Nafsan language

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Nafsan
South Efate
Fate, Erakor
Native toNortheast Vanuatu
RegionEfate Island
Native speakers
6,000 (2001)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3erk
Glottologsout2856

The Nafsan language, also known as South Efate or Erakor, is a Southern Oceanic language spoken on the island of Efate in central Vanuatu. As of 2005, there are approximately 6,000 speakers who live in coastal villages from Pango to Eton. The language's grammar has been studied by Nick Thieberger, who is working on a book of stories and a dictionary of the language.[2]

Nafsan is closely related to Nguna and to Lelepa. Based on shared features with southern Vanuatu languages (including echo–subject marking, and the free and preposed 1st-singular-possessive morphemes), Lynch (2001) suggests it could form part of a southern Vanuatu subgroup that includes New Caledonia.

Phonology[edit]

Nafsan has a total of 20 phonemes consisting of 15 consonant and 5 vowel sounds.[T2006 1]

Consonants[T2006 2]
Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Labiovelar
Nasal ⟨m⟩ m ⟨n⟩ n ⟨g⟩ ŋ ⟨m̃⟩ ŋ͡m
Stop ⟨p⟩ p ⟨t⟩ t ⟨k⟩ k ⟨p̃⟩ k͡p
Fricative ⟨f⟩ f ⟨s⟩ s
Lateral ⟨l⟩ l
Trill ⟨r⟩ r ⟨nr⟩ nᵈr
Glide ⟨y⟩ j ⟨w⟩ w
Vowels[T2006 2]
Front Back
High ⟨i⟩ i ⟨u⟩ u
Mid ⟨e⟩ e ⟨o⟩ o
Low ⟨a⟩ a

As seen in the above chart, Nafsan's vowel phoneme inventory is that of a five-vowel system; this is one of the most commonly seen vowel inventories in any given language in the world and also especially evident in many Oceanic languages. There is a distinction between short and long vowels but it is currently in a process of change that makes its status unclear.[T2006 3]

Degemination[edit]

In Nafsan, it is typical that two contiguous identical consonants occurring in a utterance undergo a process of degemination to be realised as a single consonant. In (1), the two contiguous identical consonants /n/ result in the phonetic attachment of demonstrative ne 'this' to the preceding word nawen ne [nawene] 'this sand'.[T2006 4]

AD:Addressee deictic DET:Determiner DST:Distant DUR:Durative IR:Irrealis IRR:Irrealis subject NEG:Negative marker PREP:Preposition PS:Perfect subject PSP:Prospective REL:Relativiser RS:Realis subject TR:Transitive marker TS:Transitive suffix

(1)
['na.we.ne].

I=tao

3SG.RS=left

nawen

sand

ne

this

I=tao nawen ne

3SG.RS=left sand this

She left this sand bank.

Vowel centralisation[edit]

High vowels in prepositions acting as a prefix often undergo a process of vowel centralisation to reduce the unstressed syllable. In (2), the high vowel /i/ in the preposition ki is reduced to [ə] when preceding the demonstrative nen 'that'.[T2006 5]

(2)

ki-

PREP-

nen

AD

>

>

kenen,

PREP.AD

kne

 

ki- nen > kenen, kne

PREP- AD > PREP.AD {}

to, of that

Numerals[edit]

The system of numerals in Nafsan is base-5 (quinary). Numbers two through five are distinct numerals that are then seen repeated in slight variation for the numbers seven to ten. The pattern of the numerals can be seen in the table below.[T2006 6]

Cardinal English
i-skei one
i-nru; nran; nru two
i-tol three
i-pat four
i-lim five
i-lates six
i-laru seven
i-latol eight
i-lfot nine
ralim iskei ten

Ralim iskei can be used as an example to see the method for displaying numbers ten and above in South Efate; the numeral for ten ralim is followed by its multiplier, which in this case is iskei for one. The term for and atmat is added after the multiplier with an additional numeral to form a number such as thirty seven: [T2006 6]

(3)

ralim

ten

itol

three

atmat

and

ilaru

seven

ralim itol atmat ilaru

ten three and seven

thirty-seven

Morphosyntax[edit]

Adnominal possession[edit]

There are two ways of marking adnominal possession in Nafsan: through the use of a possessive pronoun (indirect possession), or directly on the noun (direct possession). Indirect possession is used for general possession, while direct possession is used for nouns that are closely associated items (e.g., body parts or products, kinship terms, etc.). [T2006 7]

Indirect/general possession[edit]

Indirect possession is morphosyntactically represented through the use of the possessive markers ni (of) or knen (of it), or of the presence of a possessive pronoun such as nakte (my/mine).[T2006 7]

When possession is marked by a possessive pronoun, the pronouns follow the possessed NP:

(4)

Nasum̃tap

church

p̃ur

big

nigmam

1PL.EX.POS

nen

REL

i=tarp̃ek.

