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Oceanic Linguistics Special Publications

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Oceanic Linguistics Special Publications

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A Dictionary of Mah Meri as Spoken at Bukit Bangkong

by Nicole Kruspe

Mah Meri is an Aslian (Austroasiatic: Mon-Khmer) language spoken in scattered settlements along a section of the southwest coast of Selangor in Peninsular Malaysia. The Mah Meri are the only Aslian speakers who live in a coastal environment. Their language, which may have about 2,000 speakers, has no written language and is highly endangered. This is the first comprehensive dictionary of Mah Meri and is based on the author’s extensive field research and consultation with members of the community over the last ten years. The dialect presented here is spoken by about 600 people at Bukit Bangkong, the most southerly Mah Meri settlement. The dictionary contains around 4,000 entries, each with a phonetic transcription and translations in both English and Malay. Many entries are further complemented by illustrative examples, notes on usage, derivations, ethnographic information, and illustrations—all provide insight into the world of Mah Meri speakers. Two finder lists (English–Mah Meri and Malay–Mah Meri) are included, giving access to the intended audience of international and local scholars and community members. The volume also includes a general introduction to the Mah Meri, notes to assist the reader in using the dictionary, and a short grammatical description.

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A Grammar of Mavea

An Oceanic Language of Vanuatu

by Valerie Guerin

Spoken on Mavea Island by approximately 32 people, Mavea is an endangered Oceanic language of Vanuatu. This work provides grammatical descriptions of this hitherto undescribed language. Fourteen chapters, containing more than 1,400 examples, cover topics in the phonology and morphosyntax of Mavea, with an emphasis on the latter. Of particular interest are examples of individual speaker variation presented throughout the grammar; the presence of three linguo-labials (still used today by a single speaker) that were unexpectedly found before the rounded vowel /o/; and a chapter on numerals and the counting system, which have long been replaced by Bislama’s but are remembered by a handful of speakers.

Most of the grammatical descriptions derive from a corpus of texts of various genres (conversations, traditional stories, personal histories, etc.) gathered during the author’s fieldwork, conducted for eleven months between 2005 and 2007.

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Sivisa Titan

Sketch Grammar, Texts, Vocabulary Based on Material Collected by P. Josef Meier and Po Minis

Claire Bowern

There are few published grammars of the languages of the Admiralty Islands. This work makes available valuable data compiled by Po Minis and the New Britain missionary P. Josef Meier for the Titan language. Meier published seventy-five texts in Titan (the corpus is about 25,000 words) in the journal Anthropos between 1906 and 1909 and an addendum in 1912. Stories contain brief information about the speakers and are glossed word-for-word in German and occasionally Latin.

Sivisa Titan is divided into three sections. The first is a sketch grammar based entirely on the texts collected by Meier and published by him in Anthropos. Part Two is a wordlist compiled from the texts with an English-Titan reversal. Part Three contains the texts published by Meier. The present work provides English glosses based on Meier’s German ones and free translations, which are not included by Meier. Sivisa Titan will be an invaluable addition to our knowledge about the Admiralty Islands subgroup of Oceania. It also illustrates the importance of ethnographic texts collected in the local language and possibilities for analysis based on materials originally gathered for another purpose.

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