Documentation and description of Papitalai, an Oceanic language of Papua New Guinea

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.

Papitalai [ISO-639 pat] is an Oceanic (Austronesian) language spoken by several hundred people on Manus Island, approximately 200 miles off the north coast of the Papua New Guinea mainland (2"03'S, 147O24'E). Although under significant pressure from the encroachment of Tok Pisin and English, the community has a strong linguistic identity and is enthusiastic about maintaining their language. This project will work with speakers to create an annotated audio and video corpus of a variety of Papitalai discourse genres. Practical outcomes will include a published collection of texts, pedagogical materials, and a reference grammar to be submitted as a PhD dissertation. Primary investigator: Jessica Cleary-Kemp

Project Details


Location: Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, Oceania Organiser(s): Endangered Languages Documentation Programme Project partner(s): University of California, Berkeley Funder(s): Arcadia Funding received: £59,397.00 Commencement Date: 01/2006 Project Status: Active
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