Vaeakau-Taumako language

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Vaeakau-Taumako
Pileni
RegionReef Islands and Taumako, Solomon Islands
Native speakers
1,700 (1999)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3piv
Glottologpile1238
ELPVaeakau-Taumako
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Vaeakau-Taumako (formerly known as Pileni) is a Polynesian language spoken in some of the Reef Islands as well as in the Taumako Islands (also known as the Duff Islands) in the Temotu province of the Solomon Islands.

The language is spoken throughout the Taumako Islands, while in the Reef Islands, it is spoken on Aua, Matema, Nifiloli, Nupani, Nukapu, and Pileni. Speakers are thought[by whom?] to be descendants of people from Tuvalu.

Vaeakau-Taumako was described by linguists Even Hovdhaugen and Åshild Næss, in the form of a dictionary[2] and a grammar.[3]

Classification[edit]

Vaeakau-Taumako is a Polynesian outlier. Within that group, it has traditionally been considered one of the Futunic branch, but a 2008 study (exclusively based on lexical evidence) concluded that this membership is weakly supported.[4]

Phonology[edit]

Vowels[edit]

Vaeakau-Taumako does not vary from the standard Polynesian and Austronesian vowel system, featuring five vowels that can be used either in a long or short form. Short vowels found in word-final syllables are frequently devoiced or dropped, but long vowels in the same position are always stressed. There is little allophonic variation between vowel pronunciations.[GVT 1]

Front Central Back
High i: /i/ and /ī/ u: /u/ and /ū/
Mid e: /e/ and /ē/ o: /o/ and /ō/
Low a: /a/ and /ā/

Vowel sequences in Vaeakau-Taumako are typically not treated as diphthongs, as they are not fully reduplicated, as shown in the word "holauhola". This is despite the vowels in the original word being pronounced like a diphthong.[GVT 1]

Consonants[edit]

The Vaeakau-Taumako language has one of the most complex consonant system of the Polynesian languages, with 19 distinct phonemes, plus a large amount of variation across dialects. /b/ and /d/ are found primarily in loan words, rather being native to the language.[GVT 2]

Aspirated sounds are characteristic of the language, and are typically strong and audible. However, the use of aspirated sounds varies across dialects, enough that it is difficult to identify a consistent pattern aside from noting they always occur at the start of stressed syllables.[GVT 3]

Labial Coronal Dorsal
Nasal plain m n ŋ
aspirated ŋʰ
Plosive unvoiced p t k
aspirated
voiced b d
Fricative v s h
Approximant plain l
aspirated

Morphology[edit]

Pronouns[edit]

Vaeakau-Taumako pronouns distinguish between 1st, 2nd and 3rd person pronouns. There are some inclusive and exclusive distinctions, and variations for singular, dual and plural in all cases. There are no gender distinctions. There is variation in the pronoun system for the dialects of Vaeakau-Taumako which can become quite complex, so for simplicity, only the general forms are recorded here.[GVT 4]

Independent personal pronouns[edit]

There are two distinctive base sets of independent personal pronouns in Vaeakau-Taumako. The standard forms are used for formal occasions and recorded text, while the colloquial forms are typically found in informal, everyday conversation.[GVT 5]

Singular Dual Plural
standard colloquial standard colloquial
1st person inclusive iau, au thaua haua thatou, thatu hatou, hatu
exclusive mhuaua mihatou, mhatu
2nd person koe khoulua, kholua houlua, holua khoutou, khotou houtou
3rd person ia lhaua haua lhatou, lhatu hatou, hatu

Bound subject pronouns[edit]

The language also features bound subject pronouns which act as clitics to the tense-aspect-mood marker of the verb of the constituent. They are not obligatory to use. The presence of the "u" has free variation by the choice of the speaker, but they are typically less prevalent in the colloquial forms.[GVT 6]

Singular Dual Plural
standard colloquial standard colloquial
1st person inclusive u=, ku= tha(u)= ha= that(u)= hat(u)=
exclusive mha(u)= mhat(u)=
2nd person ko= khol(u)= hol(u)= khot(u)= hot(u)=
3rd person ø lha(u)= ha= lhat(u)= hat(u)=

Hortative pronouns[edit]

The dual, plural and 2nd person singular have specific pronouns used in imperative and hortative sentences.[GVT 7]

Singular Dual Plural
1st person inclusive ta tatu, hatu, tatou
exclusive ma matu
2nd person ko lu tu
3rd person la latu, hatu

Emphatic corefential pronouns[edit]

When the subject and direct object of a sentence are the same thing, repetition of the independent pronoun in place of both argument positions is typically used. However, there is a set of emphatic coreferential pronouns used for the direct object to refer to someone or a group of people acting alone.[GVT 8]

Singular Dual Plural
1st person inclusive okhoiau okhitaua okithatou
exclusive okhimaua okimhatou
2nd person okhoe okhoulua okhoutou
3rd person okhoia okhilaua okilhatou

The general pronoun nga[edit]

The word nga functions as a pronoun with specific use. It is a third person pronoun, but lacks specification for number, and is used to refer to both singular and plural referents. It typically is an anaphoric reference to a previously mentioned referent.[GVT 9]

Possession[edit]

Control[edit]

While it is common for Polynesian languages to distinguish between alienability and inalienability with a and o possessives, this is not the case for Vaeakau-Taumako. This distinction exists, however it instead marks control – not of the possessed item itself, but of the possessive relationship.[GVT 10]

A-possessives[edit]

Relationships that can be initiated or terminated freely, such as items that can be bought, sold or given away at will are marked with the a-possessive.[GVT 10]

O-possessives[edit]

Relationships that are outside of the possessor's personal control, such as body parts and kinship relationships are marked with o-possessives.[GVT 10]

Alienability and inalienability[edit]

Instead of a- and o- possessives, alienability and inalienability in Vaeakau-Taumako are distinguished by the use of either prenominal or postnominal possessive pronouns.[GVT 11]

Prenominal possessive pronouns[edit]

