New PDF release: A Grammar of Neverver

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 amassed among 2004 and 2008, the research finds a truly attention-grabbing phonological process with six prenasalized segments, wealthy platforms 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 basic linguists, specifically these attracted to linguistic typology.

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Extra info for A Grammar of Neverver

Sample text

As well as devoicing, in word-final position these plosives are typically unreleased in the speech of younger community members. 3. Consonant contrasts  (18) [mbimbi] [ndindi] [ƾgis] ‘maternal uncle’ ‘dip (laplap)’ ‘squeeze’ (19) [mbermber] [nder] [ƾgel] ‘be long’ ‘pull apart’ ‘slice’ 31 The prenasalized plosives contrast with the plain plosives: (20) [mbroƾ] [mbar] [nda] [ƾgun] ‘common’ ‘be blind’ ‘PART’ ‘sit (with knees up)’ [proƾ] [papak] [ta] [kut] ‘think’ ‘piggy ‘show, exemplify’ ‘LOCPN’ When a prenasalized plosive follows a plain nasal, the prenasalization is dropped.

One reason for this is that the current community leaders are aware that their knowledge of Neverver is not as extensive as the knowledge of their parents’ generation. Older community members, now in their 60s and 70s, can display considerable differences in their lexical knowledge with gaps in some areas and a wealth of knowledge in others. On one occasion, during my second field trip, a church elder in Limap brought me a carefully preserved copy of Pastor Bill Camden’s (1977) Bislama-English dictionary.

The verb stems listed in (24) all have a morpheme-initial [mb] segment. Because these stems must carry a subject/mood marker in actual usage, [mb] is never wordinitial when these items are articulated.

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A Grammar of Neverver by Julie Barbour

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