Dorig language

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Native toVanuatu
Native speakers
300 (2012)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3wwo

Dorig (formerly called Wetamut) is an Oceanic language spoken on Gaua island in Vanuatu.

The language’s 300 speakers live mostly in the village of Dorig (IPA: [ⁿdʊˈriɰ]), on the south coast of Gaua. Smaller speaker communities can be found in the villages of Qteon (east coast) and Qtevut (west coast).

Dorig's immediate neighbours are Koro and Mwerlap.[2]


The name Dorig, spelled Dōrig, is derived from the name of the village where it is spoken. The term is related to Dōlav (the Dorig name of a village that is called in Lakon as Jōlap [t͡ʃʊlap]), with the -rig and -lav parts meaning "small" and "big" respectively. The element is obscure; hence the only term that can be reconstructed for Proto-Torres-Banks is -riɣi.


Dorig has 8 phonemic vowels. These include 7 short monophthongs /i ɪ ɛ a ɔ ʊ u/ and one long vowel /aː/.[3]

Dorig vowels
  Front Back
Close i ⟨i⟩ u ⟨u⟩
Near-close ɪ ⟨ē⟩ ʊ ⟨ō⟩
Open-mid ɛ ⟨e⟩ ɔ ⟨o⟩
Open a ⟨a⟩, ⟨ā⟩

The phonotactic template for a syllable in Dorig is: /CCVC/ — e.g. /rk͡pʷa/ ‘woman’; /ŋ͡mʷsar/ ‘poor’; /wrɪt/ ‘octopus’. Remarkably, the consonant clusters of these /CCVC/ syllables are not constrained by the Sonority Sequencing Principle.[4]


The system of personal pronouns in Dorig contrasts clusivity, and distinguishes four numbers (singular, dual, trial, plural).[5]

Spatial reference is based on a system of geocentric (absolute) directionals, which is typical of Oceanic languages.[6]



External links[edit]