Prenominal possessive pronouns occur directly preceding the possessed nouns, and are typically used for inalienable relationships, such as kinship terms and body parts.[GVT 12] Prenominal possessive pronouns distinguish between singular, dual and plural of the possessor. The singular possessive forms make an additional distinction between singular and plural of the possessed entity, and encode the a- or o-possessive directly. The dual and plural possessor forms are combined with the possessive prepositions a and o to express this distinction, or they may occur without a preposition.[GVT 11]

Singular Dual Plural
Singular possessed Plural possessed
1st person inclusive taku, toku/tuku aku, oku (a/o) ta (a/o) tatu
exclusive (a/o) ma (a/o) matu
2nd person tau, tō au, ou/ō (a/o) lu (a/o) koto, (a/o) tu
3rd person tana, tona, tena, na ana, ona (a/o) la (a/o) latu

Postnominal possessive pronouns[edit]

The postnominal possessive pronoun succeeds the possessed noun, and are used to mark alienable relationships, such as owned items. They make no distinction between singular and plural of the possessed item, instead the distinction is usually made through the choice of article preceding the possessed noun. Like with prenominal possessive pronouns, the postnominal possessives are based on the possessive prepositions a and o, plus a pronominal form indicating person and number of the possessor. In the singular form, this is the same set of suffixes found on the prenominal possessives, whereas in the dual and plural form, a distinct set of person and number forms are found. In the third and first person, these forms are identical to the independent personal pronouns, except for the lack of aspiration on the initial consonant.[GVT 13]

Singular Dual Plural
1st person inclusive aku, oku taua tatou
exclusive maua matou
2nd person au, ou aulua, oulua autou, outou
3rd person ana, ona laua latou

Possessive Suffixes[edit]

The possessive suffixes -ku (1st person), -u (2nd person) and -na (3rd person) apply to a restricted set of kinship nouns: tama/mha 'father', hina 'mother', thoka 'same-sex sibling', thupu 'grandparent', and mokupu 'grandchild'. These nouns cannot occur without possessive marking, they require either a possessive suffix or, in the dual and plural, a postnominal possessive pronoun.[GVT 14] An alternative construction is for these nouns to take the 3rd person possessive suffix -na in combination with a prenominal possessive pronoun or possessive prepositional phrase. The form in -na must in such cases be understood as a neutral or unmarked form, since it may combine with a pronoun of any person and number; but a form in -na without any further possessive marking is unambiguously 3rd person.[GVT 15] Nouns other than those previously mentioned do not take possessive suffixes, but instead combine with possessive pronouns.[GVT 16]

Negation[edit]

Vaeako-Taumako displays negation in prohibitions (prohibitive, irrealis, imperfective, admonitive), statements (verbal and non-verbal) polar questions and noun phrases. Negation morphemes behave similarly to verbs in many respects although they do not take tense-aspect-mood markers or form independent predicates.[GVT 17] However, there are instances of their taking complement clauses and for this reason negation morphemes might be considered a sub-class of verb.[GVT 18]

Prohibition[edit]

Prohibitive clauses may be divided into two. Prohibitive auā, (equal to the English 'don't') and Admonitive na. Prohibitives pattern themselves in similar ways and are most frequently positioned cause initially. Admonitives behave and distribute slightly differently as will be illustrated below.

Negated clauses appear with only a small range of tense-aspect-mood markers. Prohibitive clauses often display no tense-aspect-mood marker at all, if they do, the markers are either na irrealis or me prescriptive. Negated declarative clauses typically occur with either perfective ne or imperfective no, with other options only marginally represented in collected data.[GVT 19]

Prohibitive auā[edit]

auā appears clause-initially, however discourse particles such as nahilā ('take care, make sure') may precede it. Other grammatical morphemes such as articles or markers of tense, aspect or mood may not precede it which excludes auā from the verb category of Vaeakao-Taumako.[GVT 19]

ex:
Auā tau hano!

auā

PROH.SG

t-a-u

SP-POSS-2G.POSS

hano

go.SG

auā t-a-u hano

PROH.SG SP-POSS-2G.POSS go.SG

'Don’t go.' [GVT 19] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

However, auā behaves like a verb in that it may take clausal complements, which are then often either nominalised or the irrealis marker na is present (see table 1.1.3).[GVT 19] A correlation exists between singular 2nd person subject and a nominalised clause although this correlation is not absolute.[GVT 20]

ex:
Auā ko no hualonga!

auā

PROH

ko=no

2SG=IPFV

hualonga

make noise

auā ko=no hualonga

PROH 2SG=IPFV {make noise}

'Don’t make noise!’[GVT 21]

Contrasting this, the 2nd person dual or plural subjects attract the irrealis marker na to create a prohibitive clause.

ex:
Auā kholuna ō!

auā

PROH

kholu=na

2DU=IRR

ō

go.PL

auā kholu=na ō

PROH 2DU=IRR go.PL

'Don’t you (two) go!’ [GVT 21]

Within data sets of Næss, A., & Hovdhaugen, E. (2011), as implied by the imperative nature of the morpheme, auā will tend to appear with 2nd person subjects as above, although both 1st and 3rd subjects are also found.

1st Person

ex:
Tatu noho themu, auā hatno folongā

tatu

1PL.INCL.HORT

noho

stay

themu,

quiet

auā

PROH

hat=no

PL.INCL=IPFV

holongā

make noise

tatu noho themu, auā hat=no holongā

1PL.INCL.HORT stay quiet PROH PL.INCL=IPFV {make noise}

'We should all sit still and not be noisy.'[GVT 20]

3rd Person

ex:
O ia auā no kutea mai tuku mata, ia a iau auā taku kuteange ona mata.

o

CONJ

ia

3SG

auā

PROH

no

IPFV

kute-a

see-TR

mai

come

t-o-ku

SG.SP-POSS-1SG.POSS

mata

eye

ia

CONJ

a iau

PERS 1SG

auā

PROH

t-a-ku

SG.SP-POSS-1SG.POSS

kut-a

see-TR

ange

go.along

o-na

POSS-3SG.POSS

mata

eye

o ia auā no kute-a mai t-o-ku mata ia {a iau} auā t-a-ku kut-a ange o-na mata

CONJ 3SG PROH IPFV see-TR come SG.SP-POSS-1SG.POSS eye CONJ {PERS 1SG} PROH SG.SP-POSS-1SG.POSS see-TR go.along POSS-3SG.POSS eye