3SG.RS=fall.down

Nasum̃tap p̃ur nigmam nen i=tarp̃ek.

church big 1PL.EX.POS REL 3SG.RS=fall.down

It was our church that fell down.[T2006 8]

ni possession: the preposition ni only occurs when the possessum is a noun. The NP follows the form of ‘possessed ni possessor’.

(5)

I=pi

3SG.RS=be

nawesien

work

ni

of

Atua.

God

I=pi nawesien ni Atua.

3SG.RS=be work of God

It is God’s work.[T2006 8]

knen possession: This form is used as an inanimate referent, and often indicates a previously mentioned participant in the discourse. It is positioned following the referent noun.

(6)

Natrauswen

story

karu

next

i=pitlak

3SG.RS=have

nalag

song

knen.

of.it

Natrauswen karu i=pitlak nalag knen.

story next 3SG.RS=have song of.it

The next story, it has its song.[T2006 9]

Direct possession[edit]

Direct possession is used for inalienably possessed nouns. This is similar to other languages of Vanuatu that denote inalienable nouns as those that refer to relationships of part-whole association such as kinship terms, body parts or products, and associated parts (such as leaf/stem).[3] These nouns take directly suffixed possession markers, however they can also occur without possessive marking when the possessor is encoded by a noun. The directly possessed (DP) suffix only attaches to the class of directly possessed nouns. For sg and 3p forms, an unpredictable vowel (V) may be inserted to aid DP suffixation.[T2006 10]

(7)

Go

and

ra=paos-ki-n

3d.RS=ask-TR-3sgO

ki,

PREP

“Gag

2sgPOS

tm-a-m

father-V-2sgDP

go

and

rait-o-m

mother-V-3sgDP

wa?"

where

Go ra=paos-ki-n ki, “Gag tm-a-m go rait-o-m wa?"

and 3d.RS=ask-TR-3sgO PREP 2sgPOS father-V-2sgDP and mother-V-3sgDP where

And they asked, “Where are your father and mother?”[T2006 11]

If the directly possessed noun has no possessive suffix, the referent is presumed unknown or disembodied. Lack of possession also occurs when possession is encoded by the possessed noun preceding the possessor. As in the following example, the directly possessed noun rait (mother) is preceded by the noun tesa (child).

(7)

Go

and

rait

mother

tesa

child

ke=fo

3sgIRR=PSP:IR

tae

able

toleg

stand.up

preg

make

tete

some

namrun

thing

ses.

small

Go rait tesa ke=fo tae toleg preg tete namrun ses.

and mother child 3sgIRR=PSP:IR able stand.up make some thing small

And the child’s mother can stand up and do some small things.[T2006 12]

Negation[edit]

Negation in Nafsan occurs in two ways. The first is the use of the intransitive verb tik (no, nothing), which can be used singularly or paired with the generic proclitic i= (3sgRS). The second, more widely used method, is through the use of discontinuous negative particles ta ... mau. Nafsan also does not differentiate between the negation of predicates and the negation of whole propositions. [T2006 5]

Tik[edit]

Tik is a verb translated as 'no' or 'nothing' and is used in similar contexts to its English translations.[T2006 4]In the following example, tik is used in the same way as in the English translation.

     (9) Go Ririal i=mer.         nrik Ririel ki   na, "Tik, ag  p̃a=fag." 
         and  "    3sgRS=in.turn  tell "      PREP say  no  2sg 2sgIRR=climb:IR 
         And Ririal, in turn, said to Ririel, "No, you climb."[T2006 4]

Tik is also able to be made into a transitive verb through the addition of the transitive suffix -ki. When this occurs, the new gloss is 'to not have'. As such, in the following example there is no instance of a possessive verb being negated, instead the verb in the sentence (tik-ki) is negative in meaning.[T2006 5] Another verb that is negative in meaning is tap, meaning 'to not do something'.

(10)

Ru=tik-ki

3p.RS=no-TR

kram

axe

Ru=tik-ki kram

3p.RS=no-TR axe

they had no axe.[T2006 5]

Negative particles[edit]

The other way of negating predicates in Nafsan is through the use of two negative particles: ta(p)...mau. There is free variation between the use of ta and tap, ie the usage does not change according to any specific environment. [T2006 13]Ta(p) is used preceding the proposition to be negated, and mau follows at the end of the sentence. The following examples show a positive sentence, which is then negated in the second example.

(11)

Ki=mai

3sgPS=come

pi

be

as

coconut crab

Ki=mai pi as

3sgPS=come be {coconut crab}

He became a coconut crab.[T2006 14]

(12)

Ki=ta

3sgPS=NEG

mai

come

pi

be

as

coconut crab

mau

NEG2

Ki=ta mai pi as mau

3sgPS=NEG come be {coconut crab} NEG2

He didn't become a coconut-crab. [T2006 14] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

Sometimes, in the casual speech of young people predominantly, the second negative particle mau is left off, as seen in the following example.

(13)

Rui=pe

3PL.PS=PF

ta

NEG

mur

want

na

say

ruk=nrog

3PL.IRR=hear

a?

