Biak
Biak-Numfor
wós Vyak, wós kovedi
Native toIndonesia
RegionBiak Islands
Native speakers
70,000 (2007)
Latin
Language codes
ISO 639-3bhw
Glottologbiak1248
ELPBiak
Approximate location where Biak is spoken
Approximate location where Biak is spoken
Biak
location of Biak island
Approximate location where Biak is spoken
Approximate location where Biak is spoken
Biak
Biak (Indonesia)
Approximate location where Biak is spoken
Approximate location where Biak is spoken
Biak
Biak (Southeast Asia)
Coordinates: 0°57′S 135°53′E / 0.95°S 135.88°E / -0.95; 135.88

Biak (wós Vyak or "Biak language"; wós kovedi or "our language"; Indonesian: bahasa Biak), also known as Biak-Numfor, Noefoor, Mafoor, Mefoor, Nufoor, Mafoorsch, Myfoorsch and Noefoorsch, is an Austronesian language of the South Halmahera-West New Guinea subgroup of the Eastern Malayo-Polynesian languages.

According to Ethnologue, it is spoken by about 70,000 people in Biak and Numfor and numerous small islands in the Schouten Islands, located in Papua province of Western New Guinea, northeastern Indonesia.

Dialects

There are a number of different dialects of Biak spoken on various different islands, the most well-known being Biak-Numfoor, spoken on the island of Numfoor. These dialect differences are minor and mostly limited to slight regular sound changes.[1] The vast majority of Biak speakers are also fluent in the local variety of Malay, but not all of them are proficient in standard Indonesian.

Geographical distributions of Biak dialects within Raja Ampat Regency (Ronsumbre 2020):[2]

Betew dialect
Kafdaron dialect
Karon dialect
Usba dialect
Wardo dialect

Sociolinguistic situation

Despite the comparatively high number of speakers compared to some other Austronesian languages, Biak is still in danger of extinction. Within the main towns, the generation of speakers aged between 20 and 50 have only passive knowledge of the language and rarely use the language actively, instead preferring to use Malay. Younger generations do not even generally have passive knowledge of the language. Biak is only actively used as a spoken language by members of the community over 50 years of age or so and even they regularly code switch into Malay.[3] However, within the villages further from town there are still children who are fluent in Biak. Songs in Biak are also very popular throughout the Islands.

There is a strong initiative to promote the use of the Biak language, with translations of various books and teaching manuals as well as a radio station and a number of church services throughout the year being conducted solely in Biak. Since 2002, there has also been an initiative to introduce Biak being taught formerly in schools on the islands.[4]

Phonology

Biak has a phoneme inventory consisting of 13 consonants and 5 vowels, in which vowel length is phonemic. In the orthography long vowels are written with an acute accent. The phoneme /t/ is very infrequent in its use and some older speakers still realise it as [s] in loanwords.[5]

Consonants[6]
Bilabial Labiodental Alveolar Palatal Velar
Nasal m n
Plosive b  p d  t k
Fricative β f s
Lateral l
Trill r
Semivowel w j
Vowels[7]
Front Central Back
Close i   u  
Mid e   ɤ  ɤː
Open a  

The vowel /u/ is the only rounded vowel in Biak; the other four are unrounded.[8]

Morphology

Pronouns and person markers

In Biak pronouns and articles are morphologically related, with both situating a given participant by indicating their relative discourse or spatial (e.g. directional or motional) status. This is not uncommon for Austronesian Languages.[9] Pronouns in Biak are marked for number and clusivity.

Free Pronouns[10]
Singular Dual Paucal Plural
1st person exclusive aya nu inko
inclusive ku ko
2nd person aw mu mko
3rd person i su sko si (alienable)
na (inalienable)

Free personal pronouns in Biak share their main distributional properties with nouns; however, they are somewhat more restricted. They can be used as a complement of a predicate or preposition but they cannot be used as subjects.[10] In the example below we can see the use of the 1st person personal pronoun aya to complement a verb while the second example shows how a free personal pronoun, in this clause 3rd person i cannot be used as a subject:

(1)

Badir

2SG.announce

i

3SG

ve

to

aya

1SG

Badir i ve aya

2SG.announce 3SG to 1SG

"Make it known to me."

