Studies in the Languages of Island Melanesia

Studies in the Languages of Island Melanesia (SLIM) is an academic ebook series which I founded in 2012, with the publisher Pacific Linguistics based in Canberra, and recently renamed as Asia–Pacific Linguistics. This series is dedicated to peer-reviewed scholarly work on the languages of Island Melanesia. All volumes are Open access e-books, and can be downloaded freely by anyone.

I am acting as the Managing Editor of the SLIM series, with work ranging from editorial advice to the typesetting and formatting of final manuscripts.

The SLIM series Published volumes

Åshild Næss



pdf A short dictionary of Äiwoo. Studies in the Languages of Island Melanesia. Canberra: Asia–Pacific Linguistics, 35. 214 pp. ISBN: 9781922185372 [permalink].

This is a short dictionary of the Äiwoo or Reefs language, which belongs to the Reefs-Santa Cruz group spoken in Solomon Islands' Temotu Province. It includes around 3,500 words in the Äiwoo language with English translations and examples of use, as well as an English-Äiwoo reversal list which makes it possible to find Äiwoo words based on their English translation.
The dictionary is intended to be useful both for speakers of Äiwoo and for researchers interested in the language. The Reefs-Santa Cruz languages are of interest to research on Oceanic languages because their ancestral language appears to have been spoken by one of the first groups of people to leave the Proto-Oceanic homeland more than 3,000 years ago. Knowing more about these languages will help us understand more about how the Pacific region was settled and of how languages of Temotu Province are related to the rest of the Oceanic language family. The dictionary is also intended as a tool for the people of the Reef Islands to help support and develop the continued use of their language.

Alexandre François, Sébastien Lacrampe, Michael Franjieh; Stefan Schnell (eds)



The languages of Vanuatu: Unity and diversity. Studies in the Languages of Island Melanesia, 5. Canberra: Asia-Pacific Linguistics. 270 pp. ISBN: 9781922185235 [permalink].

With an estimated 138 different indigenous languages, Vanuatu is the country with the highest linguistic density in the world. While they all belong to the Oceanic family, these languages have evolved in three millennia, from what was once a unified dialect network, to the mosaic of different languages that we know today. In this respect, Vanuatu constitutes a valuable laboratory for exploring the ways in which linguistic diversity can emerge out of former unity. This volume represents the first collective book dedicated solely to the languages of this archipelago, and to the various forms taken by their diversity. Its ten chapters cover a wide range of topics, including verbal aspect, valency, possessive structures, numerals, space systems, oral history and narratives. The languages of Vanuatu: Unity and Diversity provides new insights onto the many facets of Vanuatu's rich linguistic landscape.

1. Alexandre François, Michael Franjieh, Sébastien Lacrampe, Stefan SchnellThe exceptional linguistic density of Vanuatu
2. Elizabeth PearceCompleting and terminating: On aspect marking in Unua
3. Peter BuddMove the ka: Valency and Instrumental shift in Bierebo
4. Benjamin TouatiThe initial vowel copy in the Sakao dialect of Wanohe (Espiritu Santo)
5. Michael FranjiehThe construct suffix in North Ambrym
6. Murray GardeNumerals in Sa
7. Alexandre FrançoisThe ins and outs of up and down: Disentangling the nine geocentric space systems of Torres and Banks languages
8. Cynthia Schneider & Andrew GrayIs it worth documenting "just a dialect"? Making the case for Suru Kavian (Pentecost Island)
9. Dorothy JaunceyNot just stories: The rules and roles of oral narratives in Tamambo
10. Nick ThiebergerWalking to Erro: Stories of travel, origins, or affection

Karin E. Fast



pdf Spatial language in Tungag. Studies in the Languages of Island Melanesia, 4. Canberra: Asia-Pacific Linguistics. 250 pp. ISBN:9781922185211 [permalink].

This book examines the different linguistic means used to describe or refer to motion and location in space in Tungag, an Austronesian language spoken in Papua New Guinea. The description, based on a spoken and written corpus of about 100,000 words, includes a grammatical sketch of Tungag, in addition to a detailed description of the linguistic means available for talking about motion. Each of these strategies is defined and discussed in depth, using examples from the corpus. Spatial language in Tungag is also approached from the perspective of how these linguistic means are mapped onto motion events, and situated in their typological context. Tungag does not fit well into the typology which contrasts "satellite-framed" languages (encoding manner in the main verb and path in a satellite to the verb) and "verb-framed" languages (encoding path in the main verb and manner in a satellite or subordinate phrase). Instead, in Tungag the combination possibilities for different elements of a motion event are relatively free.

Jesse Lovegren, Alice Mitchell & Natsuko Nakagawa



pdf The Wala language of Malaita, Solomon Islands. Studies in the Languages of Island Melanesia, 3. Canberra: Asia-Pacific Linguistics. 243 pp. ISBN: ​9781922185143.

Wala (known as Langalanga in some sources) is an underdocumented Oceanic language spoken in west central Malaita, Solomon Islands, by approximately 7,000 speakers. The present book is a sketch grammar based on a 2007 New Testament translation published by Wycliffe Bible Translators. This work illustrates the extent to which basic grammatical patterns of a language can be inferred through the use of a computerized bilingual corpus, with access neither to native speaker consultants nor to the locale the language is used. Such an approach can be deployed either in preparation for fieldwork, or to generate documentation in cases where fieldwork is not feasible.

Matthew S. Dryer


pdf A grammatical description of Kara-Lemakot. Studies in the Languages of Island Melanesia, 2. Canberra: Asia-Pacific Linguistics. 273 pp. ISBN: 9781922185099.

This is a grammatical description of the Lemakot dialect of Kara, an Oceanic language in the Lavongai-Nalik subgroup. It is spoken in the northwest part of New Ireland in Papua New Guinea, to the southeast of Tigak and to the northwest of Nalik. This description is based on the translation of the New Testament into Kara.

Stebbins, Tonya N.
& Julius Tayul


pdf Mali (Baining) dictionary: Mali-Baining Amēthamon Angētha Thēvaik. Studies in the Languages of Island Melanesia, 1. Canberra: Asia-Pacific Linguistics. 455 pp. ISBN: 9781922185006 [permalink].