INT

Rui=pe ta mur na ruk=nrog a?

3PL.PS=PF NEG want say 3PL.IRR=hear INT

They don't want to hear, they don't want to believe eh?[T2006 13] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

The ta marker can also act a durative marker, so in negative sentences where both uses of ta are present it can result in two different readings of a sentence. In the first example below, reading the first ta as the negative one results in the whole proposition being negated. In the second example, exactly the same sentence, reading the second ta as the negative results in only the final verb (puet 'to take') being negated, thus creating a different meaning entirely.

(14)

A=ta

1SG.RS=NEG

mro-ki-n

think-TS-3SG.O

na

say

ruk=fo

3p.IRR=PSP:IR

mer

in.turn

ta

DUR

puet

take

kineu

1SG

mau.

NEG2.

A=ta mro-ki-n na ruk=fo mer ta puet kineu mau.

1SG.RS=NEG think-TS-3SG.O say 3p.IRR=PSP:IR in.turn DUR take 1SG NEG2.

I don’t think that they would still take me. [T2006 15] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

(15)

A=ta

1SG.RS=DUR

mro-ki-n

think-TS-3SG.O

na

say

ruk=fo

3p.IRR=PSP:IR

mer

in.turn

ta

NEG

puet

take

kineu

1SG

mau.

NEG2.

A=ta mro-ki-n na ruk=fo mer ta puet kineu mau.

1SG.RS=DUR think-TS-3SG.O say 3p.IRR=PSP:IR in.turn NEG take 1SG NEG2.

I still think that they would not take me. [T2006 15] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

Demonstratives[edit]

There are three common forms of demonstratives in Nafsan: go 'that, near addressee', ne 'this', and nen 'that'. Similar to other Southern Oceanic languages, these forms serve both spatio-temporal and discourse deictic functions.[4][T2006 16] The form go 'that' is addressee-anchored referent to a spatial location nearer to the addressee from the speaker's perspective or something previously said by the addressee.[T2006 16] This encoding is found in other languages of Vanuatu, such as Ske, that do not belong to the Central Vanuatu subgroup.[5][4] There is an ability for syntactic ambiguity stemming from the two common functions encoded by demonstratives resulting in dual interpretations possible in some utterances. This is shown in example (16) and (17) where the noun kal 'digging stick' used with the demonstrative go can mean 'the digging stick near you' from the spatial sense of the form or 'the digging stick you talked about' from the discourse sense of the form.[T2006 16]

(16)

Me

but

kal

digging.stick

go

AD

i=na

3sgRS=INCH

i=mailumlum.

3sgRS=soft:REDUP

Me kal go i=na i=mailumlum.

but digging.stick AD 3sgRS=INCH 3sgRS=soft:REDUP

But this digging stick (near you) is soft.[T2006 3]

(17)

Me

but

kal

digging.stick

go

AD

i=na

3sgRS=INCH

i=mailumlum.

3sgRS=soft:REDUP

Me kal go i=na i=mailumlum.

but digging.stick AD 3sgRS=INCH 3sgRS=soft:REDUP

But this digging stick (you talked about) is soft.[T2006 3]

In Nafsan, demonstratives have a noun-demonstrative word order which is typical of Austronesian languages according to the World Atlas of Language Structures.[6] They typically appear in two locations within a sentence as shown in examples (18) and (19); as a modifier of the noun phrase and following a directional adverb, respectively. Otherwise, demonstratives must undergo nominalisation through the addition of the prefix te- (see 3.4.1) as they cannot occur as the only exponent of a noun phrase. While demonstratives can co-occur with lexical nouns and focal pronouns, they cannot do so with clitic pronouns in Nafsan.[T2006 16]

(18)

Ale

okay

tesa

child

ses

small

ne

this

i=to

3SG.RS=STAT

kai.

cry

Ale tesa ses ne i=to kai.

okay child small this 3SG.RS=STAT cry

Okay, this small child was crying.[T2006 3]

(19)

Ag

2.SG

ku=totan

2SG.RS=sit

sa-go

here-AD

me

but

kineu

1SG

a=mur-i-n

1SG.RS=want-TS-3SG.O

na

COMP

ka=taf.

1SG.IRR=leave

Ag ku=totan sa-go me kineu a=mur-i-n na ka=taf.

2.SG 2SG.RS=sit here-AD but 1SG 1SG.RS=want-TS-3SG.O COMP 1SG.IRR=leave

You sit down here (near addressee) but I want to leave.[T2006 17]

The form nen 'that' frequently occurs in collocation with the subordinator kin to create the English equivalent 'that which' as seen in example (19). As the form nen 'that' has the potentially to act as a demonstrative or a relativiser, the pause given between the two forms nen and kin indicates that it is likely the form nen 'that' is acting as a demonstrative that is modifying the noun phrase in this context.[T2006 18]

(19)

I=tau-ø

3sgRS=carry-3sgO

pak

to

nanre,

side

nen

that

kin

REL

pal-u-k

brother-V-1sgDP

nen

REL

imat

3sgRS=dead

wik

week

 

nen

 

pa

 

i=tk-os.

