Asia-Pacific Linguistics

Asia-Pacific Linguistics (A-PL) publishes scholarly research relating to the languages of Asia, the Pacific and Australia, with a particular focus on little described languages. This includes language description and grammatical analysis, language documentation, language typology and linguistic theory, sociolinguistics, language contact, and the reconstruction of linguistic change and culture history. A-PL also publishes other materials, such as text collections and language materials for local communities.

Please note: The following list of titles is sorted by publication date, with the most recent first.

Displaying results 1 to 6 of 6.

Child-directed Speech in Qaqet »

A Language of East New Britain, Papua New Guinea

Authored by: Henrike Frye
Publication date: August 2022
Qaqet is a non-Austronesian language, spoken by about 15,000 people in East New Britain, Papua New Guinea. In the remote inland, children acquire Qaqet as their first language. Much of what we know about child‑directed speech (CDS) stems from children living in middle‑class, urban, industrialised contexts. This book combines evidence from different methods, showing that the features typical for speech to children in such contexts are also found in Qaqet CDS. Preliminary insights from naturalistic audio recordings suggest that Qaqet children are infrequently addressed directly. In interviews, Qaqet caregivers express the view that children ‘pick up’ the language on their own. Still, they have clear ideas about how to talk to children in a way that makes it easier for them to understand what is said. In order to compare adult- and child-directed speech in Qaqet, 20 retellings of a film have been analysed, half of them told to adults and half to children. The data show that talk directed to children differs from talk directed to adults for several features, among them utterance type, mean length of utterance, amount of hesitations and intonation. Despite this clear tendency, there seems to be a cut-off point of around 40 months of age for several of those features from which the talk directed to children becomes more like the talk directed to adults.
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Wampar–English Dictionary »

With an English–Wampar finder list

Publication date: December 2021
This ethnographic dictionary is the result of Hans Fischer’s long-term fieldwork among the Wampar, who occupy the middle Markham Valley in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea (PNG). Their language, Dzob Wampar, belongs to the Markham family of the Austronesian languages. Today most Wampar speak not only Wampar but also PNG’s lingua franca, Tok Pisin. Six decades of Wampar research has documented the extent and speed of change in the region. Today, mining, migration and the commodification of land are accelerating the pace of change in Wampar communities, resulting in great individual differences in knowledge of the vernacular. This dictionary covers largely forgotten Wampar expressions as well as loanwords from German and Jabêm that have become part of everyday language. Most entries contain example sentences from original Wampar texts. The dictionary is complemented by an overview of ethnographic research among Wampar, a sketch of Wampar grammar, a bibliography and an English-to-Wampar finder list.
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Rote-Meto Comparative Dictionary »

Authored by: Owen Edwards
Publication date: November 2021
This comparative dictionary provides a bottom-up reconstruction of the Rote‑Meto languages of western Timor. Rote-Meto is one low-level Austronesian subgroup of eastern Indonesia/Timor-Leste. It contains 1,174 reconstructions to Proto-Rote-Meto (or a lower node) with supporting evidence from the modern Rote-Meto languages. These reconstructions are accompanied by information on how they relate to forms in other languages including Proto‑Malayo‑Polynesian etyma (where known) and/or out-comparisons to putative cognates in other languages of the region. The dictionary also contains two finder-lists: English to Rote-Meto, and Austronesian reconstructions with Rote-Meto reflexes. The dictionary is preceded by three introductory chapters. The first chapter contains a guide to using the dictionary as well as discussion of the data sources. The second chapter provides a short synchronic overview of the Rote-Meto langauges. The third chapter discusses the historical background of Rote-Meto. This includes sound correspondences, the internal subgrouping of the Rote-Meto family, and the position of Rote-Meto within Malayo-Polynesian more broadly. Searchable electronic versions of the comparative dictionary are provided in two formats at http://hdl.handle.net/1885/251618. The first electronic version is a Lexique Pro export of the dictionary. The Lexique Pro file contains the same data and information in the book version of the dictionary, but does not contain the introductory chapters. See the "About Rote-Meto" tab of the Lexique Pro file for more information on this version of the dictionary. The second electronic version is a text file. It is formatted as a tab separated file and is intended to be read in spreadsheet format. This text file does not contain all the data and information in other versions of the Rote-Meto Comparative Dictionary and should be used in conjunction with these other versions. See the associated readme for more information on what data is included and excluded from that text file.
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A Dictionary of Vurës, Vanuatu »

Authored by: Catriona Malau
Publication date: September 2021
This is a trilingual dictionary of Vurës, with meanings provided in both English and Bislama, the national language of Vanuatu. Vurës is an Oceanic language spoken on the island of Vanua Lava in Vanuatu. The dictionary is a companion volume to A Grammar of Vurës, Vanuatu (Malau 2016). There is no established tradition of writing in Vurës and most speakers are not literate in their own language. This dictionary is intended to have a dual purpose: to support the learning of literacy skills in the Vurës community, and as a reference work for linguists. There are four parts to the dictionary. The main part is the most comprehensive and provides the English and Bislama definitions of Vurës words, as well as example sentences for many of the entries, additional encyclopaedic information, scientific names for identified species, lexical relations, and etymological information for some entries. The dictionary contains approximately 3,500 headwords and has a strong emphasis on flora and fauna with close to a third of the entries belonging to these semantic domains. The dictionary has benefited from collaboration with a marine biologist and botanists, who have provided scientific identifications for named species. The main dictionary is followed by English–Vurës and Bislama–Vurës finderlists. The final part of the dictionary is a thesaurus, in which Vurës words are grouped according to semantic categories. The thesaurus has been included primarily so that it can be used to support teaching of literacy skills and cultural knowledge within the community.
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Linguistic Organisation and Native Title »

The Wik Case, Australia

Publication date: September 2021
Classical Aboriginal societies in Australia have commonly been described in terms of social organisation and local organisation. This book presents rich detail on a third and related domain that has not been given the same kind of attention: linguistic organisation. Basing their analyses on fieldwork among the Wik peoples of Cape York Peninsula, north Australia, Peter Sutton and Ken Hale show how cosmology, linguistic variation, language prehistory, clan totemic identities, geopolitics, land use and land ownership created a vibrant linguistic organisation in a classical Aboriginal society. This has been a society long in love with language and languages. Its people have richly imbued the domain of rights and interests in country—the foundations of their native title as recognised in Australian law—with rights and interests in the abundance of languages and dialects given to them at the start of the world.
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A Sketch Grammar of Pondi »

Authored by: Russell Barlow
Publication date: July 2020
This book provides the first grammatical description of Pondi, a severely endangered language spoken by fewer than 300 people, almost all of whom live in a single village in the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. Pondi is a non-Austronesian (i.e. Papuan) language, belonging to the Ulmapo branch of the Keram family. A Sketch Grammar of Pondi includes ethnographic information, with ample discussion of language vitality and endangerment. The grammatical description begins with phonetics and phonology, before turning to major and minor word classes. The description of nominal morphology focuses especially on Pondi’s irregular number affixation and stem alternation, while the description of verbal morphology is largely concerned with aspect and mood suffixation. Syntax is discussed both at the level of the phrase and at the level of the clause. Topics in syntax, such as questions, commands, negation and conditionals are discussed. Following the grammatical description, there is a lexicon of over 600 Pondi words, presented both as a Pondi-to-English word list and as an English-to-Pondi finder list.
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