'She is not allowed to look at my face, 'and I cannot look at her face.' [GVT 20]

Auā is also found in conjunction with modifiers such as ala which marks a hypothetical or oki, 'back, again'. [GVT 19]

auā-ala[edit]
ex:
Auā ala tau faia e anga e tapeo i taha

auā

PROH

ala

HYP SG.SP-POSS-2SG

t-a-u

POSS

fai-a

do-TR.

e

SG.NSP

anga

work

e

GENR

tapeo

bad

i

LDA

taha

side

auā ala t-a-u fai-a e anga e tapeo i taha

PROH {HYP SG.SP-POSS-2SG} POSS do-TR. SG.NSP work GENR bad LDA side

'You should not do bad things outside.' [GVT 19]

auā - oki[edit]
ex:
Auoki tō haiange oki la manei oki la

auā

PROH

oki

again

t-ō

SG.SP-2S.POSS

hai-a

do-TR

ange

go.along

oki

again

la

DM.3

mua

place

nei

DEM.1

oki

again

la

DM.3

auā oki t-ō hai-a ange oki la mua nei oki la

PROH again SG.SP-2S.POSS do-TR go.along again DM.3 place DEM.1 again DM.3

'Don’t ever do that anymore here.'[GVT 20]

Irrealis na and Imperfective no[edit]

Irrealis na and imperfective no adheres to a common pattern of appearing in 2nd person in dual or plural within prohibitive clause structure.

ex:
Auā kholuna!

auā

PROH

kholu=

2DU=IRR

na

go.PL

auā kholu= na

PROH 2DU=IRR go.PL

'Don’t you (two) go!’ [GVT 21]

Instances of 3rd person are less frequent and tend to include the imperfective no in postposition to morpheme auā.

ex:
A heinga auā no hū ite koe.

a

COL

heinga

thing

auā

PROH

no

IPFV

hidden

ite

LDA

koe

2SG

a heinga auā no hū ite koe

COL thing PROH IPFV hidden LDA 2SG

'Nothing shall be hidden from you.'[GVT 21]

Admonitive na[edit]

na behaves similarly to aluā only in that it is clause initial, it is otherwise classified as a clause initial particle and it must be accompanied by the tense-aspect-mood marker me which acts as a prescriptive.[GVT 22]

ex:
Na me teia te tangara!

na

ADMON

me

PRSC

ta-ai

hit-TR

te

SG.SP

tangata

man

na me ta-ai te tangata

ADMON PRSC hit-TR SG.SP man

'Don’t kill the man!’[GVT 22]

However na also has a second function, it acts to point out the consequences of disobeying the order. In this role the na often appears without me, creating a clause without tense-aspect-mood marking.[GVT 23]

ex:
Meri noho lavoi, na me sepe.

Meri

Mary

noho

stay

lavoi

good

n

ADMON

me

PRSC

sepe

expose oneself

Meri noho lavoi n me sepe

Mary stay good ADMON PRSC {expose oneself}

'Mary, sit properly, do not expose yourself.'[GVT 23]

Statements[edit]

Verbal Clause Negation[edit]

Verbal negation is made up of three morphemes which act independently and may be understood as the English equivalents to siai 'not', sikiai 'not yet',and hiekh 'not at all'.[GVT 23]

siai 'not, no'[edit]

According to Næss, A., & Hovdhaugen, E. (2011) the colloquial pronunciation of siai is hiai, however the standard written form is siai. Siai comes after preverbal arguments but is placed before the tense-aspect-mood particle and following clitic pronoun.

ex:
Ko ia siai ne longo ange ki a sinana.

ko

TOP

ia

3SG

siai

NEG

ne

PFV

longo

listen

ange

go along

ki

to

a

PERS

sina

mother

na

3SG.POSS

ko ia siai ne longo ange ki a sina na

TOP 3SG NEG PFV listen {go along} to PERS mother 3SG.POSS

'She did not listen to her mother.'[GVT 24]

As in the case of auā modifying particles, which are traditionally found after verbs, may appear following siai. An example of this is loa which is an emphatic marker.

For example, siai loa.

ex:
E mae loa te kai ia siai oki nei fuia ona mata.

e

GNR

mae

refuse

loa

EMPH

te

SG.SP

kai

eat

ia

CONJ

siai

NEG

oki

again

ne-i

PFV-3SG

fui-a

wash-TR

o-na

POSS-3SG.POSS

mata

eye

e mae loa te kai ia siai oki ne-i fui-a o-na mata

GNR refuse EMPH SG.SP eat CONJ NEG again PFV-3SG wash-TR POSS-3SG.POSS eye

'He refused to eat, and he didn't wash his face either.'[GVT 25] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

A further example is the addition of po which generally serves to connect a complement clause.

ex:
Siai po ke ileila sika.

siai

NEG

po

COM

ke

HORT

ila~ila

REDUP~look

sika

straight

siai po ke ila~ila sika

NEG COM HORT REDUP~look straight

'She did not feel safe.'[GVT 26]

sikiai, hikiai 'not yet'[edit]

sikiai, hikiai (where sikiai is the formal written expression of spoken hikiai) appears in the same formation as above siai except it proceeds the preverbal argument and precedes any tense-aspect-mood markers. It appears less frequently and is often accompanied by the perfective marker ne.[GVT 27]

ex:
A Osil hikiai ne ala.

