Nalik language

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Nalik
RegionNew Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea
Native speakers
(5,140 cited 1990 census)[1]
Dialects
  • Laxudumau?
Latin script
Language codes
ISO 639-3nal
Glottolognali1244[2]

The Nalik language is spoken by 5,000 or so people, based in 17 villages in Kavieng District, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea. It is an Austronesian language and member of the New Ireland group of languages with an SVO phrase structure. New Ireland languages are among the first Papua New Guinea languages recorded by Westerners.[3]

Laxudumau, spoken in the village of Lakudumau, may be a transitional dialect to Kara or a separate language.

Speakers[edit]

Speakers of Nalik reside in a series of villages in northern central New Ireland. The Nalik speaking region is an approximately thirty-kilometer-long band of the island that spans approximately ten kilometers wide and is flanked on its north by the Kara speaking region and to its south by speakers of Kuot, the only non-Austornesian language on New Ireland[3].

In the past, Lugagon, Fesoa, and Fessoa have been used to reference Nalik which are all names of villages in the region.

Phonology[edit]

Consonants[edit]

A Nalik Phonology analysis developed by Clive H. Beaumont[4]

Consonant Phonemes
Bilabial Labial Dental Alveolar Velar
Stop p b -t d k g
Sibilant Fricative s z
Non-Sibilant Fricative f v
Nasal m n ŋ(ng)
Tap/Flap l
Lateral Approximant l
Semivowel w y
Vowels
i u
e o
a
ai oi au

Grammar[edit]

Nalik consonant system[edit]

In West Coast and Southern East Coast dialects and when preceded by vowels, /p/ and /k/, two non-coronal voiceless stops are transformed into fricatives. Additionally, the voiceless fricatives become voiced.[3]

When immediately preceded by a vowel the following consonants change their voicing:

/f/ and /p/ become [β] (written as v)

/s/ becomes [z]

/k/ becomes [γ] (writen as x)

The following are examples of these characteristics:[3]

Ga vaan-paan
'I always go'
a mun faal a vaal
the housese the house
a buk sina a yai zina
his book his tree
a mun kulau a xulau
the youths the youth(singular)
Ga rain Ga rabung tain
I see I saw

Nouns[edit]

Nouns in Nalik are categorized as being an uncountable noun, or a countable noun. Nouns can be part of a noun phrase or can be an independent subject referenced in a verbal complex. When used as subjects, some uncountable nouns are co-referential with plural subject markers however those are the exceptions and are usually marked with singular subject markers. With uncountable nouns, numerical markers cannot be used. Countable nouns, however, can be singular or plural and can be modified by numerical markers.

Personal pronouns[edit]

person singular non-singular
first ni di (inclusive

maam (exclusive)

second nu nim
third naan na(a)nde, na(a)ndi, na(a)nda

Variations in the third person non-singular pronouns are attributed to rapid-speech and regional variants. In rapid speech naande often becomes nande. In the Northern Eastern Coast naande is the variant used. In the South East Coast naandi is the variant used. Naanda is used primarily by younger speakers from all areas.[3]

Personal pronouns can notably be utilized in the same way as related nouns such as "a woman" (a ravin) being replaced with "she" (naan).

  • A raivin ka na wut. (The woman will come.)
  • Naan ka na wut. (She will come.)

Numbers[edit]

The Nalik counting system is reflective of using one's hand to count and indicative of the style in which they do so. They begin with an open palm and bring individual fingers down per digit counted and the action of doing so is shown in their counting system. As such the Nalik counting system contains elements of a base five counting system however when proceeding past ten, the counting system uses elements of base ten.[3]

The word for the number five kavitmit can be analyzed as the phrase ka vit mit. Ka being a third person indicator, vit being a negation particle, and mit meaning hand. It can, therefore, be translated to no hand as all fingers have been lowered.

The numbers six through nine are also representative of this pattern as the way they are referenced is in a similar fashion to five in that it is a phrase describing something. In these numbers, the phrase describes the act of lowering even more fingers than five.

Past ten, the counting system starts to use combinations of ten in multiples of a number one to nine. Higher numbers in the hundreds use "ten squared" as its base.

Nalik Number System
Number Word Number Phrase Meaning
1 azaxei 10 sanaflu
2 uru 20 sanaflu vara uru(a) 10 x 2
3 orol 30 sanaflu vara orol 10 x 3
4 orolavaat 40 (ka-)sanaflu vara lavaat 10 x 4
5 kavitmit Meaning 50 kazanaflu va vitmit 10 x 5
6 ka-vizik-saxei it goes down-one 60 kazanaflu va viziksaxei 10 x (5+1)
7 ka-vizik-uru(a) it goes down-two 70 kazanaflu va vizikuru 10 x (5+2)
8 ka-vizik-tal it goes down-three 80 kazanaflu va viziktal 10 x (5+3)
9 ka-vizik-faat it goes down-four 90 kazanaflu va vizik faat 10 x (5+4)
100 kazanaflu vara zuai 10 x 10

Word order[edit]

The Nalik language features an SVO sentence structure that is common to the languages of the New Ireland-Tolai languages.[3]

Example Sentences[3]
Translation
A nalik ka lis a baxot sin a das-na The boy is giving/sending the money to his brother
Ka lis sin a das-na. He's giving/sending (it) to his brother.
A nalik ka na lis a baxot sin a das-na l-a fotnait l-a xor. The boy will give some money to his brother next payday.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Nalik at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Nalik". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Volker, Craig Alan, 1953- (1998). The Nalik language of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea. New York: Peter Lang. ISBN 0820436739. OCLC 35360833.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Beaumont, C. (1972). Papers in linguistics of Melanesia / No. 3. Tryon, Darrell Trevor,, Wurm, S. A. (Stephen Adolphe), 1922-2001,. Canberra: Linguistic Circle of Canberra. ISBN 0858830833. OCLC 28991748.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)

Bibliography[edit]

  • Volker, Dr. Craig. The Nalik Language of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea. ISBN 0-8204-3673-9.