13.1879, Books: Language Description: Rotuman, M.Vamarasi

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Tue Jul 9 14:36:22 UTC 2002


LINGUIST List:  Vol-13-1879. Tue Jul 9 2002. ISSN: 1068-4875.

Subject: 13.1879, Books: Language Description: Rotuman, M.Vamarasi

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1)
Date:  Mon, 08 Jul 2002 15:59:29 +0200
From:  LINCOM.EUROPA at t-online.de (LINCOM EUROPA)
Subject: Austronesian linguistics: Rotuman by Marit Vamarasi

-------------------------------- Message 1 -------------------------------

Date:  Mon, 08 Jul 2002 15:59:29 +0200
From:  LINCOM.EUROPA at t-online.de (LINCOM EUROPA)
Subject: Austronesian linguistics: Rotuman by Marit Vamarasi

Rotuman

Marit Vamarasi
Northeastern Illinois University

The Rotuman language is spoken by residents of the island of Rotuma,
which lies 465 kilometers northwest of Viti Levu, Fiji, by Rotumans
who live on Fiji's main islands, as well as by Rotumans who reside
overseas. There are approximately 9,000 speakers in all.

Rotuman is not closely related to any other language. It is classified
as a member of the Central-Eastern Oceanic subgroup, along with Fijian
and the Polynesian languages, within the Austronesian language
family. Rotuman has some unique features. The most notable is the fact
that all lexical words have two forms, called "complete" and
"incomplete" or "long" and "short", which are used in certain
syntactico-semantic contexts. The incomplete is derived from the
complete by one of four processes: metathesis, umlauting, vowel
deletion, and diphthongization.

These processes all serve to shorten a word by one mora, and, in most
cases, cause the word to end in a consonant, a feature which is
unusual for an Oceanic language. These processes also produce several
vowels in addition to the usual five of other Oceanic languages.

Most of the significant work on the Rotuman language was done by
Maxwell Churchward in the 1930's. This is the first comprehensive
study of the language to be done in 60 years.

ISBN 3 89586 303 3
     Languages of the World/Materials
     60pp. USD 32 / EUR 32/ £ 19.90.

Free copies of LINCOM'S new catalogue "project line 12" are now
available from LINCOM.EUROPA at t-online.de.

A Students' and course discount of 40% is offered to the above
title.

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