Documentation of Mavea


Documentation of Mavea

Language: Mavea
Depositor: Valérie Guérin
Location: Vanuatu
Deposit Id: 0015
Grant id: IGS0031
Funding body: ELDP
Level: Deposit


Summary of deposit

This deposit consists of annotated audio recordings of speakers of Mavea, spoken in Vanuatu, resulting from fieldwork conducted between June 2005 and December 2007.

The picture comes from a picture book illustrated by Gabriel Torno, entitled ‘The Bird Story', a story in which two birds fight for a hat. The deposit contains recordings of several different speakers narrating this story: to listen, click on ‘Bird Story’ under Topic in the left hand panel.



Group represented
Mavea speaking community, located on Mavea Island, and Deproma, Espiritu Santo Island, Vanuatu.

Language information
Mavea, also known as Mafea. Mafea is spoken on the eponymous island Mafea, off the southeastern coast of the island Espiritu Santo. The exact number of Mafea speakers remains to be determined. According to a survey by Lynch and Crowley (2000), there are now approximately two hundred and fifty speakers. However Lynch and Crowley also note that Mafea speakers have started migrating to the more economically prosperous island Espiritu Santo.Such a geographical shift may lead to an irreversible linguistic shift.

Special characteristics

Languages in Vanuatu have been divided into two major subgroups - Northern Central and Southern (Clark 1985). Clark estimated the Northern Central subgroup consists of approximately 94 languages, 28 of which spoken on Santo. Clark subdivided these 28 languages into 3 smaller subgroups: Northwest, South, and East, and affiliated Mafea with the “South Santo” subgroup. Tryon’s (1976) linguistic survey seems to indicate that Mafea is indeed related to Tutuba, spoken on the Southeastern coast of mainland Santo. To a lesser extent, Mafea seems also be affiliated to Malo, spoken on the eponymous island off the southern coast of Santo, and Tangoa spoken in Southern Santo. However, the inclusion of Mafea in this subgroup rests on a holistic approach. It is based on Tryon’s (1976) lexicostatistic analysis of the languages of Vanuatu, and on the use of linguo-labial consonants as an areal feature of the South of Santo (and northwest Malakula), which are extremely rare cross-linguistically.

Interestingly, Mafea is located at the border of two of Clark’s linguistic subgroups -South Santo and East Santo- the latter group being well-known for its phonological complexity (Guy 1974). Due to its pivotal geographic situation Mafea could be the end of a dialectal chain, linking the Southern and Eastern language groups. However, it is just as plausible that Mafea is a language in its own right. Its geographic position may have fostered lexical and grammatical innovations.

Any definite conclusions regarding the classification of Mafea in the South Santo subgroup are yet to be established. The paucity of the data on Mafea and other Santo languages makes it difficult to define such a subgroup, and, at this point, we can only speculate about the linguistic affiliation of Mafea.



Deposit contents

The collection contains over 160 audio files, many of which come with time-aligned transcriptions and gloss in English.

Genres include narratives, chronicles, and personal histories.

The language contains three linguo-labials. They are represented in the orthography as p̋, v̋, and m̋.



Acknowledgement and citation

To refer to any data from the corpus, please cite the corpus in this way:

Guérin, Valérie, 2006. Documentation of Mavea, London: SOAS, Endangered Languages Archive. URL: https://elar.soas.ac.uk/Collection/MPI67426. Accessed on [insert date here]



Status

Collection online
Resources online and curated

Depositor

Valérie Guérin
Affiliation: University of Hawai'i Manoa

Deposit Statistics

Data from 2019 November 18 to 2019 November 18
Deposit hits:1
Downloaded files
Without statistics


Showing 1 - 10 of 164 Items


Deposit title: Documentation of Mavea

Picture book (10 images), story of two birds fighting for a hat

Recorded on: 2006-05-10




Deposit title: Documentation of Mavea

Picture book (12 images), story of a sick woman, and how she is cured

Recorded on: 2006-05-10

Keywords: Sickness - Gabriel Torno



Deposit title: Documentation of Mavea

RML narrating The bird story, story of two birds fighting for a hat

Recorded on: 2006-10-10




Deposit title: Documentation of Mavea

JPM narrating Sickness, story of a sick woman, and how she is cured

Recorded on: 2006-10-14




Deposit title: Documentation of Mavea

RML narrating Sickness, story of a sick woman, and how she is cured

Recorded on: 2006-10-10




Deposit title: Documentation of Mavea

MTK narrating The bird story, story of two birds fighting for a hat

Recorded on: 2006-10-14




Deposit title: Documentation of Mavea

ANL relating the story of his ancestry, up to his adoption

Recorded on: 2006-10-25




Deposit title: Documentation of Mavea

EVK translating the Swadesh list part1, from Tryon 1976

Recorded on: 2006-08-30




Deposit title: Documentation of Mavea

EVK translating the Swadesh list part2, from Tryon 1976

Recorded on: 2006-08-30




Deposit title: Documentation of Mavea

ANL translating a word list linguo-labials part1

Recorded on: 2006-10-22