A

PERS

Osil

Åshild

sikiai

not.yet

ne

PFV

ala

wake

A Osil sikiai ne ala

PERS Åshild not.yet PFV wake

'Åshild is not yet up.'[GVT 27]

hiekhī/hiekhiē 'not at all'[edit]

This is the emphatic form of the negator. It follows the same distribution as both sia and sikiai and is often accompanied by the post-nuclear modifier loa.[GVT 28]

ex:
Hiekhī loa nei kutea te ali na.

hiekhī

not.at.all

loa

EMPH

ne-i

PFV-3SG

kute-a

see-TR

te

SG.SP

ali

flatfish

na

DM.2

hiekhī loa ne-i kute-a te ali na

not.at.all EMPH PFV-3SG see-TR SG.SP flatfish DM.2

'He couldn’t find the flatfish at all.' [GVT 28]

As with siai hiekhī appears in conjunction with complementiser po, although with lower frequency.[GVT 28]

ex:
A thatou hiekhiē po no kutea i mui thatuno utuutu ai na.

a

PERS

thatou

1PL.INCL

hiekhiē

not.at.all

po

COMP

no

IPFV

kutea

see-TR

i

some

mui

place

thatu=no

1PL.INCL=IPFV

utu~utu

REDUP~draw

ai

OBL.PRO

na

DEM.2

a thatou hiekhiē po no kutea i mui thatu=no utu~utu ai na

PERS 1PL.INCL not.at.all COMP IPFV see-TR some place 1PL.INCL=IPFV REDUP~draw OBL.PRO DEM.2

'We had no idea where to draw water.'[GVT 28]

Non-verbal Clause Negation[edit]

The same negators are used as in the verbal clauses above.

ex:
A Malani na siai e vai ai.

a

then

Malani

Malani

na

DEM.

siai

NEG

e

SG.NSP

vai

water

ai

OBL.PRO

a Malani na siai e vai ai

then Malani DEM. NEG SG.NSP water OBL.PRO

'And Malani, there was no water there.'[GVT 29]

Questions[edit]

Polar Questions[edit]

Polar questions are commonly formed in three ways. A declarative clause with a rise in intonation to mark the interrogative which requires the binary, 'yes' or 'no' response, much as they are in English may be used. The second alternative is the addition of the verbal negator (o) siai ‘(or) not' and the third is the addition of verbal negator sikiai (not yet) if the interrogative has a temporal element.[GVT 30]

Simple interrogative formed with declarative clause:

ex:
Thaka ō mua?

tha=ka

1DU.INCL=FUT

ō

go.PL

mua?

just

tha=ka ō mua?

1DU.INCL=FUT go.PL just

'Shall we go?’[GVT 30]

(o) siai

ex:
E ai mua etai ne au o siai? (NUP)

E

GNR

ai

exist

mua

just

etai

person

ne

PFV

au

come

o

CONJ

sai

NEG

E ai mua etai ne au o sai

GNR exist just person PFV come CONJ NEG

'Has anyone come here?’ [GVT 31] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

sikiai

ex:
A hinana koi takuange po ke hano moa oi kutea moa a haupƝ po ko lanu e hikiai?

a

PERS

hina-na

mother-3SG.POSS

ko-i

INCEP-3SG

taku-a

say-TR

ange

go.along

po

COMP

ke

HORT

hano

go.SG

mua

just

oi

CONJ

kute-a

see-TR

mua

just

a

PERS

thaupē

lagoon

po

COMP

ka

FUT

lanu

rise

o

CONJ

sikiai

not.yet

a hina-na ko-i taku-a ange po ke hano mua oi kute-a mua a thaupē po ka lanu o sikiai

PERS mother-3SG.POSS INCEP-3SG say-TR go.along COMP HORT go.SG just CONJ see-TR just PERS lagoon COMP FUT rise CONJ not.yet

'His mother told him to go and see if the tide was rising yet.'[GVT 30]

Noun Phrase Negation[edit]

Negated Existence[edit]

Non-specific article e can be used to express 'negated existence' unless the noun has a possessive marker in which case e is absent.[GVT 32]

ex:
Hiai loa e mahila ku kapakapai i hale.

siai

NEG

loa

EMPH

e

SG.NSP

mahila

knife

k=u

HORT=1SG

kapakapa

work

ai

OBL.PRO

i

LDA

hale

house

siai loa e mahila k=u kapakapa ai i hale

NEG EMPH SG.NSP knife HORT=1SG work OBL.PRO LDA house

'There is no knife for me to use in the house.' [GVT 33]

Spatial Deixis[edit]

Spatial deixis is primarily expressed through demonstratives and directional forms in Vaeakau-Taumako. These spatial-deictic forms "allow the speaker to point to spatial locations" and encode the context of utterances or speech events. Interestingly, demonstrative and directional usage in Vaeakau-Taumako is particularly unique for a Polynesian language.[5] This illustrates that spatial deixis is an especially important feature of Vaeakau-Taumako grammar. Demonstratives and directionals are discussed in more detail below.

Demonstratives[edit]

Vaeakau-Taumako demonstratives comprise a three-term system which is summarised below:

Figure 1[GVT 34]
Demonstrative English Translation
ne(i) 'here, close to speaker'
na 'there, close to addressee, some distance away'
la 'there, away from both speaker and hearer, quite far away

Overall, these demonstratives have not only nominal and adverbial uses, but are also used in various capacities to structure discourse. The demonstrative particles also occur in more complex forms (see verbal demonstratives and deictic adverbs below).

Historical context[edit]

Vaeakau-Taumako demonstratives have cognates in other Polynesian languages. These demonstratives are also consistent with what has been reconstructed for Proto-Polynesian and Proto-Oceanic. These linguistic reconstructions are summarised below:[6]

Figure 2[6]
Language 1st person 2nd person 3rd person
Proto-Oceanic *ni/*ne *na *ra(i)
Proto-Polynesian *ni/*nei *na *ra
Tongan e-ni e-na ia
Irafa-Mele -nei - nā
Vaeakau-Taumako ne(i) na la
Samoan (le)nei (le)nā le(lā)
Marquesan nei ʔā, aʔā

Furthermore, in the following discussion it will become evident that Boumma Fijian shares multiple linguistic traits with Vaeakau-Taumako. Therefore, it is possible that Boumma Fijian may be more closely related to Vaeakau-Taumako than other Polynesian languages.

