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By Julie Barbour

Neverver is an Oceanic language spoken through simply over 500 humans at the excessive island of Malekula in Vanuatu. Drawing on an intensive corpus of box recordings gathered among 2004 and 2008, the research unearths 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 resources for A Grammar of Neverver

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Noticeably absent from the consonant inventory is a series of labio-velars. These sounds are found in some of Neverver’s neighbours including Neve‘ei (Musgrave 2007) and Avava (Crowley 2006a). The lack of labio-velars is shared with the moribund Naman language (Crowley 2006b), as well as V‘ënen Taut (Fox 1979). Pearce (pers. ) identifies just one or two lexical items in Unua with a labio-velar consonant. Unusually for Malekula languages, Neverver has a prenasalized affricate segment. This voiced segment has also been identified in the Espiegle’s Bay variety of Malua Bay on Malekula, where it contrasts with a plain voiceless affricate (author’s own fieldnotes).

3. 2. Education In the domain of education, community members report a traditional process whereby boys and girls were initiated separately into the roles and responsibilities of society. This has been replaced by English-medium formal education. There is no formal instruction either in the medium of Neverver or with Neverver as a subject. Neverver is used for basic organizational purposes in the local kindergartens, but even at the pre-school age, there is an emphasis on teaching English to prepare children for primary school.

The women have taken multiple copies of these resources back to the villages. 5. 3). Linguistic fieldwork has traditionally been conducted with the aim of investigating an unknown language, preferably in some remote locale, and producing a description of the structural systems of that language. : 9) summarizes the aims of describing a language as follows: “a language description aims at the record of a language, with ‘language’ being understood as a system of abstract elements, constructions and rules which constitute the invariant underlying structure of the utterances observable in a speech community”.

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A Grammar of Neverver by Julie Barbour

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