|Pak, Päk, Sasar|
|Dialects||Alo-Teqel, Pak, Sasar|
Lemerig is classified as Critically Endangered by the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger
Lemerig is an Oceanic language spoken on Vanua Lava, in Vanuatu.
Lemerig is no longer actively spoken. The 2 remaining speakers live on the northern coast of the island. The language has receded in favour of its neighbours Mwotlap and Vera'a.
The name Lemerig (spelled Lēmērig [lɪmɪriɣ] in the local orthography) refers to a now abandoned village in northern Vanua Lava. Its name in Mwotlap is Lemyig [lɛmjiɣ]. It is likely the name contains a descendant of the Proto-Torres-Banks word *riɣi meaning "small".
Lemerig has sometimes been referred to using the names of its local varieties: Päk; Sasar; Alo-Teqel.
Judging from wordlists published by missionary and linguist Robert Codrington, these three varieties were very close to each other. The little differences there were went extinct during the 20th century.
Lemerig has 11 phonemic vowels. These are all short monophthongs /i ɪ ɛ æ a œ ø ɒ̝ ɔ ʊ u/.
|Close||i ⟨i⟩||u ⟨u⟩|
|Near-close||ɪ ⟨ē⟩||ø ⟨ö⟩||ʊ ⟨ō⟩|
|Open-mid||ɛ ⟨e⟩||œ ⟨ë⟩||ɔ ⟨o⟩|
|Near-open||æ ⟨ä⟩||ɒ̝ ⟨ā⟩|
The system of personal pronouns in Lemerig contrasts clusivity, and distinguishes four numbers (singular, dual, trial, plural).
Spatial reference in Lemerig is based on a system of geocentric (absolute) directionals, which is in part typical of Oceanic languages, in part innovative.
- ^ a b François 2012, p. 87.
- ^ List of Banks islands languages.
- ^ Päk [pæk] is a village on the north coast of Vanua Lava island, today often referred to using its Mwotlap name Abek [aᵐbɛk]. Due to its vowel [æ] (potentially ambiguous to Western ears), the original name in Lemerig was spelled Pak in Codrington 1885 (pp.39 sqq), but Pek in Codrington 1891 (p.81).
- ^ See Codrington 1885, pp.39-52 sqq..
- ^ François 2011, p. 194.
- ^ François 2016.
- ^ François 2015, pp. 169–170.
- Codrington, Robert Henry (1885). The Melanesian Languages. Vol. 47. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 25–60.
- Codrington, Robert Henry (1891). The Melanesians: Studies in Their Anthropology and Folk-lore. New York: Clarendon Press. ISBN 9780486202587.
- François, Alexandre (2011). "Social ecology and language history in the northern Vanuatu linkage: A tale of divergence and convergence" (PDF). Journal of Historical Linguistics. 1 (2): 175–246. doi:10.1075/jhl.1.2.03fra. hdl:1885/29283. S2CID 42217419..
- —— (2012). "The dynamics of linguistic diversity: Egalitarian multilingualism and power imbalance among northern Vanuatu languages" (PDF). International Journal of the Sociology of Language. 2012 (214): 85–110. doi:10.1515/ijsl-2012-0022. S2CID 145208588.
- —— (2015). "The ins and outs of up and down: Disentangling the nine geocentric space systems of Torres and Banks languages" (PDF). In Alexandre François; Sébastien Lacrampe; Michael Franjieh; Stefan Schnell (eds.). The languages of Vanuatu: Unity and diversity. Studies in the Languages of Island Melanesia. Canberra: Asia-Pacific Linguistics. pp. 137–195. ISBN 978-1-922185-23-5.
- —— (2016). "The historical morphology of personal pronouns in northern Vanuatu" (PDF). In Pozdniakov, Konstantin (ed.). Comparatisme et reconstruction : tendances actuelles. Faits de Langues. Vol. 47. Bern: Peter Lang. pp. 25–60..
- François, Alexandre & Taitus Sërortēlsöm. 2006. Nvāv ʻām ʻa Lēmērig — Storian long lanwis blong Lemerig (Vanua Lava, Banks, Vanuatu). Collection of stories from the oral tradition, monolingual in Lemerig. Paris.
- Audio recordings in the Lemerig language, in open access, by linguist A. François (Pangloss Collection). Features a presentation of the language, and pictures of some of the last speakers.