 

that

 

go

 

3sgRS=stay-3sgOBL

I=tau-ø pak nanre, nen kin pal-u-k nen imat wik

3sgRS=carry-3sgO to side that REL brother-V-1sgDP REL 3sgRS=dead week nen pa i=tk-os. that go 3sgRS=stay-3sgOBL

He took her to the side, that (place) which my brother who died last week stayed at.[T2006 14] Mismatch in the number of words between lines: 9 word(s) in line 1, 15 word(s) in line 2 (help);

The demonstratives ne 'this', and nen 'that' also often occur in collocation with the noun mal 'time' to create the forms malne 'this time', as seen in example (20) and malnen 'that time'.[T2006 16]

Ga me i=po sain mal ne. |3sg adn 3sgRS=PSP sign time this}} |He would sign it this time.[T2006 19]}}

Distant Clitic[edit]

The distinction between demonstrative forms ne 'this', and nen 'that' is a result of the distance-encoding clitic =n. This clitic can occur with several word classes as shown in the table below. Furthermore, like spatio-temporal demonstratives, it also has the deictic function of acting as a referent to previous parts of a discourse as shown in example (21).[T2006 10]

Examples of distant clitic on different word classes
Word Class Form Gloss Form + Clitic Gloss
Demonstrative ne this nen that
Verb pa to go pan to go there
Preposition reki for rekin for that
(21)

Go

and

nafiaselwen

friendship

ni

of

tiawi

old.people

gakit,

1p.in

tu=tae

1p.inRS=know

pitlak-e=n

have-V=DST

mes.

today

Go nafiaselwen ni tiawi gakit, tu=tae pitlak-e=n mes.

and friendship of old.people 1p.in 1p.inRS=know have-V=DST today

And the friendship of our old people, we can have that today.[T2006 10]

Presentative Demonstrative[edit]

The presentative morpheme is a demonstrative in Nafsan which has no paradigmatic relationship with the demonstrators detailed above. The form kia is often collocated with interrogatives such as, such as fei kia 'who here', and typically places emphasis on the preceding nominal or utterance, as shown in example (22).[T2006 16]

This function of drawing attention to its preceding forms has been used alongside fillers iwel, gawan, tkanwan which are all used to mean 'thus', 'that's the way', or 'like that', the latter of which is used at the end of the story as seen in example (23).

(22)

I=tae

3sgRS=can

mai

come

nrik

tell

naot

chief

ki-n

PREP-3sgO

na,

say

"Ore

yes

kineu

1sg

kia,

PR

a=preg

1sgRS=make

proplem".

problem

I=tae mai nrik naot ki-n na, "Ore kineu kia, a=preg proplem".

3sgRS=can come tell chief PREP-3sgO say yes 1sg PR 1sgRS=make problem

He can come and tell the chief, "Yes, it is me who caused the problem."[T2006 14]

(23)

Me

and

apu

g.father

neu

1sgPOS

kia

PR

i=mat

3sgRS=die

pato

be.at

Erueti

p.name

naur

island

to.

at

Me

but

kineu

1sg

a=to

1sgRS=stay

Efat.

p.name

Naur

island

pur.

big

m.m

"

Gawan

like.that

kia.

like.that

Gawan

 

kia.

 

Me apu neu kia i=mat pato Erueti naur to. Me kineu a=to Efat. Naur pur. m.m Gawan kia. Gawan kia.

and g.father 1sgPOS PR 3sgRS=die be.at p.name island at but 1sg 1sgRS=stay p.name island big " like.that like.that

And my grandfather died at Erueti island. But I stay on Efate. The big island. m.m. Like that. Like that.[T2006 14] Mismatch in the number of words between lines: 20 word(s) in line 1, 18 word(s) in line 2 (help);

The emphatic purpose of this demonstrative is similar to those found in other languages of Vanuatu such as the form na- in Ske in example (24).[7]

(24)

waq

ship

na-n=dae,

ASSOC-CONST=DIST

Makila!

M

waq na-n=dae, Makila!

ship ASSOC-CONST=DIST M

'That ship there, (is the) Makila.' Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

Nominalisation[edit]

'Te-' Nominalisation[edit]

Nominalisation of demonstratives, verbs, possessives, ordinal numbers, quantifiers, and nouns occurs in Nafsan through the attachment of the determiner prefix te-. The productive process of te-nominalisation allows for the derivation of a large class of demonstrative pronouns.[T2006 20]

'Te + demonstrative' nominalisation
Form Gloss Te + Form Gloss
ne this tene this one
nen that tenen that one (distant)
go that (near addressee) tego that one (near addressee)

Example (25) reflects how addressee deixis is encoded in the demonstratives that have undergone te-nominalisation.

(25)

Te-go

DET-AD

ru=to,

3p.RS=stay

fei

who

kin

REL

i=repot?

3sgRS=report

Te-go ru=to, fei kin i=repot?