(2)

* i

3SG

d-ores

3SG-stand

{* i} d-ores

3SG 3SG-stand

"He stood."

Pronominal affixes

In Biak, pronominal affixes can combine with verbs in three possible inflection patterns (given in the table below), which are partly phonologically conditioned.[11]

Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
1SG ya- y- ya-
2SG wa- w- ⟨w⟩
3SG i- d- ⟨y⟩
1DU.I ku- ku- ku-
1DU.E nu- nu- nu-
2DU mu- mu- mu-
3DU su- su- su-
3PC sko- sk- sko-
1PL.I ko- k- ko-
1PL.E (i)nko- (i)nk- (i)nko-
2PL mko- mk- mko-
3PL.AN si- s- s-
3PL.INAN na- n- n-


Due to the person marking nature of these affixes, the need for the presence of a core noun phrase in the same clause is negated. Thus the following sentence is still grammatical without NP Rusa nanine, as the verb has a pronominal affix that gives the same information.

(3)

(Rusa

deer

nan-i-ne)

GIV-3SG.SPC-this

d-ores

3SG-stand

(Rusa nan-i-ne) d-ores

deer GIV-3SG.SPC-this 3SG-stand

"This deer stood."

These pronominal markers are person markers and are found in the final position of the noun phrase they determine.[12] They attach to verbs along with a specifier that attaches after the pronominal affix; due to their distribution properties these markers should be considered clitics.[12] There are two specificity markers, -ya and –i, where –ya can be used in all positions and -i is restricted to positions before pauses.[12] In the example below the article attaches to the verb vebaya, rather than the verb ifrúr because it is the final verb in the noun phrase headed by for.[12]

(4)

i-frúr

3SG-make

for

fire

ve-ba=ya

REL.big=3SG.SPC

i-frúr for ve-ba=ya

3SG-make fire REL.big=3SG.SPC

"He made a big fire."

Nonspecificity, which refers to entities that do not yet exist in this world, or is used to question or deny the existence of an entity, is marked with the articles –o for singular and –no for plural noun phrases.[13] This is shown in the examples below:

Non-specific
(5)

I-fúr

3SG-make

yuk=o

ukulele=NSPC.SG

fa

CONS

y-ún

1SG-take

i

3SG

ve

to

Waranda.

The.Netherlands

I-fúr yuk=o fa y-ún i ve Waranda.

3SG-make ukulele=NSPC.SG CONS 1SG-take 3SG to The.Netherlands

"He is making/will make a ukulele so that I can take it to the Netherlands" Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

Specific
(6)

I-fúr

3SG-make

yuk=ya

ukulele=3SG.SPC

fa

CONS

y-ún

1SG-take

i

3SG

ve

to

Waranda.

The.Netherlands

I-fúr yuk=ya fa y-ún i ve Waranda.

3SG-make ukulele=3SG.SPC CONS 1SG-take 3SG to The.Netherlands

"He has made a ukulele so that I can take it to the Netherlands" Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

Demonstratives

Biak has identical forms in adnominal and pronominal demonstratives, which is common in Austronesian languages. In Biak, demonstratives can be used as part of complex articles containing demonstrative roots and also motion markers and directionals. Complex articles, however, do not have both a directional and a motion marker.

3SG complex articles[14]
giv person-

SPC

dir motion

marker

dm meaning
bare demonstrative

article

close S:ne i (ma/fa/ra) ne 'this'
close A:ya~yi i (ma/fa/ra) ya

~yi

'that'
not S/A:wa~wu i (ma/fa/ra) wa

~wu

'that over there'
demonstrative article,

given

close S:ne an i (ma/fa/ra) ne 'this'
close A:ya~yi an i (ma/fa/ra) ya 'that'
not S/A:wa~wu an i (ma/fa/ra) wa 'that over there'
(given) demonstrative-

directional article

close S:ne (an) i pur ? ne 'this at the back'
close A:ya~yi (an) i pur ? ya 'that at the back'
not S/A:wa~wu (an) i pur ? wa 'that at the back over there'

The table above restricts person-SPC to 3SG marker for an explanation, but i- 3SG marker can be replaced sui-(DU), skoi- (TR), and si- (PL.AN) or na- (PL.INAN). Also, it is important to note that the corpus contains no example of complex articles containing both a directional and a motion marker.[14] Furthermore, yi and wu are used as allomorphs of ya and wa, respectively, but attested in article-final position only.[14]

In Biak, the relationship between the third person pronouns and demonstratives are unrelated to demonstratives, which is uncommon in Austronesian languages. However, Biak follows the worldwide trend in terms of the relationship.

