Olrat language

Last updated
Olrat
Native to Vanuatu
Region Gaua
Native speakers
3 (2012) [1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 olr
Glottolog olra1234
ELP Olrat

Olrat is a moribund Oceanic language spoken on Gaua island in Vanuatu.

Contents

The language

A. Francois with +Maten Womal, the last storyteller of Olrat (Gaua, Vanuatu, 2003) Alex-Maten-Gaua-2003.jpg
A. François with †Maten Womal, the last storyteller of Olrat (Gaua, Vanuatu, 2003)

The three remaining speakers of Olrat live on the middle-west coast of Gaua. [2] They merged into the larger village of Jōlap where Lakon is dominant, after they left their inland hamlet of Olrat in the first half of the 20th century. [1]

Alexandre François identifies Olrat as a distinct language from its immediate neighbor Lakon, on phonological, [3] grammatical, [4] and lexical [5] grounds.

Phonology

Olrat has 14 phonemic vowels. These include 7 short /i ɪ ɛ a ɔ ʊ u/ and 7 long vowels /iː ɪː ɛː aː ɔː ʊː uː/. [6]

Olrat vowels
  Front Back
Near-close i u
Close-mid ɪ ɪː ʊ ʊː
Open-mid ɛ ɛː ɔ ɔː
Open a

Historically, the phonologization of vowel length originates in the compensatory lengthening of short vowels when the voiced velar fricative /ɣ/ was lost syllable-finally. [7]

Grammar

The system of personal pronouns in Olrat contrasts clusivity, and distinguishes four numbers (singular, dual, trial, plural). [8]

Spatial reference in Olrat is based on a system of geocentric (absolute) directionals, which is typical of Oceanic languages. [9]

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References

  1. 1 2 François (2012) .
  2. List of Banks islands languages.
  3. François (2005)
  4. François (2007)
  5. François (2011)
  6. François (2005 :445), François (2011 :194).
  7. François (2005 :461).
  8. François (2016).
  9. François (2015).

Bibliography