Speaker-based system[edit]

The Vaeakau-Taumako demonstrative system is speaker-based: the location of the hearer or speaker serves as reference point for where the relevant object is located.[GVT 35] Denny summarised this succinctly in describing this system as one that centers space on the speaker or other participant.[7] In Vaeakau-Taumako, 'ne(i)’ reflects an object’s proximity to the speaker, 'na' reflects an object’s proximity to the hearer and 'la' reflects distance from both the speaker and hearer, or a third party in the conversation.[GVT 36]

This three-way distinction is so common in Oceanic languages that it is "virtually certain" that Proto-Oceanic also adopted a person-based demonstrative system.[6] On a global scale, this three-way contrast is the second most common demonstrative system in the languages listed on The World Atlas of Linguistic Structures(WALS), with a two-way contrast being the most common system.[8]

Vaeakau-Taumako's speaker-based system can be rationalised by the geographic context in which it is spoken. As the language is spoken on islands in the Solomon Islands, the speakers inhabit relatively small environments that do not have naturally defined reference points to describe space. To compensate for this, demonstratives are instead based on the speakers and hearers who are in the "immediate speech situation".[9]

Distance-based system[edit]

However, discourse analyses of current demonstrative usage indicates that the system may be shifting to one that is distance-based and therefore not dependent on the speech-act participants. This is summarised below:

Figure 3[GVT 37]
Demonstrative English Translation
ne(i) 'here, close by'
na 'there, some distance away; neither very near nor very far'
la 'there, far away'

'Na' is generally the preferred neutral choice of demonstrative to refer to an object that is neither far nor close. Therefore 'na' is not only used in direct conversations to illustrate proximity with a speech-participant (e.g. 'that one near you'), but it is also used in narratives as a medial term of a distance-based system. In these narrative contexts, 'na' refers to an object that is distance-neutral or medium-distance. This dual purpose of 'na' is not completely unique to Vaeakau-Taumako as Boumaa Fijian also adopts a "mixed" system.[GVT 38]

Demonstrative pronouns[edit]

Demonstratives in Vaeakau-Taumako can be used as heads of noun phrases that are comparable to the English phrases 'this one' and 'that one'. In this capacity, the demonstrative is often preceded by the articles 'te' (indicating singularity) or 'ngha' (indicating plurality). This is typical for a Polynesian language.[GVT 39] The following example shows the demonstrative 'na' ('that'), being used in conjunction with the prefix 'te' to denote singularity:

ex:

Ko

TOP

te-na

ART-DEM

e

ART

ika

Fish

efa.

bg.

Ko te-na e ika efa.

TOP ART-DEM ART Fish bg.

'That is a big fish.'[9]

Furthermore the following example shows the prefix 'ngha' attaching to the demonstrative 'la' ('those') to indicate plurality:

ex:

Ngha-la

PL.SP-DEM.3

a

COL

hahine

woman

e

GENR

toko-lua

CL-two

ma

CONJ

te

SG.SP

memea

child

e

GENR

ko-tahi

PRE-one

Ngha-la a hahine e toko-lua ma te memea e ko-tahi

PL.SP-DEM.3 COL woman GENR CL-two CONJ SG.SP child GENR PRE-one

'There were two women and a child (literal meaning: those ones, the women were two and the child was one).’[GVT 40] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

Alternatively, the demonstratives can occur as a free-standing lexical item (i.e. without the need for preceding articles). This more unique aspect of Vaeakau-Taumako is exemplified in the following clause:[9]

ex:

Na

DEM

e

ART

kio

chicken.

Na e kio

DEM ART chicken.

That is a chicken'.[9]

When acting as heads of nouns, the demonstratives may also be used anaphorically to refer to previously mentioned objects/participants in the conversation. The demonstratives can therefore serve the same purpose as a third-person pronoun (see Figure 4.4 below).[GVT 41] Cross-linguistically this is not common, with the 100 of the 225 languages on WALS having language systems where third person pronouns are unrelated to demonstratives.[10]

ex:

ila

look

mua

just

a

PERS

nohine

wife

a-u

POSS-2SG.POSS

la

DEM.3

nga

PN.3

te-la

SG.SP-DEM.3

ia

3SG

ila mua a nohine a-u la nga te-la ia

look just PERS wife POSS-2SG.POSS DEM.3 PN.3 SG.SP-DEM.3 3SG

'Look, that is your wife there.'[GVT 42]

Demonstrative adjective[edit]

Demonstratives also function to modify a noun phrase in Vaeakau-Taumako. They can be used with nouns or pronouns and can function as a deictic or anaphoric reference.[GVT 43] The following example shows how the demonstrative 'na' ('that') is suffixed to the noun 'mhe' ('man') for a deictic purpose:

ex:

a

PERS

mhe-na

man-DEM.2

ko=ne

2SG=PFV

lau-a

find-TR

i

LDA

hea

where

na

DEM.2

a mhe-na ko=ne lau-a i hea na

PERS man-DEM.2 2SG=PFV find-TR LDA where DEM.2

'Where did you find that man?’[GVT 44]

This second example shows how the demonstrative 'ne' can be used as an anaphoric reference:

ex:

thai

one

lhatou

3PL

e

SG.NSP

Diuku

Diuku

te

SG.SP

tai

person

ne

DEM.1

e

SG.NSP

ingoa

name

ko

TOP

Diuku

Diuku

thai lhatou e Diuku te tai ne e ingoa ko Diuku

one 3PL SG.NSP Diuku SG.SP person DEM.1 SG.NSP name TOP Diuku

'One of them was Diuku, this man is called Diuku.'[GVT 45]

When a demonstrative is used with a pronoun, the demonstrative often (but not always) corresponds with the speech-act participant that is being referred to in the respective pronoun. Therefore 'ne' will be generally used with first person pronouns, 'na' will be used with second person pronouns and 'la' will be used with third person pronouns. However, 'na' can also be adopted as a neutral particle that is used interchangeably with third person and second person pronouns.[GVT 46]

Local adverbial demonstratives[edit]

Demonstratives in Vaeakau-Taumako also function as local adverbs that modify a verb and indicate the location in which the respective action occurs:[GVT 47]

ex:

a

PERS

thatu=e

1PL.INCL=GENR

ilo-a

know-TR

po

COMP

a

COL

kio

chicken

no

IPFV

tahao

stroll

ne

DEM.1

i

LDA

nghauta

shore

a thatu=e ilo-a po a kio no tahao ne i nghauta

PERS 1PL.INCL=GENR know-TR COMP COL chicken IPFV stroll DEM.1 LDA shore

'We know that chickens wander around here, on land (as opposed to the sea).’[GVT 48]

