OLAC Record

Title:Presentations from Morehead Project (2014)
Morehead: Languages of Southern New Guinea
Contributor (researcher):Dr. Julia Colleen Miller
Coverage:Papua New Guinea
Description:Paper presented at the NWAV-AP3 conference, Wellington, 1-3 May 2014 (NWAV-AP = New Ways of Analyzing Variation-Asia-Pacific) Bimabdn village is located in the Morehead District of Western Province in southern New Guinea. One salient areal feature in Morehead region is the practice of patrilineal clan exogamy, typically manifesting as direct sister exchange (detailed anthropological descriptions are available in Ayres (1983) and Williams (1936)). This exchange results in the woman adopting a virilocal residence and a new language. Exogamy pairs are ideally based on differences in location (a woman marries outside of her village) and clan (she marries someone of a different clan). Ideally, she should observe both rules. Otherwise, the next preference is to marry someone from her village, but from a different clan. It is not the case that a woman needs to speak a different language from her potential husband. Unlike findings of Stanford (2009, 2012) in his studies of clan exogamy and linguistic variation, clan membership is not a dominant factor in predicting inter-speaker variation. In the Bimabdn exogamy exchange network, a speaker’s village is a larger language unit than the clan. The predominant language spoken in the Bimadbn village is Nen. It is a member of the Morehead-Maro language group of Papuan languages. Other languages in this exchange network include Nambu, Nama (Morehead-Maro) and Idi (Pahoturi). This paper introduces issues of demography, social organization, clan affiliation, dialect, and their effects on language variation. Key linguistic features that will be discussed are those that have been targeted in previous field trips as known variations in the phonemic inventories of the dialects/languages that make up the exogamous groups. Nen vs. Nambu, Neme (Evans, 2012): •Smaller fricative inventory, notably missing the f,v and ɸ β found in Nambu •Lacks the velar nasal •Loss of nasal element in prenasalised stops: NC -­‐> C / #__ /mbrmbr/ -­‐> [brmbr] •d retained (Némé (Morehead-­‐Maro), spoken in Keru) preceding [i], in Nen di-­‐>zi, dzi, or dʒi Nen vs. Idi (Evans, 2012) •Nen has no retroflex series, unlike Idi •Nen labial-­‐velar stop consonants: k͡pw -­‐> kw, g͡bw -­‐> gw for some speakers of Idi I will draw out the connections between the variation in these features and the above-described exogamous practices. Keywords: Exogamy; Multilingualism; Variation
This project focuses on collecting multimedia documentation of multiple undescribed Papuan languages – Nen and Nambu (Morehead-Maro) and Kmntso (Tonda). Other nearby languages will have varrying degrees of description, including Idi, Nama, and Neme. All of these languages belong to an almost completely unknown family in Southern New Guinea. Based at the Australian National University in Canberra, plus collaborations with the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, and the PNG National Herbarium, the project will embed a German PhD student (Christian Döhler) in a team including a seasoned field linguist (Nick Evans) and a post-doc (Julia Colleen Miller), two Germany-based typologists (Bernard Comrie and Volker Gast) from the FAUST (Future Archive User Simulation Team), plus participation on targeted fieldtrips by ethnobiologist Chris Healey (ANU) and botanist Kipiro Damas (PNG National Herbarium, Madang). Particular foci of the documentation will be the natural world (especially ethnobotany and ethnoornithology), swidden cultivation, fire management and ethnoecology, mythology, auto-ethnography, ethnomathematics, and microvariation in language use in a situation of daily multilingualism.nichola
Publisher:Professor Nicholas Evans
The Australian National University
Subject:Secondary document
Nambo language
Nen language
English language
Subject (ISO639):ncm


Archive:  The Language Archive at the MPI for Psycholinguistics
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OaiIdentifier:  oai:www.mpi.nl:1839_00-0000-0000-0022-3B41-E
DateStamp:  2017-02-14
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Citation: Dr. Julia Colleen Miller (researcher). 2014-05-02. Professor Nicholas Evans.
Terms: area_Europe area_Pacific country_GB country_PG iso639_eng iso639_ncm iso639_nqn

Inferred Metadata

Country: United KingdomPapua New Guinea
Area: EuropePacific

Up-to-date as of: Wed Apr 12 6:41:52 EDT 2017