DET-AD 3p.RS=stay who REL 3sgRS=report

Those (near you) here, who will report?[T2006 8]

The prefix ka- is attached to nominals greater than one in Nafsan to form ordinal numbers which can then further gain the prefix te- to form a demonstrative as shown in example (26).[T2006 17]

'Te + ordinal number' nominalisation
Form Gloss Te + Form Gloss
pei first tepei the first one
karu second tekaru the second one
katol third tekatol the third one
(26)

Tag

p.name

i=pi

3sgRS=be

te-karu,

DET-second

te-katol

DET-third

i=pi

3sgRS=be

Andre.

p.name

Tag i=pi te-karu, te-katol i=pi Andre.

p.name 3sgRS=be DET-second DET-third 3sgRS=be p.name

Tag is the second, the third is Andre.[T2006 21]

Pronoun and person marker[edit]

There are mainly two classes of pronoun in Nafsan. The free pronoun and the bound pronoun.[T2006 22]

Free pronoun[edit]

The free pronouns incorporate three area, demonstrative pronouns, focal pronouns(function as both subject and object) and the oblique free pronoun (in either possessive or benefactive form).

Focal pronoun[edit]

The focal pronoun (Lynch, 2000), also known as an independent pronoun (Crowley, 1998), functions as both the subject and object in an argument. It allows the pronoun itself to be the NP on their own unlike the bound pronouns which have to be attached to a verb. Focal pronouns express singular and plural but do not distinguish dual number.

1a) subject role

Me

but

kineu

1SG

a=tap

1SG.RS=NEG

nrogtesa-wes

fell.bad-3SG.O

mau.

NEG2

Me kineu a=tap nrogtesa-wes mau.

but 1SG 1SG.RS=NEG fell.bad-3SG.O NEG2

But I don't/feel bad about it.[T2006 23] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

1b) object role

Ruk=fo

3PL.RS=PSP:IR

wat

hit

kineu.

1SG

Ruk=fo wat kineu.

3PL.RS=PSP:IR hit 1SG

They will hit me.[T2006 23]

The examples (1a)& (1b) show the 1st person singular pronoun kineu performed as the subject and object correspondingly. And the following is a list of the focal pronouns in Nafsan.

Focal pronouns
Singular Plural
1st person inclusive kineu/neu akit
exclusive komam
2nd person ag akam
3rd person ga gar

Oblique free pronoun[edit]

Oblique free pronoun function in possessive also benefactive case. For the possessive pronoun, it follows the possessed NP, generally made up of the preposition -nig ‘from’/ ‘of’.

2) Possessive pronouns follow the possessed NP

Nasum̃tap

church

p̃ur

big

nigmam

1PL.EX

nen

POS

i=tarp̃ek.

REL

 

3SG.RS=fall.down

Nasum̃tap p̃ur nigmam nen i=tarp̃ek.

church big 1PL.EX POS REL 3SG.RS=fall.down

It was our church that fell down.[T2006 8] Mismatch in the number of words between lines: 5 word(s) in line 1, 6 word(s) in line 2 (help);

There are variation forms of the suffix -nig , when it combines with an unstressed syllable, the high vowel will become lower. E.g. (niger → neger)

Benefactive[edit]

In the benefactive, the argument shares the same possessive morphology, yet the possessive morpheme is used in the pre-verbal position to express the beneficiary. The following example shows how beneficiary expressed by a pre-verbal position.

(3a)

Mlapuas

owl

kin

sp.

i=min

COMP

nalkis

3SG.RS=drink

nl

herbs

sokfal.

of

 

owl

 

sp.

Mlapuas kin i=min nalkis nl sokfal.

owl sp. COMP 3SG.RS=drink herbs of owl sp.

Mlapuas who drank sokfal 's herbs.[T2006 24] Mismatch in the number of words between lines: 6 word(s) in line 1, 8 word(s) in line 2 (help);

(3b)

Ki=ni

3SG.lRR=of

sokfal

owl

ut

sp.

nai.

pour

 

water

Ki=ni sokfal ut nai.

3SG.lRR=of owl sp. pour water

He poured water for sokfal.[T2006 24] Mismatch in the number of words between lines: 4 word(s) in line 1, 5 word(s) in line 2 (help);

Bound Pronoun[edit]

Bound pronoun comprises subject proclitics, object suffix for direct object and direct possessive. For the subject proclitics, there is neither separate set of dual object, nor oblique form. The obligatory subject proclitic pronouns are being seen as the arguments of the verb. For the pronominal suffixes of bound pronouns, the plural form is used to express any number that is greater than one.

Bound subject pronouns[edit]

The proclitic subject pronoun cannot stand alone without attaching to the first element of the Verb compound. They are considered to be clitics since they can attach to any part of the Verb compound. Subject proclitics happened in three archetypes, realis, irrealis and perfect. The subject proclitic represents the subject argument since it is the only obligatory element in the sentence except for the verb.