Moreover, depending on the speaker's relative distance, Biak has three-way distance contrasts of adnominal demonstratives, which is common in Austronesian languages. The comparison is restricted to only adnominal use because some languages do not express the same distance contrasts in adnominal and pronominal demonstratives.

If a complex article contains a demonstrative, the demonstrative is preceded by person-SPC, as illustrated by i-ne '3SG.SPC-this' and i-wa '3SG.SPC-over.there,' respectively. Also, in the below examples, situational use of demonstratives is shown.

(7)

Rwa

r<w>a

<2SG>go

ma

ma

to.here

wákors

w-ák-ors

2SG-also-stand

ra

ra

along

var

var

side

ine.

i-ne

3SG.SPC-this

Rwa ma wákors ra var ine.

r<w>a ma w-ák-ors ra var i-ne

<2SG>go to.here 2SG-also-stand along side 3SG.SPC-this

'Come here and stand at this side too.'[14]

(8)

Mov

mov

place

iwa

i-wa

3SG.SPC-over.there

snori

sno-ri

name-POS.G

Mnubei

Mnubei

Mnubei

(...)

(...)

 

Mov iwa snori Mnubei (...)

mov i-wa sno-ri Mnubei (...)

place 3SG.SPC-over.there name-POS.G Mnubei {}

'The place over there its name is Mnubei (...)'[15] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

The paradigm for complex articles sets the basis for deictic nouns, predicative pronouns, and locative-existentials.

Deictic nouns

Deictic nouns are formed by applying the formative di 'place' at the position preceding demonstratives, as illustrated by di-pur-wu 'place-back-over.there' and di-ne 'place-here.'

(9)

Skovark

sko-vark

3PC-lie

ro

ro

LOC

dipurwu.

di-pur-wu

place-back-over.there

Skovark ro dipurwu.

sko-vark ro di-pur-wu

3PC-lie LOC place-back-over.there

'They live over there.'[14] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

(10)

Mankroder

mankroder

frog

ine

i-ne

3SG.SPC-this

dúnuk

d-ún-uk

3SG-take-in.two

ro

ro

LOC

dine.

di-ne

place-here

Mankroder ine dúnuk ro dine.

mankroder i-ne d-ún-uk ro di-ne

frog 3SG.SPC-this 3SG-take-in.two LOC place-here

'This frog has passed through here.'[15]

The situational use of demonstratives is seen in (9). On the other hand, (10) shows -ne 'this' as the situational use of demonstratives and -ne 'here' as the anaphoric use of demonstratives.

Predicative pronouns

Predicative pronouns are formed by using the inflected predicative is 'PRED' at the position otherwise occupied by the marker of givenness an.[14] This is illustrated by is-i-ne '3SG.PRED-SPC-this' in both (11) and (12).

(11)

Isine

is-i-ne

3SG.PRED-SPC-this

indya

indya

so

mámel.

mám

2SG.see

Isine indya mámel.

is-i-ne indya mám

3SG.PRED-SPC-this so 2SG.see

'Here it (the sago porridge) is, so look!'[14]

(12)

Betaweya

betawe=ya

cassava=3SG.SPC

isine.

is-i-ne

3SG.PRED-SPC-here

Betaweya isine.

betawe=ya is-i-ne

cassava=3SG.SPC 3SG.PRED-SPC-here

'This here is a cassava.'[15]

In (11), it depends on the context whether situational or anaphoric use of the demonstrative is. Situational use of the demonstrative is given in (12).

Locative-existentials

Locative-existentials is different from predicative pronouns because they do not possess a specificity marker, which is illustrated by i-is-wa '3SG.PRED-over.there'.

(13)

Karuiya

karui=ya

stone=3SG.SPC

i-is-wa

is-wa

3FG.PRED-over.there

kaker.

kaker

still

Karuiya i-is-wa kaker.

karui=ya is-wa kaker

stone=3SG.SPC 3FG.PRED-over.there still

'The stone is still there.'[16] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

In (13), the use of the demonstrative depends on the context.

