Torres–Banks languages

Last updated
Torres–Banks
Geographic
distribution
Torres Islands and Banks Islands, Torba Province, northern Vanuatu
Linguistic classification Austronesian
Glottolog torr1262

The Torres–Banks languages form a linkage of Southern Oceanic languages spoken in the Torres Islands and Banks Islands of northern Vanuatu.

Contents

Languages

François (2011) recognizes 17 languages spoken by 9,400 people in 50 villages, including 16 living (3 of which are moribund) and one extinct language. [1]

The 17 languages, ranked from northwest to southeast, are: [1] :181

LanguageNumber of speakers ISO 639-3 codeIsland(s) spoken
Hiw 280 hiw Hiw
Lo-Toga 580 lht Tegua, Lo, Toga
Lehali 200 tql Ureparapara
Löyöp 240 urr Ureparapara
Volow extinct mlv Mota Lava
Mwotlap 2100 mlv Mota Lava
Lemerig 2 (moribund) lrz Vanua Lava
Vera'a 500 vra Vanua Lava
Vurës 2000 msn Vanua Lava
Mwesen 10 (moribund) msn Vanua Lava
Mota 750 mtt Mota
Nume 700 tgs Gaua
Dorig 300 wwo Gaua
Koro 250 krf Gaua
Olrat 3 (moribund) olr Gaua
Lakon 800 lkn Gaua
Mwerlap 1100 mrm Merelava

Codrington (1885) also lists the Alo-Teqel language, long since extinct.

Comparative studies

A. François has published several studies comparing various features of the Torres–Banks languages:

François (2012) is a sociolinguistic study of the area.

Genealogical structure of the Torres–Banks linkage

The internal structure of the Torres–Banks linkage was assessed based on the Comparative method, and presented in the framework of historical glottometry (François 2014, 2017; Kalyan & François 2018).

Kalyan & François (2018: 81) identified the following best-supported subgroups (in decreasing order of genealogical closeness):

Notes

Related Research Articles

Torba Province

Torba is the northernmost province of Vanuatu. It consists of the Banks Islands and the Torres Islands.

In historical linguistics, a linkage is a network of related dialects or languages that formed from a gradual diffusion and differentiation of a proto-language.

Mwotlap is an Oceanic language spoken by about 2,100 people in Vanuatu. The majority of speakers are found on the island of Motalava in the Banks Islands, with smaller communities in the islands of Ra and Vanua Lava, as well as migrant groups in the two main cities of the country, Santo and Port Vila.

Alexandre François

Alexandre François is a French linguist specialising in the description and study of the indigenous languages of Melanesia. He belongs to Lattice, a research centre of the CNRS and École Normale Supérieure dedicated to linguistics.

The North Vanuatu languages form a linkage of Southern Oceanic languages spoken in northern Vanuatu.

Lakon[lakɔn] is an Oceanic language, spoken on the west coast of Gaua island in Vanuatu.

Koro is an Oceanic language spoken on Gaua island in Vanuatu. Its 280 speakers live in the village of Koro, on the south coast of Gaua.

Lo-Toga language Austronesian language spoken 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. The language has sometimes been called Loh(sic) or Toga, after either of its two dialects.

Mwerlap is an Oceanic language spoken in the south of the Banks Islands in Vanuatu.

Hiw is an Oceanic language spoken by about 280 people on the island of Hiw, in the Torres Islands of Vanuatu.

Dorig(formerly called Wetamut) is an Oceanic language spoken on Gaua island in Vanuatu.

Lemerig language Austronesian language spoken in Vanuatu

Lemerig is an Oceanic language spoken on Vanua Lava, in Vanuatu.

Nume is an Oceanic language spoken on Gaua island in Vanuatu. Its 700 speakers live on the northeast coast of Gaua.

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

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.

Vurës language Austronesian language spoken in Vanuatu

Vurës is an Oceanic language spoken in the southern area of Vanua Lava Island, in the Banks Islands of northern Vanuatu, by about 2000 speakers.

Löyöp is an Oceanic language spoken by about 240 people, on the east coast of Ureparapara Island in the Banks Islands of Vanuatu. It is distinct from Lehali, the language spoken on the west coast of the same island.

Lehali language Austronesian language spoken in Vanuatu

Lehali is an Oceanic language spoken by about 200 people, on the west coast of Ureparapara Island in Vanuatu. It is distinct from Löyöp, the language spoken on the east coast of the same island.

Volow is an Oceanic language variety which used to be spoken in the area of Aplow, in the eastern part of the island of Motalava, in Vanuatu.

Historical Glottometry is a method used in historical linguistics. It is a quantitative, non-cladistic approach to language subgrouping.

References