Fieldwork and languages

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I have collected firsthand data on several languages of Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, which were little documented until recently. All these languages are Austronesian, more precisely Oceanic.

For each language, the tables below indicate its geographical location; the name which I use and recommend – based on the speakers’ preferences – as well as alternate names under which it has been called in earlier publications. I propose an estimate of their current number of speakers. Finally, I give relevant links to further information, and to online texts with their translation. The last column links to all my audio archives from the field.

I am currently working on the systematic description of some of these languages. Part of this research has already been published.

        Languages of Vanuatu 



See a map of the 17 northern Vanuatu languages

The numbers of speakers proposed below were revised in October 2010. I recalculated the figures by extrapolating them from the recently published demographic figures given, island by island, by the 2009 Vanuatu census [link to VNSO’s site; direct link ]. The 2009 total population of Torres & Banks islands ("TorBa" province) was 9359 individuals. This shows a demographic increase of 20.7 percent from the last 1999 census, which had a figure of 7757.

Note: This chart cites only those languages of Vanuatu on which I have personally collected data on the field. For a full list of the 110 languages spoken in Vanuatu, see the Ethnologue’s page.

Torres Is. Hiw
Hiw
HIW Hiu hiw 280   1   1 · 2
  Lo, Toga
Lo-Toga
LTG Loh, Toga lht 580   1   1 · 2
Banks Is. Ureparapara
Lehali
LHI Teqel tql 200   1   1 · 2
   
Löyöp
LYP Lehalurup urr 240   1   1 · 2
  Motalava
Mwotlap
MTP Motlav mlv 2100   1 · 2 · 3 1 · 2 · 3 1 · 2
   
Volow
VLW Valuwa mlv 1   1    
  Vanua Lava
Lemerig
LMG Sasar lrz 2   1 1 1 · 2
   
Vera’a
VRA Vatrata vra 500   1 · 2 1 1 · 2
   
Vurës
VRS Vureas, Mosina msn 2000   1 · 2 · 3   1 · 2
   
Mwesen
MSN Mosina msn 10   1 1 · 2 1
  Mota
Mota
MTA   mtt 750   1 1 1
  Gaua
Nume
NUM Tarasag tgs 700   1   1 · 2
   
Dorig
DRG Wetamut wwo 300   1 1 1 · 2
   
Koro
KRO   krf 250   1   1 · 2
   
Olrat
OLR   olr 3   1   1 · 2
   
Lakon
LKN Lakona, Vure lkn 800   1 · 2   1 · 2
  Merelava
Mwerlap
MRL Merlav mrm 1100   1   1 · 2
South Santo Araki
Araki
ARK   akr 8   1 · 2 · 3 · 4 1 · 2 1 · 2

         Languages of the Solomon Islands

I have revised the figures for numbers of speakers based on my May 2012 survey, and also taking into account the 2009 Solomon Islands census.

Note: This chart cites only those languages of the Solomon Islands on which I have personally collected data on the field. For a full list of the 74 languages spoken in the Solomons, see the Ethnologue’s page.

Temotu Vanikoro
Teanu
TEA Puma, Buma tkw 800   1 1 · 2
   
Lovono
LVN Vano, Lavana, Vanikolo vnk 4   1 1 · 2
   
Tanema
TNM Tetawo tnx 1   1 1 · 2
   
Tikopia
TKP Fakatikopia tkp 1800   1 1 · 2

 

 

 

 
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©   Alexandre François 2014