This collection of twenty Mali texts was recorded in 2001 and 2002 and were
transcribed and translated by Tonya Stebbins and Julius Tayul. The texts
are a representative sample of the materials used as a corpus in the
development of the Mali (Baining) Grammar (Stebbins forthcoming) and Mali
(Baining) Dictionary (Stebbins forthcoming).
Mali is a member of the Baining language family, a non-Austronesian
language family located in the southwest quadrant of the Gazelle Peninsula
in East New Britain , Papua New Guinea . There are around 2,200 speakers of
Mali living in eleven villages across Mali territory or in nearby villages
and towns. There are two dialects of Mali : a coastal dialect whose
speakers are called Abilta ‘those from the old village' and a mountain
dialect whose speakers are called Arongda ‘those from a cold place'.
Language shift to Tok Pisin is well established in the Mali community but
children with two Mali parents still acquire Mali as their first language.
Only the oldest generation of Mali speakers (50 or more years of age) is
fully fluent in Mali ; able to use it in all domains without ad hoc
borrowings from Tok Pisin.
Both dialects, both genders and speakers aged from 30 to 65 years of age
are represented in this collection.