When being used in this adverbial capacity, the demonstratives also have temporal-deictic references to refer to time (i.e. 'now' and 'then'):[GVT 49]

ex:

ilhatu=ne

3PL=PFV

ta-ia

hit-TR

i

LDA

mua

place

ne

DEM.1

a-na

then-DEM.2

ko

TOP

ia

3SG

u=ka

1SG=FUT

tala∼tala-a

REDUP~tell-TR

atu

go.out

ne

DEM.1

ilhatu=ne ta-ia i mua ne a-na ko ia u=ka tala∼tala-a atu ne

3PL=PFV hit-TR LDA place DEM.1 then-DEM.2 TOP 3SG 1SG=FUT REDUP~tell-TR go.out DEM.1

'They killed him in this place, I will tell you about it now.'[GVT 50]

Verbal demonstratives[edit]

In Vaeakau-Taumako, the formal class of adverbs is limited, so manner adverbial demonstratives with the meanings 'do/be like this, do/be like that' are regularly utilised.[GVT 51] These verbal demonstratives are cross-linguistically rare, however Boumaa Fijian and Dyirbal also exhibit similar forms. For example, in Fijian 'eneii' functions like the verbal demonstratives in Vaeakau-Taumako.[GVT 52] The Vaeakau-Taumako forms are created by attaching the prefix 'p(h)e' to the core demonstrative particles:

Figure 7.1[GVT 53]
Adverbial demonstrative English Translation
phenē 'do/be like this'
phenā 'do/be like that'
phelā 'do/be like that'

This first example shows the adverbial demonstrative 'phe-ne' being used to convey the meaning 'do like this':

ex:

noho

sit

phe-ne

like-DEM.1

noho phe-ne

sit like-DEM.1

'Sit like this!’[GVT 54]

Secondly, verbal demonstratives also function to mean 'be the same as, in the same way':

ex:

e

GENR

phe-na

like-DEM.2

mai

come

i

LDA

Kahula

Kahula

hano

go.SG

mai

come

ki

to

nghauta

shore

e phe-na mai i Kahula hano mai ki nghauta

GENR like-DEM.2 come LDA Kahula go.SG come to shore

'It was the same as in Kahula, he went to the village there'[GVT 55]

Thirdly, the verbal demonstratives can function as modifiers of nouns to mean 'an X like that' (Figure 7.4) or 'a certain X' (Figure 7.5):

ex:

thatu=no

lPL.INCL=IPFV

he-henga

REDUP~search

ange

go.along

e

SG.NSP

niu

coconut

boho

young

e

SG.NSP

taveli

banana

a

COL

hinga

thing

phe-na

like-DEM.2

thatu=no he-henga ange e niu boho e taveli a hinga phe-na

lPL.INCL=IPFV REDUP~search go.along SG.NSP coconut young SG.NSP banana COL thing like-DEM.2

'We have looked for coconuts, bananas, things like that.'

ex:

po

COMP

lhatu=ka

3PL=FUT

ta-pena

PREP-prepare

ala

HYP

la

DEM.3

i

LDA

te

SG.SP

langi

day

phe-la

like-DEM.3

po lhatu=ka ta-pena ala la i te langi phe-la

COMP 3PL=FUT PREP-prepare HYP DEM.3 LDA SG.SP day like-DEM.3

'They were to be ready on a certain day.'

This complex three-way distinction in which verbal demonstratives can be used is not only uncommon cross-linguistically, but it is also atypical among the languages which do have similar verbal demonstrative systems. Dyirbal and Boumaa Fijian only adopt a single verb to denote 'do it like this' in comparison to Vaeakau-Taumako's three-way system.[GVT 56]

Deictic adverbs[edit]

Vaeakau-Taumako also has deictic adverbs that are formed by applying the prefixes 'a-’, 'i-'or 'e-’ to the core demonstrative particles.[GVT 57] These forms are summarised below:

Figure 8.1[GVT 58]
Proximal Medial/neutral Distal
anē 'and now' anā 'and then' alā 'and then'
inē 'here, now' inā 'there, then' Ilā 'there, then'
enā 'somewhere there'

It is worth noting that 'ena' ('somewhere there') appears to only have a spatial reference. Furthermore the usage of 'ena' seems restricted to colloquial contexts:[GVT 59]

ex:

a

then

ko-i

INCEP-3SG

taku-a

say-TR

ange

go.along

po

COMP

ī

INTJ

e-na

PRE-DEM.2

na

DEM.2

po

COMP

ni

PL.NSP

vai

Water

ai

OBL.PRO

a ko-i taku-a ange po ī e-na na po ni vai ai

then INCEP-3SG say-TR go.along COMP INTJ PRE-DEM.2 DEM.2 COMP PL.NSP Water OBL.PRO

'And he said, "Oh, somewhere here there is water".’[GVT 60] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

Demonstratives in discourse  [edit]

Demonstrative particles commonly occur at the end of phrases. This applies to a variety of phrase types, with the following examples illustrating how 'na' can occur phrase-finally in a noun phrase (Figure 9.1), a verb phrase (Figure 9.2) and an adverbial phrase (Figure 9.3):[GVT 61]

ex:

te

SG.SP

hahine

woman

na

DEM.2

ko

INCEP

le∼lek∼ake

REDUP~go~go.up

na

DEM.2

te hahine na ko le∼lek∼ake na

SG.SP woman DEM.2 INCEP REDUP~go~go.up DEM.2

'The woman went up.'[GVT 62]

ex:

ko

INCEP

hano

go.SG

na

DEM.2

e

GENR

kau∼kau

REDUP~swim

i

LDA

thaupē

lagoon

na

DEM.2

ko hano na e kau∼kau i thaupē na

INCEP go.SG DEM.2 GENR REDUP~swim LDA lagoon DEM.2

'He went and bathed in the lagoon.'[GVT 63]

ex:

matea

maybe

atiao

tomorrow

ala

HYP

na

DEM.2

thatu=ka

lPL.INCL=FUT

ō

go.PL

atu

go.out

mua

just

hangota

fish

i

LDA

Malimi

Malimi

matea atiao ala na thatu=ka ō atu mua hangota i Malimi

maybe tomorrow HYP DEM.2 lPL.INCL=FUT go.PL go.out just fish LDA Malimi

'Maybe tomorrow we will go fishing at Malimi.'[GVT 64]

