OLAC Record

Title:Sociophonetics and multilingual intermarriage in Southern New Guinea
Morehead: Languages of Southern New Guinea
Contributor (researcher):Professor Nicholas Evans
Dr. Julia Colleen Miller
Description:Paper presented at "The Social Side of Speech" A 1-day conference focusing on leading-edge international and national research in experimental sociophonetics. This research topic addresses empirical studies of how people speak the same language, yet do so differently depending on their social and geographical origins. Those speech differences are, in turn, demonstrably apparent to native listeners of the language. Co-sponsored by Marcs Institute and School of Humanities and Communication Arts In this talk we report some initial findings from an early-stage sociophonetic study of a multilingual village setting in Southern New Guinea, focusing on individuals positioning themselves with respect to three languages – Nambu, Nen and Idi (roughly related as Portuguese, Spanish and Basque). The intersection of clan exogamy, sister-exchange, virilocal marriage, and the normative alignment of clan populations with small single-language villages means that most individuals in the village of Bimadbn grow up with Nen-speaking fathers, and mothers speaking either Nambu or Idi, while most mothers have married into the village and learned Nen in adulthood. Conversely, women who have learned Nen as a mother-tongue are mostly found in neighbouring villages into which they have married. A minority pattern, found when men cannot furnish a sister as an ‘exchange partner’ for their wife and can only marry on condition of residing uxorilocally. The effect of these marriage rules is to create a balanced natural experiment on the interaction of mother-tongue(s), long-term residence, and gender, and we will survey initial data illustrating the way these social affiliation and exposure factors are played out with regard to some interesting aspects of Nen consonant and vowel phonology. Keywords: Phonetics; Variation: Multilingualism
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
Nen language
Idi language
English language
Subject (ISO639):nqn


Archive:  The Language Archive at the MPI for Psycholinguistics
Description:  http://www.language-archives.org/archive/www.mpi.nl
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OAI Info

OaiIdentifier:  oai:www.mpi.nl:1839_00-0000-0000-0022-3B5C-6
DateStamp:  2017-02-14
GetRecord:  OAI-PMH request for simple DC format

Search Info

Citation: Professor Nicholas Evans (researcher); Dr. Julia Colleen Miller (researcher). 2012-04-11. Professor Nicholas Evans.
Terms: area_Europe area_Pacific country_GB country_PG iso639_eng iso639_idi iso639_nqn

Inferred Metadata

Country: United KingdomPapua New Guinea
Area: EuropePacific

Up-to-date as of: Wed Apr 12 11:08:33 EDT 2017