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Mary Walworth
University of Hawaii (Honolulu, HI 96822-2399)
Preliminary Documentation of Mangarevan

The purpose of this project is to perform initial linguistic research and analysis on the severely endangered language of Mangarevan, spoken in the Gambier Islands of French Polynesia.  Mangarevan appears to exhibit some unusual features (e.g., unique vocabulary and grammatical elements) for Eastern Polynesian languages.  Analyzing Mangarevan’s unique linguistic features with respect to other Eastern Polynesian languages is a necessary step in understanding the culture and migration history of the Mangarevan people and could lead to a more complete understanding of Eastern Polynesian relationships as a whole.  The primary aims of this field investigation are 1) to build a Mangarevan corpus of culturally relevant texts; 2) to produce a sketch grammar; and 3) to provide the groundwork for a detailed classification of the Mangarevan language. This project will be carried out in two parts: field research and analysis.  Field research will be carried out on the islands of Taravai and Mangareva.  Preliminary analyses will be conducted while in Mangareva in order to keep abreast of emerging issues in the data, followed by more in-depth analysis and writing at the Universite de la Polynesie Francaise in Tahiti.  (Edited by staff)

Project fields:

Documenting Endangered Languages - Fellowships

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2015 – 7/31/2016