Beyond deictic and anaphoric uses of demonstratives (which have been discussed above), another core use of demonstratives is for phrase demarcation. Demonstratives occur at the end of a phrase as a means of marking the phrase boundary and situating the phrase within the overarching context of the clause.[GVT 65] In Vaeakau-Taumako, demonstratives are commonly used to indicate that there is a link between the demonstrative-marked phrase and the succeeding speech. It is often used in conjunction with rising intonation to indicate that "more is coming" (Figure 9.4 below).[GVT 66] Similar demarcative particle morphemes are used in the Outlier East Futuna with the particle 'la'.

ex:

mhatu=ne

lPL.EXCL=PFV

ō

go.PL

ake

go up

na'

DEM.2

ioko

CONJ

a

COL

lakau

tree

na

DEM.2

ko

INCEP

pae

scatter

ino

fall

ki

to

te

SG.SP

ala

path

na,

DEM.2

e

GENR

takoto

lie

na

DEM.2

e

GENR

tapeo

bad

loa

EMPH

mhatu=ne ō ake na' ioko a lakau na ko pae ino ki te ala na, e takoto na e tapeo loa

lPL.EXCL=PFV go.PL {go up} DEM.2 CONJ COL tree DEM.2 INCEP scatter fall to SG.SP path DEM.2 GENR lie DEM.2 GENR bad EMPH

'We went up, and the trees, they were scattered all over the road, they were lying there, it was very bad.'

Directionals[edit]

In addition to demonstratives, Vaeakau-Taumako also has a set of morphemes that indicate verbal deixis (i.e. the physical or metaphorical direction in which an action is being carried out). There are six morphemes which can be divided into two categories (Figure 1.1 and 1.2). The directionals are best described as verbs that are most commonly used as part of a verbal nucleus, following one or more verbs. The first category of Vaeakau-Taumako directionals is summarised below:[GVT 67]

Figure 1.1 - Person-based directionals (indicate direction relative to speech-act participants)[GVT 68]
Directional English translation
mai Towards speaker
atu Towards hearer
ange Towards hearer
ange Away from both speaker and hearer, toward a third person, along

The following example shows 'mai' ('towards speaker') following another verb and marking the direction in space in which the act is occurring (i.e. towards the speech-act participants):

ex:

me

PRSC

le-mai

go-come

na

DEM.2

o

to

kake

climb

me le-mai na o kake

PRSC go-come DEM.2 to climb

'Come here and climb aboard (the canoe).'[GVT 69]

The second category of directionals is summarised below:

Figure 1.2 - Directionals that denote direction on a vertical axis[GVT 70]
Directional English translation
ake 'up'
iho 'down'
oho 'vertical movement, up or down'

The following examples show 'iho' ('down') and 'oho' ('up or down') following another verb and marking the vertical direction in which the respective verb occurs:

ex:

tatu

lPL.INCL.HORT

noho

stay

iho

go.down

i

LDA

te

SG.SP

lakau

tree

a

POSS

ngha

PL.SP

lepū

rat

na

DEM.2

tatu noho iho i te lakau a ngha lepū na

lPL.INCL.HORT stay go.down LDA SG.SP tree POSS PL.SP rat DEM.2

'Let us sit down on the rafter of the rats.'[GVT 71]

ex:

Noho

stay

oho

go.vertically

ki

LDA

lalo

under

Noho oho ki lalo

stay go.vertically LDA under

'Sit down!’[GVT 72]

Independent usage[edit]

Directionals may also be used as independent verbs, with 'iho' and 'oho' being the most commonly used forms.[GVT 73] When used as independent verbs, 'iho' means 'go down' (Figure 2.1) and 'oho' means 'move vertically; rise up; go down' (Figure 2.2):

ex:

Ko

INCEP

iho

go.down

ma

with

ia

3SG

e

GENR

thū

stand

Ko iho ma ia e thū

INCEP go.down with 3SG GENR stand

'She went down with it and stood (there)’.[GVT 74]

ex:

lhatou

3PL

ko

INCEP

oho

go.vertically

lhatou

3PL

ko

INCEP

iho

go.down

oho

go.vertically

ki

to

nghauta

shore

lhatou ko oho lhatou ko iho oho ki nghauta

3PL INCEP go.vertically 3PL INCEP go.down go.vertically to shore

'They went down and came to the village.'[GVT 75]

Furthermore 'mai' can function as an independent verb to mean 'come' (Figure 2.3). This commonly occurs in imperative clauses, which is typically how cognates of 'mai' in related Polynesian languages are also used.[GVT 76]

ex:

lhatu=ko

3PL=INCEP

ha-haloki

REDUP-call.PL

oho

go.vertically

po

COMP

mai

come

tatu

lPL.INCL.HORT

la-ina

sun-TR

i

LDA

nghauta

shore

lhatu=ko ha-haloki oho po mai tatu la-ina i nghauta

3PL=INCEP REDUP-call.PL go.vertically COMP come lPL.INCL.HORT sun-TR LDA shore

'They called to him, "Come here, let us sunbathe on the shore.'"[GVT 77]

It is also interesting to note that 'mai' can not only encode a literal direction, but also a metaphorical 'social' direction. In the example below (Figure 2.4), 'mai' denotes 'towards me' in a metaphorical sense that is 'for me; for my benefit; on my behalf': [GVT 78]

ex:

oi-na

help-TR

mai

come

a

PERS

iau

1SG

oi-na mai a iau

help-TR come PERS 1SG

'Help me!'[GVT 79]

Lastly 'atu' also functions an independent verb which means 'move out, go away'. This is shown in the below example (note: 'poi' is a prenuclear modifier that precedes verbs):[GVT 80]

ex:

a

PERS

koe

2SG

poi

little

atu

go.out

a koe poi atu

PERS 2SG little go.out

'You get away! You move out!'[GVT 81]

Historical context[edit]

Vaeakau-Taumako directionals have cognates in most other Polynesian and Oceanic languages. The corresponding reconstructed forms in Proto-Oceanic were directional verbs that occurred either independently or in serialisation constructions with another verb. The reflexes of these forms occur in modern Oceanic languages in variety of formal word classes. For example, in Tuvaluan, 'mai' ('hither'), 'atu' ('thither'), 'aka' ('up') and 'ifo' ('down') have been classified as adverbs, while directionals are categorised as 'particles' in Somoan.[GVT 82]

