[Lingtyp] new open-access grammar: Mauwake (PNG), published by Language Science Press

Martin Haspelmath haspelmath at eva.mpg.de
Thu Oct 15 18:20:26 UTC 2015

Lingtyp readers may be interested in a new book in LangSci's series 
"Studies in Diversity Linguistics":

Berghäll, Liisa. 2015. /A grammar of Mauwake./ (Studies in Diversity 
Linguistics, 4.) Berlin: Language Science Press.

This is one of the most detailed grammars of a language belonging to the 
Trans-New Guinea family (Glottolog: 
http://glottolog.org/resource/languoid/id/mauw1238). It is written 
accessibly and with a typological readership in mind.

Free download at:
http://langsci-press.org/catalog/book/67 (Printed copy also available, 
via print on demand.)

Please consider submitting a book manuscript (monograph or edited 
volume, descriptive or typological) to "Studies in Diversity Linguistics".

Best wishes,


This grammar provides a synchronic grammatical description of Mauwake, a 
Papuan Trans-New Guinea (TNG) language of about 2000 speakers on the 
north coast of the Madang Province in Papua New Guinea.

It is the first book-length treatment of the Mauwake language and the 
only published grammar of the Kumil subgroup to date. Relying on other 
existing published and unpublished grammars, the author shows how the 
language is similar to, or different from, related TNG languages 
especially in the Madang province. The grammar gives a brief 
introduction to the Mauwake people, their environment and their culture. 
Although the book mainly covers morphology and syntax, it also includes 
ashort treatment of the phonological system and the orthography.

The description of the grammatical units proceeds from the 
words/morphology to the phrases, clauses, sentence types and clause 
combinations. The chapter on functional domains is the only one where 
the organization is based on meaning/function rather than structure. The 
longest chapter in the book is on morphology, with verbs taking the 
central stage. The final chapter deals with the pragmatic functions 
theme, topic and focus.

13 texts by native speakers, mostly recorded and transcribed but some 
originally written, are included in the Appendix with 
morpheme-by-morpheme glosses and a free translation. The theoretical 
approach used is that of Basic Linguistic Theory. Language typologists 
and professional Papuanist linguists are naturally one target audience 
for the grammar. But also two other possible, and important, audiences 
influenced especially the style the writing: well educated Mauwake 
speakers interested in their language, and those other Papua New 
Guineans who have some basic training in linguistics and are keen to 
explore their own languages.
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