LINGUIST List 14.2323

Wed Sep 3 2003

Books: Language Description, Bilua: Obata

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  1. jmanley, A grammar of Bilua: Obata

Message 1: A grammar of Bilua: Obata

Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2003 04:04:19 +0000
From: jmanley <>
Subject: A grammar of Bilua: Obata

Title: A grammar of Bilua
Subtitle: A Papuan language of the Solomon Islands
Series Title: Pacific Linguistics
Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: Pacific Linguistics		 
Author: Kazuko Obata 
Paperback: ISBN: 08588353127, Pages: xx + 333 pp, Price: A$70.00
Comment: Australian purchasers add 10% GST

This grammar of Bilua, a revision of the author's PhD thesis, is the
first comprehensive description of the language. Bilua is spoken on
Vella La Vella island in the Western Province of the Solomon
Islands. According to the 1976 census there are about 85 vernacular
languages indigenous to the Solomon Islands. The majority of these are
Austronesian, but among them are four Papuan languages, one of which
is Bilua.

The grammar presented here is based on the dialect of the Bilua area,
which is regarded as standard by local people, probably because
Methodist missionaries who arrived early in the twentieth century
regarded it as the language of the island.

In the past, the Austronesian language Roviana was used as a lingua
franca in the region and so older people on Vella La Vella speak
Roviana as well as Bilua. However, the role of Roviana has been taken
over by Solomon Islands Pidgin which is used in primary schools and in
church ceremonies which are central to the lives of people in Vella La
Vella. There is a high rate of intermarriage between Vella La Vella
people and people from other islands and mixed couples communicate in
Bilua, Pidgin, or one of the other Solomons languages. Pidgin words
are mixed into Bilua and sometimes people switch from one language to
another in their speech. Thus the Bilua language is changing because
of the influence of Pidgin, and, although the population of Vella La
Vella is increasing rapidly, Bilua is endangere

Lingfield(s): Language Description
Subject Language(s): Bilua (Language code: BLB)

Written In: English (Language Code: ENG)

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