Realis/irrealis pronominal[edit]

Proclitic subjects distinguish realis and irrealis situation. The realis is unmarked, and the irrealis being marked in the subject to show the action is yet to be realised, including most of the future events but not all, all the imperatives and hortatives. There is a strong preference for the subject of desideratives, achievement and predicates to be using irrealis form.

4)realis and irrealis paradigm

A=nrik-i-n

1SG.RS=tell-TS-3SG.O

ki

PREP

na

COMP

“He

hey

a=muri-n

1SG.RS=want-TS-3SG.O

na

COMP

p̃a=mai

2SG.lRR=come

ni

BEN

Kaltog

p.name

preg

make

nalkis,

medicine

i=wel

3SG.RS=thus

ku=f

2SG.RS=CND

tae

know

preg-i-Ø.”

make-TS-3SG.O

A=nrik-i-n ki na “He a=muri-n na p̃a=mai ni Kaltog preg nalkis, i=wel ku=f tae preg-i-Ø.”

1SG.RS=tell-TS-3SG.O PREP COMP hey 1SG.RS=want-TS-3SG.O COMP 2SG.lRR=come BEN p.name make medicine 3SG.RS=thus 2SG.RS=CND know make-TS-3SG.O

I said to him, "Hey, I want you to bring some medicine for Kaltog, if you can do that."[T2006 25] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

The examples (4) show all realis form of pronouns in all cases except the subject of the verb mai ‘to come’ which is appeared in a desiderative complement.

Perfect pronominal[edit]

When dealing with aspectual past (event that is over), regarding the speaking event and past time reference, the perfect form of proclitic is used. Generally, perfect procitics directly followed by the perfective particle pe, yet it is not a necessary criterion. Notably, perfect proclitics never occur in imperatives. Perfect proclitics can be found in narratives that deal with long events like World War 2.

5) narrative

I=piatlak

3SG.RS=have

tete

some

nen

that

kin

REL

ru=weswes

3PL.RS=work

skot-i-r.

with-TS-3PL.O

Go,

and

ru=lap

3PL.RS=many

te-p̃ur

DET-big

rui=pe

3PL.PS=PF

mat.

dead

Rukoi=pe

3PL.RS=PF

mat.

dead

I=piatlak tete nen kin ru=weswes skot-i-r. Go, ru=lap te-p̃ur rui=pe mat. Rukoi=pe mat.

3SG.RS=have some that REL 3PL.RS=work with-TS-3PL.O and 3PL.RS=many DET-big 3PL.PS=PF dead 3PL.RS=PF dead

There are some who worked with them (the Americans). And very many died. They died.[T2006 25] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

The example(5) shows the perfect proclitics being used to refer to those who are long dead in a narrative sentence.

Traditional stories in Nafsan often use perfect proclitic form as they are set in the past. The example(6) of an extract of a custom story telling also shows that perfective particle pe is not necessary to appear in perfect proclitic sentence.

6) Storytelling

Kaltog

Kaltag

i=kel

3SG.RS=hold

ntak

back

Selwin

Selwin

tefla=n

thus=DST

go

and

rakai=ler

3DU.PS=return

mai

come

pak

to

esum̃

LOC-house

Kaltog i=kel ntak Selwin tefla=n go rakai=ler mai pak esum̃

Kaltag 3SG.RS=hold back Selwin thus=DST and 3DU.PS=return come to LOC-house

Kaltog rubbed Selwin's back like that and they returned to the house.[T2006 26]

Bound Object pronoun[edit]

There are two separate types of object suffix, can be distinguished by the roles they encoded and the host they attached to. One type is for direct objects, the direct object suffixes attached to the object of the predicator to encode it. The other type is for oblique objects, the oblique object suffixes encode typically the location and the case of semi-transitive verbs. Based on the semantics of the semi-transitive verbs in the oblique case, the oblique object suffixes apply to movement to, at, or from a location. There are list of distinctive bound suffix being used in two types of object in table.2.

Direct Object Oblique Object Direct Possessive
1st person singular -wou -wou -k
plural inclusive -kit -kit -kit
exclusive -mam/-mom/-m -mam -mam/-mom/-m
2nd person singular (transitivisor) -k -wok -m
plural -mus -mus -mus
3rd person singular (transitivisor) -ø/ -n -wes -n
plural (transitivisor) -r -wer -r
The direct object[edit]

Object suffixes encode the object of derived transitive verbs, ambitransitive verbs, ditransitive verbs and of the preposition -ki. To reference an object in Nafsan can be either by an object suffix or a lexical NP. Therefore, object suffix cannot appeared in the Verb Complex while there is a referential lexical NP for object indication.

7) transitive verb/ preposition -ki

Ke=fo

3SG.IRR=PSP:IR

pes-kerai-ki-k

talk-strong-TR-2SG.O

tete

some

nrak,

time

tete

some

nrak,

time,

masta

boss

nen

that

kin

REL

i=wi,

3SG.RS=good

i=pes-kerkerai-ki

3SG.RS=talk-strong-TR

ag

2SG

m̃as.

only

Ke=fo pes-kerai-ki-k tete nrak, tete nrak, masta nen kin i=wi, i=pes-kerkerai-ki ag m̃as.

