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LWM 31: Saliba

Référence: ISBN 9783929075335


Ulrike Mosel
University of Kiel

Saliba is an Austronesian, Western Oceanic language which is spoken by fewer than one thousand people on the island of Saliba in Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. Genetically it belongs to the Suaic languages of the Papuan Tip Cluster. It seems to be closely related to Suau which functions as a mission language of the area. Whether Saliba and Suau have to be classified as dialects or as different languages is unlcear, as this is the first grammatical description of any Suauic language.

Saliba is a verb final head marking language of the nominative­accusative type which shows some interesting typological features such as internal relative clauses, verb serialisation, clause chaining, and a clitic particle which can mark noun phrases, verb phrases, clauses and even clause chains as topics.

After a sketchy phonology, the present monograph describes various types of verbal and non­verbal clauses, the word classes, the noun phrase and so­called possessive constructions, the verb phrase, transitivity, nominalisation, subordinate clauses and clause chaining. In order to provide a good illustration of the Saliba discourse structure, the grammatical sketch concludes with the analysis of three short texts.

ISBN 9783929075335. Languages of the World/Materials 31. 48pp. 1994.

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