Semantics

Demonstratives

Use of demonstratives, where Viewpoint (V)= speaker(S), R= Relatum, A=addressee[16]
form gloss used to refer to entities conceived as: Levinson's terminology
ne this close to S, but not closer to A than to S close to V (usually S) =R
ya~yi that relatively close to S (and A), but not

closer to S than to A

Relatively close to V (usually S) =R1, not

closer to V than to R2 (usually A).

wa~wu that over there away from shared area of both S and A Away from R1 (usually S) and R2 (usually A)

For the semantic characterization of demonstratives, a part of Levinson's terminology should be known to grasp the difference between the Figure and the Ground or the Relatum. The Figure refers to an entity positioned somewhere in Space, while the Ground or the Relatum designate the entity in terms of where the entity is.  

As additional information, there are three essential points about Levinson's terminology. First, the 'frame of reference' can be classified as an intrinsic frame of reference, a relative frame of reference, and an absolute frame of reference. Second, it is crucial to grasp the origo of the coordinate system. The deictic centre called origo is approximately equal to the speaker's position. Third, it is vital to comprehend deixis. For spatial deixis, the interpretation of spatial linguistics elements is defined by the location of extra-linguistic entities.

Regarding the demonstratives usage, it may be followed by pointing, such as lip-pointing, head pointing, or finger pointing.

Syntax

Demonstratives

From a perspective of syntax, Deictic nouns typically set the complement of a preposition. This is clear from the form di-ne 'place-here,' di-wa 'place-over.there' in (14) and (15), respectively. However, the demonstrative locational nouns are used on their own, without a preceding preposition.[17] This is illustrated by di-ne 'place-here' in (16).

(14)

Ivyovr

i-vyovr

3SG-sweep

ve

ve

to

dine

di-ne

place-here

myáse.

m-yás

to.here-up

Ivyovr ve dine myáse.

i-vyovr ve di-ne m-yás

3SG-sweep to place-here to.here-up

'It (the big wave) swept towards this place here upwards.'[17]

(15)

Ikun

i-kun

3SG-burn

si

si

3PL.ANIM

ro

ro

LOC

diwa.

di-wa

place-over.there

Ikun si ro diwa.

i-kun si ro di-wa

3SG-burn 3PL.ANIM LOC place-over.there

'He burnt them (his skin) over there.'[17]

(16)

Dine,

di-ne

place-here

randakya

randak=ya

beginning=3SG.SPC

karui

karui

stone

veba.

ve-ba

REL-big

Dine, randakya karui veba.

di-ne randak=ya karui ve-ba

place-here beginning=3SG.SPC stone REL-big

'Here, in the beginning there were big stones.'[17]

In (14), (15), and (16), these contain the situational use of demonstratives.

Possession

Similar to other Austronesian languages, Biak makes a grammatical distinction between alienable and inalienable for possession.

Alienable possession

In alienable possession, a possessive pronominal is formed with the possessive marker ‘ve’ to signify the person, number and gender of the possessor, and is followed by a pronominal article marking the gender and number of the possessed. The pronominal article contains the specificity markers ‘-i’ and ‘-ya’, with ‘-i’ being used only in pre-pausal positions.[18] The following table illustrates the possessive pronominal construction.