3SG.IRR=PSP:IR talk-strong-TR-2SG.O some time some time, boss that REL 3SG.RS=good 3SG.RS=talk-strong-TR 2SG only

He will speak harshly to you, sometimes, sometimes a good boss will just speak harshly to you. (as opposed to beating you) [T2006 27]

This is an example(7) showing how object suffix used in transitive verb. The intransitive verb pes-kerai takes the transitivising suffix -ki to become transitive which allows it to take the object suffix -k in the first use. However, to emphasis the object, the last clause used the focal pronoun ag ‘you(singular)’ instead of the object suffix.

8) ambitransitive verb

I=f

3SG.RS=CND

wel

thus

ku=f

2SG.RS=CND

tae

know

trok-wes

agree-3SG.0BL

go

and

ka=fo

1SG.IRR=PSP:IR

plak-e-r

with-TS-3p.O

ler.

return

I=f wel ku=f tae trok-wes go ka=fo plak-e-r ler.

3SG.RS=CND thus 2SG.RS=CND know agree-3SG.0BL and 1SG.IRR=PSP:IR with-TS-3p.O return

If you agree with it, then I will go back with them. (Thieberger, 2006, p. 116) Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

In general, ambitransitive verbs requires a transitive suffix before the addition of the object suffix. The example(8) shows that transitive suffix -e is added before the object suffix -r occurred.

9)ditransitive verb

Or

yes

ka=fo

1SG.IRR=PSP:IR

mer

in.turn

nrik-i-r

tell-TS-3PL.O

ki

PREP

i=skei.

3SG.RS=one

Or ka=fo mer nrik-i-r ki i=skei.

yes 1SG.IRR=PSP:IR in.turn tell-TS-3PL.O PREP 3SG.RS=one

Yes, I will now tell them one (story). (Thieberger, 2006, p. 116)

The object suffix indicates the recipient when it is with a ditransitive verb. The example (9)shows when the suffix -r is used to encode the addresses.

Oblique object[edit]

The oblique suffix has a locational meaning. The oblique case can also be indicating temporal and spatial references. The example shows the suffix -wes encoded the day that the race was held.

10) oblique suffix

Naliati

day

nen

this

rak=fo

3DU.IRR=PSP:IR

res-wes

race-3SG.0BL

me

but

katom

hermit.crab

i=pei

3SG.RS=first

usrek-ki

go.round-TR

ser

every

nagis.

point

Naliati nen rak=fo res-wes me katom i=pei usrek-ki ser nagis.

day this 3DU.IRR=PSP:IR race-3SG.0BL but hermit.crab 3SG.RS=first go.round-TR every point

That day they would race, but the hermit crab was first around every point.[T2006 28] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

Bound direct possessive pronouns[edit]

The direct possessive suffix can only be attached to direct possessed nouns and reflexive/reciprocal morpheme yet not being a clitic. The 3 person singular is the most common form of direct possessive pronoun being found, even though there is other direct possessive pronoun see table.2. The following example(11) shows the 3sg direct possessive suffix -r.

11) direct possessive suffix

Gar

3PL

nen

REL

ru=lek-a-Ø

3PL.RS=see-TS-3SG.O

ki

PREP

namt-e-r.

eye-V-3PL.DP

Gar nen ru=lek-a-Ø ki namt-e-r.

3PL REL 3PL.RS=see-TS-3SG.O PREP eye-V-3PL.DP

It was they who saw it with their own eyes.[T2006 29] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

Common abbreviations[edit]

Below is a table explaining the common abbreviations used in negation examples above:[T2006 30]

Abbreviation Meaning
AD Addressee deictic
DET Determiner
DST Distant
DUR Durative
IR Irrealis
IRR Irrealis subject
NEG Negative marker
PREP Preposition
PS Perfect subject
PSP Prospective
REL Relativiser
RS Realis subject
TR Transitive marker
TS Transitive suffix

Access to resources[edit]

Thieberger's field recordings have been archived with Paradisec:

Notes[edit]

