Discovering Mafea: texts, grammar and lexicon

The Endangered Language Documentation Programme (ELDP) provides grants worldwide to for the linguistic documentation of endangered language and knowledge. Grantees create multimedia collection of endangered languages. These collections are preserved and made freely available through the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR) housed at the library of SOAS University of London.

This project proposes to record and describe Mafea, an Austronesian language spoken by about 200 people on Mafea island, northern Vanuatu. To date, the only publication about the language is a 300-word list collected by Jacques Guy and published in Tryon 1976. Two objectives guide this research: (i) to produce linguistic documentation for the Mafea language, in the form of a descriptive grammar, a lexicon, and a collection of digitized (and subsequently glossed) texts; and (ii) to convert digital documentation into literacy material (such as story books), in order to assist Mafea-speaking children and adults in developing L1 literacy skills Primary investigator: Valerie Guerin

Project Details


Location: Vanuatu, Melanesia, Oceania Organiser(s): Endangered Languages Documentation Programme Project partner(s): University of Hawai'I at Manoa Funder(s): Arcadia Funding received: £12,292.00 Commencement Date: 01/2001
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