Abbreviations[edit]

The abbreviations used in the above examples are listed below:[GVT 83]

Grammatical glosses[edit]

ADMON:admonitive mood COMP:complementizer GENR:general tense-aspect-mood LDA:locative-directional-ablative NSP:nonspecific PRSC:prescriptive SP:specific TOP:topicalizing preposition

ADMON admonitive
AG agentive marker
APPL applicative suffix
BEN benefactive
CAUS causative prefix
CLASS classifier
COL collective
CONI conjunction
COMP complementizer
DEM demonstrative
DES desiderative
DIST distributive
DU dual
DY dyad particle
EMPH emphatic particle
EXCL exclusive
FUT future
GENR general tense-aspect -mood marker
HORT hortative
HYP hypothetical particle
INCL inclusive
INCEP inceptive
INTI interjection
IPFV imperfective
IRR irrealis
LDA locative-directional-ablative
NEG negative
NMLZ nominalizing suffix
NSP nonspecific
OBL.PRO oblique pro-forru
OPT optative
PERS personal marker
PFV perfective
PL plural
POSS possessive
PP predicative possessive particle
PREF prefix; gloss uncertain
PROH prohibitive
PN pronoun
PRSC prescriptive
PST past
RECP reciprocal
RED reduplication
SG singular
SP specific
TOP topicalizing preposition
TR transitive suffix
VOC vocative
I 1st person
2 2nd person
3 3rd person

Lexical categories[edit]

adj adjective
adv adverb
gn geographical narue
In local noun
n, en corrnnon noun
part particle
pron pronoun
prep prepos1t10n
quant quantifier
VI intransitive verb
vsem semi-transitive verb
vt transitive verb

Notes[edit]

  • References from Næss, Åshild; Hovdhaugen, Even (2011). A Grammar of Vaeakau-Taumako. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. ISBN 978-3-11-023826-6.:
  1. ^ a b p.28
  2. ^ p.34-35
  3. ^ p.36
  4. ^ p.98
  5. ^ p.99-100
  6. ^ p.103-104
  7. ^ p.105
  8. ^ p.106
  9. ^ p.106-107
  10. ^ a b c p.109
  11. ^ a b p.111
  12. ^ p.112
  13. ^ p.115
  14. ^ p.147
  15. ^ p.148
  16. ^ p.149.
  17. ^ p.397.
  18. ^ p.385.
  19. ^ a b c d e f p.386.
  20. ^ a b c d p.387.
  21. ^ a b c d p.388.
  22. ^ a b p.389.
  23. ^ a b c p.390.
  24. ^ p.391.
  25. ^ p.392.
  26. ^ p.393.
  27. ^ a b p.394.
  28. ^ a b c d p.395.
  29. ^ p.396.
  30. ^ a b c p.398.
  31. ^ p.399.
  32. ^ p.166.
  33. ^ p.167.
  34. ^ p. 121
  35. ^ p. 122
  36. ^ p. 121
  37. ^ p. 122
  38. ^ p. 122
  39. ^ p. 122
  40. ^ p. 123
  41. ^ p. 123
  42. ^ p. 123
  43. ^ p. 124
  44. ^ p. 124
  45. ^ p. 125
  46. ^ p. 126
  47. ^ p. 126
  48. ^ p. 126
  49. ^ p. 127
  50. ^ p. 127
  51. ^ p. 128
  52. ^ p. 128
  53. ^ p. 128
  54. ^ p. 128
  55. ^ p. 129
  56. ^ p. 129
  57. ^ p. 130
  58. ^ p. 130
  59. ^ p. 132
  60. ^ p. 132
  61. ^ p. 432
  62. ^ p. 432
  63. ^ p. 433
  64. ^ p. 433
  65. ^ p. 436
  66. ^ p. 436
  67. ^ p. 133
  68. ^ p. 133
  69. ^ p. 140
  70. ^ p. 133
  71. ^ p. 135
  72. ^ p. 135
  73. ^ p. 134
  74. ^ p. 134
  75. ^ p. 134
  76. ^ p. 135
  77. ^ p. 136
  78. ^ p. 142
  79. ^ p. 142
  80. ^ p. 136
  81. ^ p. 136
  82. ^ p. 133
  83. ^ p. xi
  • Other sources
  1. ^ Vaeakau-Taumako at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Hovdhaugen (2006).
  3. ^ Næss & Hovdhaugen (2011).
  4. ^ Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database
  5. ^ Senft, Gunter (ed.). Deixis and demonstratives in Oceanic languages. Canberra, Australia: Pacific Linguistics. p. 2. Parameter error in {{ISBN}}: Missing ISBN..
  6. ^ a b c Ross, Malcolm D. (2004). "Demonstratives, local nouns and directionals in Oceanic languages: a diachronic perspective". In Senft, Gunter (ed.). Deixis and demonstratives in Oceanic languages. Canberra, Australia: Pacific Linguistics. p. 177. ISBN 0-85883-55-1-7.
  7. ^ Denny, Peter J. (1978). "Locating the universals in lexical systems for spatial deixis". Papers from the Parasession on the Lexicon, Chicago Linguistic Society. 14–15: 71–84 – via Chicago: CLS.
  8. ^ "WALS Online - Chapter Distance Contrasts in Demonstratives". wals.info. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  9. ^ a b c d Næss, Åshild (2004). "Spatial deixis in Pileni". In Senft, Gunter (ed.). Deixis and demonstratives in Oceanic languages. Canberra, Australia: Pacific Linguistics. pp. 81–98. ISBN 0-85883-55-1-7.
  10. ^ "WALS Online - Chapter Third Person Pronouns and Demonstratives". wals.info. Retrieved 29 March 2021.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Næss, Åshild; Hovdhaugen, Even (2011). A Grammar of Vaeakau-Taumako. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. ISBN 978-3-11-023826-6..
  • Hovdhaugen, Even (2006). A Short Dictionary of the Vaeakau-Taumako Language. Oslo: Kon-Tiki Museum, Institute for Pacific Archaeology and Cultural History..

External links[edit]