Lo-Toga language

Last updated
Lo-Toga
Loh, Toga
Native to Vanuatu
Region Torres Islands
Native speakers
580 (2012) [1]
DialectsLo, Toga
Language codes
ISO 639-3 lht
Glottolog loto1240
ELP Lo-Toga
A Lo-Toga speaker, recorded in Vanuatu.

Lo-Toga is an Oceanic language spoken by about 580 people on the islands of Lo and Toga, in the Torres group of northern Vanuatu. [2] The language has sometimes been called Loh( sic ) or Toga, after either of its two dialects.

Contents

Situation and dialects

Its 580 speakers live mostly in Lo and Toga, the two main islands in the southern half of the Torres group. The same language is also spoken by the small populations of the two other islands of Linua and Tegua.

Lo-Toga is itself divided into two very close dialects, Lo (spoken on Lo island) and Toga (spoken on Toga).

Conversely, Lo-Toga is a distinct language from the other language of the Torres group, Hiw.

Phonology

The Lo dialect of Lo-Toga has 13 phonemic vowels. These include 8 monophthongs /i e ɛ a ə ɔ o ʉ/, and five diphthongs /i͡e i͡ɛ i͡a o͡ə o͡ɔ/. [3]

Lo-Toga vowels
Monophthongs Diphthongs
Front Central Back Front Back
Close i ʉ
Close-mid e o i͡e
Mid ə o͡ə
Open-mid ɛ ɔ i͡ɛo͡ɔ
Open a i͡a

Grammar

Lo-Toga presents various forms of verb serialization. [4]

The system of personal pronouns contrasts clusivity, and distinguishes three numbers (singular, dual, plural). [5]

Together with its neighbour Hiw, Lo-Toga has developed a rich system of verbal number, whereby certain verbs change their root depending on the number of their main participant. [6] Lo-Toga has 18 such pairs of verbs.

Spatial reference in Lo-Toga is based on a system of geocentric (absolute) directionals, which is in part typical of Oceanic languages, and yet innovative. [7]

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References

  1. François (2012):88).
  2. François (2005 :444)
  3. François (2005 :460); François (2011 :194)
  4. François (2010:) 511-512).
  5. François (2016).
  6. François (2019).
  7. François (2015:) 175-176).

Bibliography