Mwesen language

Last updated
Mwesen
Mosina
M̄ēsēn
Native to Vanuatu
Region Vanua Lava
Native speakers
10 (2012) [1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 msn (shared with Vures)
Glottolog vure1239  Vures
ELP Mwesen

Mwesen(formerly known by its Mota name Mosina) is an Oceanic language spoken in the southeastern area of Vanua Lava Island, in the Banks Islands of northern Vanuatu, by about 10 speakers. [1]

Contents

Mwesen shows many similarities with the island's dominant language Vurës, to such an extent that they have sometimes been considered dialects of a single language. However, studies have shown that Mwesen and Vurës have various dissimilarities, e.g. in their vowel systems, [2] in their noun articles, [3] in their pronoun paradigms. [4]

Phonology

Mwesen has 7 phonemic vowels. These are all short monophthongs /i ɪ ɛ a ɔ ʊ u/: [2]

Mwesen vowels
Front Back
Close i u
Near-close ɪ ʊ
Open-mid ɛ ɔ
Open a

Grammar

The system of personal pronouns in Mwesen contrasts clusivity, and distinguishes four numbers (singular, dual, trial, plural). [4]

Spatial reference in Mwesen is based on a system of geocentric (absolute) directionals, which is in part typical of Oceanic languages, in part innovative. [5]

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. 1 2 François (2012): 88).
  2. 1 2 François (2005 :446), François (2011 :194)
  3. François (2007).
  4. 1 2 François (2009), François (2016).
  5. François (2015:) 169-170).

Bibliography