Ross Clark r.clark at AUCKLAND.AC.NZ
Wed Jan 7 11:06:37 UTC 2009

I don't know the Tolai material, and I believe the manuscript sources of this dictionary are rather complex. But going by his other work, it would not be surprising to find Lanyon-Orgill introducing unnecessary and indeed even quite arbitrary distinctions. I'm quite sure he did this in his monograph on Luangiua, which is based entirely on Hogbin's published vocabulary. Lanyon-Orgill's frequent references to original fieldwork have yet to be verified.

Ross Clark
From: an-lang-bounces at [an-lang-bounces at] On Behalf Of John Ulrich Wolff [juw1 at]
Sent: Wednesday, 7 January 2009 5:27 a.m.
To: an-lang at
Subject: [An-lang] Tolai

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

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