Volow language

Last updated
Volow
Valuwa
Aplow
Native to Vanuatu
Region Mota Lava island, Banks Islands
Extinct 1986 [1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog volo1238
ELP Volow

Volow (pronounced [βʊˈlʊw] ; formerly known as Valuwa or Valuga) 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. [2]

Contents

Sociolinguistics

Volow has receded historically in favour of the now dominant language Mwotlap. [1] It is now only remembered by a single passive speaker, who lives in the village of Aplow — the new name of what was previously known as Volow.

The similarity of Volow with Mwotlap is such that the two communalects may be considered dialects of a single language.

Phonology

Volow, like Mwotlap, has 7 phonemic vowels, which are all short monophthongs: [3] [4]

  Front Back
Close iu
Near-close ɪʊ
Open-mid ɛɔ
Open a

The language also has a typologically rare consonant: a rounded, prenasalised voiced labial-velar plosive [ᵑᵐɡ͡bʷ]: [4] e.g. [n.lɛᵑᵐɡ͡bʷɛβɪn] “woman” [5] (spelled n-leevēn in the local orthography).

Notes

  1. 1 2 François (2012 :87)
  2. List of Banks islands languages.
  3. François (2005a :445).
  4. 1 2 François (2005b :116).
  5. François (2013 :191).

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References