A grammar of Lavukaleve: A Papuan Language of the Solomon by Angela Terrill

By Angela Terrill

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For these reasons, my corpus consists entirely of the speech variety of the West Russells. 7 TYPOLOGICAL OVERVIEW OF LAVUKALEVE Lavukaleve has a medium-sized consonant phoneme inventory, with three places of articulation for stops (b, t, k) and nasals (m, n, ng). There is a marginal voicing distinction, in the two bilabial stops (p, b) and the two alveolar stops (t, d), but this distinction pertains mostly to loan words. There are three fricative phonemes (f, s, h), two approximants: a voiced velar approximant (g) and an unrounded bilabial approximant (v), and one rhotic and one lateral.

These three linguistic areas are characterised by different intonation patterns, all defined with respect to the language of the western area, which is considered by Lavukals of all three areas to be the real language, and the most conservative. The Hae language is characterised by a so-called sing-song intonation pattern. The speech of eastern Lavukals is said to be strong and harsh. The eastern areas have also had far more influence from Solomon Island Pijin and Guadalcanal languages through intermarriage, and there is substantial language mixing.

The Russell Islands are surrounded on three sides by islands with Austronesian-speaking people. Lavukal stories tell of a long history of contact between the people of New Georgia, Santa Isabel and Guadalcanal and the Russells. For this reason, I generally make comparisons with Austronesian languages from those areas. Because of the scarcity of linguistic data from many of these areas, I make most reference to Tolo, a language from south-east Guadalcanal, which has a dictionary and grammatical sketch (Smith Crowley 1986); Cheke Holo, a Santa Isabel language with a dictionary and grammatical sketch (White 1988); and Roviana, a New Georgia language, again with a dictionary and grammatical sketch (Whitehead 1949).

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