Dorig language

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Native toVanuatu
Native speakers
300 (2012)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3wwo
Dorig is classified as Definitely Endangered by the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger

Dorig (formerly called Wetamut) is a threatened 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 is derived from the name of the village where it is spoken.


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⟩

Dorig has 15 consonant phonemes.[4][5]

Dorig consonants
Labiovelar Bilabial Alveolar Dorsal
Voiceless stop k͡pʷ ⟨q⟩ t ⟨t⟩ k ⟨k⟩
Prenasalized stop ᵐb ⟨b⟩ ⁿd ⟨d⟩
Nasal ŋ͡mʷ ⟨m̄⟩ m ⟨m⟩ n ⟨n⟩ ŋ ⟨n̄⟩
Fricative β ~ ɸ ⟨v⟩ s ⟨s⟩ ɣ ⟨g⟩
Rhotic r ⟨r⟩
Lateral l ⟨l⟩
Approximant w ⟨w⟩

The phonotactic template for a syllable in Dorig is: /CCVC/ — e.g. /rk͡pʷa/ ‘woman’ (< *rVᵐbʷai); /ŋ͡mʷsar/ ‘poor’ (< *mʷasara); /wrɪt/ ‘octopus’ (< *ɣurita). Remarkably, the consonant clusters of these /CCVC/ syllables are not constrained by the Sonority Sequencing Principle. Historically, these /CCVC/ syllables reflect former trisyllabic, paroxytone words */CVˈCVCV/, after deletion of the two unstressed vowels:[6] e.g. POc. *kuRíta ‘octopus’ > *wərítə > /wrɪt/.


The system of personal pronouns in Dorig contrasts clusivity, and distinguishes four numbers (singular, dual, trial, plural).[7]

Spatial reference is based on a system of geocentric (absolute) directionals, which is typical of Oceanic languages.[8]



External links[edit]