be far away' /oaf: toa [toa, to:] 'take' lui! may reduce to [i:] in all positions, including in polysyllabic words and across morpheme boundaries: mui- mz 'thing, something', motuia (NUP) - motia [motia, mutia] (VAE, TAU) 'cut, stop', namuia- namia (TAU) 'smell (vt)' Most vowel sequences involving /a/ plus another vowel (aV, Va) may be reduced to either [a] or V in unstressed position: 14 Cf.

In Vaeakau-Taumako, this opposition is contrastive mainly in word-final syllables. Short final vowels are always unstressed, and in some cases de voiced or dropped (cf. 2 above). By contrast. long wordfinal vowels are always stressed, and indeed tend to be characterized more by their stress than by an actual measurable length contrast. Thus the difference between the final vowels of kulu 'breadfruit' and lepil 'rat' is not so much an opposition between a short and a long vowel as between a stressed and an unstressed syllable: ['kulu] vs [le'pu].

Le'puu/. 2. As it is usually the initial vowel of a sequence which is elided, a possible objection to such an analysis would be that it would lead to elision of the stressed vowel. How- 11 Note, however, that this form is long when used as the head of a noun phrase; cf. 4. 12 But observe that ila 'look' only has the pronounciation ['ila]. 28 Phonology ever, given cases like nepulu [ne'pulu, ne'plu], where the stressed vowel does appear to be elided, this may not be a relevant objection. 13 Morphophonological processes provide no conclusive evidence.

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