Big Nambas language
|Region||Northwest Malekula, Vanuatu|
Big Nambas (native name V'ənen Taut) is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by about 1,800 people (as of 1983[update]) in northwest Malekula, Vanuatu. Approximately nineteen villages in the Big Nambas region of the Malekula Interior use the language exclusively with no variation in dialect. It was studied in-depth over a period of about 10 years by missionary G. J. Fox, who published a grammar and dictionary in 1979.
|Nasal||m||n̼ / m̺||n|
|voiceless||p||t̼ / p̺||t||k|
|Fricative||voiced||β||ð̼ / β̺||ɣ|
Big Nambas has a complex syllable structure with a large amount of consonant clusters possible. Additionally, clusters of up to four vowels are permitted. Stress in Big Nambas is phonemic, but partly predictable. The consonants /t β r l n/ all exhibit phonemic gemination when two identical ones occur between syllables. Linguolabial consonants are often marked with an apostrophe in the orthography to distinguish them from their bilabial counterparts.
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Big Nambas is a synthetic head-marking language.
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