Possessed->
Possessor:
SG DU TR PL.AN PL.INAN
1SG (a)ye=d-i/=d-ya (a)ye=su-ya/-i (a)ye=sko-ya/-i (a)ye=s-ya/-i (a)ye=na
2SG be=d-i/=d-ya be-=su-ya/-i be=sko-ya/-i be=s-ya/-i be=na
3SG v<y>e=d-i/=d-ya v<y>e=su-ya/-i v<y>e =sko-ya/-i v<y>e =s-ya/-i v<y>e =na
1DU.INCL Ku-ve=d-i/=d-ya ku-ve=su-ya/-i ku-ve=sko-ya/-i ku-ve=s-ya/-i ku-ve=na
1DU.EXC nu-ve=d-i/=d-ya nu-ve=su-ya/-i nu-ve=sko-ya/-i nu-ve=s-ya/-i nu-ve=na
2DU mu-ve=d-i/=d-ya mu-ve=su-ya/-i mu-ve=sko-ya/-i mu-ve=s-ya/-i mu-ve=na
3DU su-ve=d-i/=d-ya su-ve=su-ya/-i su-ve=sko-ya/-i su-ve=s-ya/-i su-ve=na
3PC sko-ve=d-i/=d-ya sko-ve=su-ya/-i sko-ve=sko-ya/-i sko-ve=s-ya/-i sko-ve=na
1PL.INCL ko-ve=d-i/=d-ya ko-ve=su-ya/-i ko-ve=sko-ya/-i ko-ve=s-ya/-i i ko-ve=na
1PL.EXC (i)nko-ve=d-i/=d-ya (i)nko-ve=su-ya/-i (i)nko-ve=sko-ya/-i (i)nko-ve=s-ya/-i (i)nko-ve=na
2PL mko-ve=d-i/=d-ya mko-ve=su-ya/-i mko-ve=sko-ya/-i mko-ve=s-ya/-i mko-ve=na
3PL.AN se=d-i/=d-ya se=su-ya/-i se=sko-ya/-i se=s-ya/-i se=na
3PL.INAN nbe=d-i/d-ya nbe=su-ya/-i nbe=sko-ya/-i nbe=s-ya/-i nbe=na[19]

Typically, Biak follows a possessor-possessum structure for alienable possessive construction, with the possessive pronominal in the adnominal position:

(17)

ikak

snake

an-i-ne

GIV-3SG.SPC-this

snonsnon

name

v<y>e=d-ya

<3SG>POSS=3SG-SPC

Kormsamba

Kormsamba

ikak an-i-ne snonsnon v<y>e=d-ya Kormsamba

snake GIV-3SG.SPC-this name <3SG>POSS=3SG-SPC Kormsamba

The Snake’s name was Kormsamba[20]

However, alienable possession can also be formed in the order of possessum-possessor, though this is much less frequent:

(18)

romawa

son

inai

daughter

manseren

Lord

v<y>e=s-ya

3SG>POSS=3PL.AN-SPC

romawa inai manseren v<y>e=s-ya

son daughter Lord 3SG>POSS=3PL.AN-SPC

The Lord's sons and daughters’[21]

Inalienable possession

Inalienable possessive construction differs from alienable in that there is no system of pronominal possessives, only a set of affixes located on the possessum. In contrast to alienable possession, inalienable possession can only take the order of possessor-possessum. Biak contains three subsets of inalienability: body parts, Kinship, and locational.[21]

Body parts

Not all body parts are considered inalienable. Those that are form the stem words from which to derive other body parts through the method of compounding. For example, the alienable ‘knee’ is formed through the inalienable stem ‘we’ (leg) and the compounding ‘pur’ (back) to form ‘wepur’. Possessive construction for alienable body parts follows the same pattern as other alienable terms.[22] The inflectional system for inalienable body parts is as follows:

Vru ‘head’
SG DU TR PL
1SG Vru-ri - - -
2SG Vru-m-ri - - -
3SG Vru-ri - - -
1DU.INCL - ku-vru-s-na
1DU.EXC - nu-vru-s-na
2DU - mu-vru-m-s-na
3DU - su-vru-s-na
3TR - sko-vru-s-na
1PL.INCL - ko-vru-s-na
1PL.EXC - nko-vru-s-na
2PL - mko-vru-m-s-na
3PL.AN - si-vru-s-na[23]</ref>

Unusual for Austronesian languages of the area, Biak contains a partial prefix system for inflecting inalienable body parts. For the plural forms, suffix ‘-s’ reflects plurality and animateness of possessor and suffix ‘na’ expresses plurality and inaninameteness of the possessum.[24] As stated above, inalienable possession is formed via a possessor-possessum structure:

(19)

sne-ri

belly-POSS.SG

i-ba

3SG-big

sne-ri i-ba

belly-POSS.SG 3SG-big

She was pregnant (her belly was big)[25]

Kinship terms

Similarly to body parts, not all kinship terms are inalienable. The alienable kinship terms are formed through the same compounding method as alienable body parts, and follow the same possessive construction rules as other alienable terms.[26] This table illustrates the inflectional system for inalienable kinship words:

Me ‘cross-uncle’
SG DU TR PL
1SG imem(=i) imem(=su) imem(=sko) -
2SG me-m(=i) me-m(=su) me-m(=sko) -
3SG me-r(=i) me-r(=su) me-r(=sko) -
1DU - - - -
2DU - - - -
3DU - - - -
3TR - - - -
1PL - - - -
2PL - - - -
3PL - - - -

All nouns that follow the table's procedure have an idiosyncratic form for the first person, using a shorter term for the second and third person. (REF pg. 244) Here is an example of the usage of inalienable kinship inflection:

(20)

s<y>éwar

<3SG>seek

kma-r=i

father-POSS.3SG=3SG

s<y>éwar kma-r=i

<3SG>seek father-POSS.3SG=3SG

He looked for his father[27]

Locational nouns

Locational nouns are the last distinction of inalienability found in Biak. Locational nouns refer to locations that are ‘inherently connected to an entity’.[28] For example, a tree in biak is referred to as having an ‘upper part’ and a ‘lower part’, and a canoe a ‘front’, a ‘middle’ and a ‘back’.[28] The following table exhibits the inflectional system for inalienable locational nouns:

bo ‘upper part/ area above’
SG DU TR PL.ANIM Pl.INAN
1 - - - - -
2 bo-m-ri - - - -
3 bo-ri bo-n-su bo-n-sko bo-n-si bo-n-na[29]

The suffix ‘-n’ expresses the plurality and inanimateness of the possessum (REF pg. 250). The locational noun possessive structure is illustrated in this example:

(21)

bal

ball

i-ne

3SG.SPC-this

v<y>ark

<3SG>lie

ro

LOC

karui=su-ya

stone=3DU-SPC

bonsu

upside-NSG.INAN-3DU

bal i-ne v<y>ark ro karui=su-ya bonsu

ball 3SG.SPC-this <3SG>lie LOC stone=3DU-SPC upside-NSG.INAN-3DU

This ball lies on top of two stones[28]

Negation

Biak distinguishes between factual and imperative negation (prohibitive). The marker for factual negation is va. For prohibitive it is awer.

Factual negation: va

The negator va occurs clause-finally in intransitive and transitive clauses.[30]

Intransitive
(22)

Isyor

i-syor

3SG-low.tide

va.

va

NEG

Isyor va.

i-syor va

3SG-low.tide NEG

'It's not low tide'[31]

Transitive
(23)

Dan

d-an

3SG-eat

(i)mbyefya

(i)mbyef=ya

banana=3SG.SPC

va.

va

NEG

Dan (i)mbyefya va.

d-an (i)mbyef=ya va

3SG-eat banana=3SG.SPC NEG

‘S/he does not eat the banana.’[32]

(24)

Yafár

ya-fár

1SG-tell

kám

kam

all

i

i

3SG

va.

va

NEG

Yafár kám i va.

ya-fár kam i va

1SG-tell all 3SG NEG

'I have not told all of it.'[33]

(25)

Roma

romawa

son

vyanine

v<y>=an-i-ne

<3SG>POS=GIV-3SG.SPC-this

dóve

d-óve

3SG-say

bapak

bapak

father

isne

is-ne

3SG.PRED-this

va,

va

NEG

yakramu

ya-kram=u

1SG-store=U

seno

sen=o

cent=NSPC.SG

va.

va

NEG

Roma vyanine dóve bapak isne va, yakramu seno va.

romawa v<y>=an-i-ne d-óve bapak is-ne va ya-kram=u sen=o va

son <3SG>POS=GIV-3SG.SPC-this 3SG-say father 3SG.PRED-this NEG 1SG-store=U cent=NSPC.SG NEG

'His son said "father isn't here, I do not have a penny." '[34] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

In clauses with non-core arguments, va follows directly the argument it negates.

(26)

Denf

d-enf

3SG-sleep

ro

ro

LOC

dine

di-ne

place-this

va.

va

NEG

Denf ro dine va.

d-enf ro di-ne va

3SG-sleep LOC place-this NEG

‘He does not sleep here’ (but somewhere else).

(27)

Denf

d-enf

3SG-sleep

va

va

NEG

ro

ro

LOC

dine.

di-ne

place-this

Denf va ro dine.

d-enf va ro di-ne

3SG-sleep NEG LOC place-this

‘He does not sleep here’ (but does something else here).[32]

Va is also used to negate nominal clauses.

