Löyöp language

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Native toVanuatu
Native speakers
240 (2010)[1][2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3urr

Löyöp [løjøp] (formerly known as Lehalurup) is an Oceanic language spoken by about 240 people, on the east coast of Ureparapara Island in the Banks Islands of Vanuatu.[1][2] It is distinct from Lehali, the language spoken on the west coast of the same island.


Löyöp has 11 phonemic vowels. These are ten short monophthongs /i ɪ ɛ æ a œ ø y ɔ ʊ/, and one diphthong /i͡ɛ/.[3]

Löyöp vowels
Front Back
plain round
Close i y
Near-close ɪ ø ʊ
Open-mid ɛ œ ɔ
Near-open æ  
Open a


The system of personal pronouns in Löyöp contrasts clusivity, and distinguishes four numbers (singular, dual, trial, plural).[4]

Spatial reference in Löyöp is based on a system of geocentric (absolute) directionals, which is in part typical of Oceanic languages, and yet innovative.[5]


  1. ^ a b List of Banks islands languages.
  2. ^ a b François (2012).
  3. ^ François (2011:194)
  4. ^ François (2016).
  5. ^ François (2015:) 171-172).


  • 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.
  • —— (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. hdl:1885/14819. 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, 47, Bern: Peter Lang, pp. 25–60

External links[edit]