  • Pages from: Thieberger, Nick (2006). A Grammar of South Efate: An Oceanic Language of Vanuatu. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 9780824830618.
  1. ^ Thieberger (2006: 45).
  2. ^ a b Thieberger (2006: 46).
  3. ^ a b c d Thieberger (2006: 54).
  4. ^ a b c Thieberger (2006: 74)
  5. ^ a b c d Thieberger (2006: 78)
  6. ^ a b Thieberger (2006: 77).
  7. ^ a b Thieberger (2006: 127).
  8. ^ a b c d Thieberger (2006: 128).
  9. ^ Thieberger (2006: 129).
  10. ^ a b c Thieberger (2006: 124)
  11. ^ Thieberger (2006: 130).
  12. ^ Thieberger (2006: 131).
  13. ^ a b Thieberger (2004: 250)
  14. ^ a b c d e Thieberger (2006: 246)
  15. ^ a b Thieberger (2006: 249)
  16. ^ a b c d e f Thieberger (2006: 149-153)
  17. ^ a b Thieberger (2006: 144)
  18. ^ Thieberger (2006: 300)
  19. ^ Thieberger (2006: 146)
  20. ^ Thieberger (2006: 142)
  21. ^ Thieberger (2006: 139)
  22. ^ Thieberger (2006: 103)
  23. ^ a b Thieberger (2006: 104)
  24. ^ a b Thieberger (2006: 279)
  25. ^ a b Thieberger (2006: 110)
  26. ^ Thieberger (2006: 111)
  27. ^ Thieberger (2006: 116)
  28. ^ Thieberger (2006: 119)
  29. ^ Thieberger (2006: 122)
  30. ^ Thieberger (2006: xviii-xix)
  • Other references:
  1. ^ Nafsan at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ South Efate — English dictionary
  3. ^ Payne, 1997
  4. ^ a b Johnson, Kay (2014). Static spatial expression in Ske: an Oceanic language ofVanuatu (phd thesis). London: SOAS, University of London. p. 202. doi:10.25501/soas.00018443.
  5. ^ Lynch, John (2004). "The Efate-Erromango Problem in Vanuatu Subgrouping". Oceanic Linguistics. 43 (2): 311–338. ISSN 0029-8115.
  6. ^ "WALS Online -". wals.info. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  7. ^ Johnson (2014: 207)

References[edit]

  • Anon. 1868. Nalag nig Efat. Trans. D. Morrison. Sydney: Mason, Firt, nigar asler (Mason, Firth and Co).
  • Anon. 1892. Tusi nalag Efate Niu Ebrites. Sydney: F. Cunninghame and Co.
  • Anon. 1979. Natus nalag (213 pp).
  • Bible. 1864. Nadus iskei nig Fat. Aneityum: Mission Press.
  • Bible. 1866. Nafsanwi nig Iesu Krist nag Mark. Trans. D. Morrison. Sydney: Sheriff and Downing.
  • Bible. 1874. Kenesis natus a bei nag Moses ki mtir i. Trans. Cosh, J. Sydney: British and Foreign Bible Society.
  • Bible. 1875? Nafisan nafousien. Sydney: F. Cunninghame and Co.
  • Bible. 1883. The Gospel according to Luke. Trans. Macdonald, D.D. Melbourne: M.L. Hutchinson.
  • Bible. 1885. The Gospel according to John, Tus Nanrognrogona Uia ni Iesu Kristo nag Ioane i mitiria. Trans. Mackenzie, J., Macdonald, D.D. Sydney: F. Cunninghame and Co.
  • Bible. 1919. Natus bei ni nafisan ni Efate. Sydney: Epworth Press.
  • Bible. 1919. Tusi tab fao (New Testament). Trans. Mackenzie, J., Macdonald, D.D. Melbourne: British and Foreign Bible Society.
  • Bible. 1923. Scripture History. Sydney: Epworth Printing and Publishing House.
  • Bible. 1923. Nafakoron ni aliat. Erakor Efate, New Hebrides. Nouméa: Imprimerie A.-L. Laubreaux.
  • Bible. n.d. Nawisien nig Nagmer Apostol. Sydney: F. Cunninghame and Co.
  • Clark, Ross. 1973. Transitivity and case in eastern Oceanic languages. Oceanic Linguistics 12(1–2). 559–606.
  • ––––– 1978. The New Hebridean outliers. In Wurm, S.A. and L.Carrington, (eds.), Second International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics: proceedings. Fascicle 2: eastern Austronesian. (Pacific Linguistics Series) Department of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies, The Australian National University. 911–928.
  • ––––– 1982. “Necessary” and “unnecessary” borrowing. In Halim, A. (ed.), Papers from the Third International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics. Vol.3: Accent on variety. C 76 ed. (Pacific Linguistics Series): Department of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies, The Australian National University. 137–143.
  • ––––– 1985. The Efate dialects. Te Reo 28.:3–35.
  • ––––– 1996. Linguistic consequences of the Kuwae eruption. In J. M. Davidson, G. Irwin, B. F. Leach, A. Pawley and D. Brown (eds.), Oceanic culture history: essays in honour of Roger Green. New Zealand Journal of Archaeology Special Publication. 275–285.
  • ––––– n.d. The Efate-Tongoa dialects (Ms).
  • Codrington, Robert Henry (R. H.). 1885. The Melanesian Languages. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Crowley, Terry. 1998. An Erromangan (Sye) Grammar. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.
  • Lynch, John. 2000. South Efate phonological history. Oceanic Linguistics 39(2):320–338.
  • ––––– 2000. A grammar of Anejom. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
  • ––––– 2001. The linguistic history of Southern Vanuatu. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University.
  • ––––– 2004. The Efate-Erromango Problem in Vanuatu Subgrouping. Oceanic Linguistics 43(2):311–338.

External links[edit]