John Ulrich Wolff juw1 at CORNELL.EDU
Tue Jan 6 16:27:38 UTC 2009

Dear All,
I have been using Peter Lanyon-Orgill's 
dictionary of Raluana (=Tolai, Kuanua, Tuna) and 
find that he distinguishes four different 
qualities of /a/ by various diacritical marks: a 
long /a/, a short /a/ with a short-vowel mark 
over it, an /ä/ and an unmarked /a/. On the other 
hand the SIL Tolai language course  by Franklin 
and Kerr writes only one /a/.
Lanyon Orgill is consistent in his transcription 
of the diacritics over /a/ -- that is, for words 
with /a/ that are listed in various different 
places in the dictionary, he consistently gives 
the same diacritical marking.
Does anyone know how to interpret these facts: is 
it that the dialect described in the lessons has 
merged several different phonemes, or has L-O 
over differentiated and standardized the 
spellings to create consistency.
I would be grateful for an explanation.
Further, Lanyon-0rgill distinguishes /w/ and /v/ 
whereas the Tolai lessons give only one phoneme 
/v/. Again, I would appreciate a definitive 
explanation, although in this case, based on what 
L-O says in his introduction and the numerous 
doublets ,I tentatively conclude that L-O has 
In any case, to anyone who can inform me or lead 
me to a source for the answer I would be grateful.
John Wolff

An-lang mailing list
An-lang at

More information about the An-lang mailing list