(28)

Guruno

guru=no

teacher=NSPC.NSG

va.

va

NEG

Guruno va.

guru=no va

teacher=NSPC.NSG NEG

'There are no teachers.'[35]

Factual negation in complex clauses

In complex clauses with fa, a conjunction expressing result, it seems that the negator va always occurs last in the sentence. In the corpus of spontaneous speech collected by van den Heuvel, there are no examples with va appearing at the end of the first clause.[36]

(29)

Mansren

Manseren

Lord

Yesus

Yesus

Jesus

ipok

i-pok

3SG-able

fa

fa

CONS

vyefarander

v<y>e-farander

<3SG>VBZ-forget

ko

ko

1PL.INCL

va.

va

NEG

Mansren Yesus ipok fa vyefarander ko va.

Manseren Yesus i-pok fa v<y>e-farander ko va

Lord Jesus 3SG-able CONS <3SG>VBZ-forget 1PL.INCL NEG

'The Lord Jesus cannot forget us.'[37] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

In other complex clauses the negator may follow the first or final clause.

(30)

Dár

d-ár

3SG-cry

ve

ve

as

randip

randip

pig

va

va

NEG

voi,

voi

but

dár

d-ár

3SG-cry

ve

ve

as

snonkaku.

snonkaku

human.being

Dár ve randip va voi, dár ve snonkaku.

d-ár ve randip va voi d-ár ve snonkaku

3SG-cry as pig NEG but 3SG-cry as human.being

'It did not cry as a pig but as a human being.'[38]

(31)

Sansun

sansun

clothes

vyena

v<y>e=na

<3SG>POS=3PL.INAN.SPC

naisya

na-is-ya

3PL.INAN-PRED-that

voi,

voi

but

dáknayu

d-ák-na-yu

3SG-also-have-YU

sarako

sarak=o

bracelet=NSPC.SG

va.

va

NEG

Sansun vyena naisya voi, dáknayu sarako va.

sansun v<y>e=na na-is-ya voi d-ák-na-yu sarak=o va

clothes <3SG>POS=3PL.INAN.SPC 3PL.INAN-PRED-that but 3SG-also-have-YU bracelet=NSPC.SG NEG

'His clothes were there, but he did not (also) have a bracelet.'[39] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

(32)

Vyeurus

v<y>e-urus

<3SG>VBZ-arrange

pyum

pyum

good

bakn

bakn

body

vyedine

v<y>e=d-i-ne

<3SG>VBZ=3SG-SPC-this

va

va

NEG

rao

rao

until

isofro

isofro

3SG-scabies

dármaker.

d-ármakr

 

Vyeurus pyum bakn vyedine va rao isofro dármaker.

v<y>e-urus pyum bakn v<y>e=d-i-ne va rao isofro d-ármakr

<3SG>VBZ-arrange good body <3SG>VBZ=3SG-SPC-this NEG until 3SG-scabies

'He did not take care of his body very well, until he got scabies.'[40] Mismatch in the number of words between lines: 8 word(s) in line 1, 8 word(s) in line 2, 7 word(s) in line 3 (help);

with bukan

Bukan is a loan from Malay/Indonesian. In Indonesian, the use of bukan, outside its function of negating noun phrases, expresses emphasis.[41] The use of bukan, in Biak also appears to express emphasis – in the examples given by van den Heuvel, it use occurs when a contrast is given. Bukan is used in combination with va. Bukan precedes the first verb and va is in its usual place at the end of the clause.[42]

(33)

Indya

indya

so

bukan

bukan

NEG

kokain

ko-kain

1PL.INCL-sit

kofafyár

ko-fafyár

1PL.INCL-tell

biasa

biasa

usual

va.

va

NEG

Indya bukan kokain kofafyár biasa va.

indya bukan ko-kain ko-fafyár biasa va

so NEG 1PL.INCL-sit 1PL.INCL-tell usual NEG

'So we are not (just) sitting and telling here (but have a serious meeting)'[42]

(34)

Pendeta

pendeta

minister

dóve

d-óve

3SG-say

"a,

a

a

bukan

bukan

NEG

yakofn

ya-kofn

1SG-speak

ve

ve

to

ko

ko

1PL.INCL

vape

vape

but

yakofn

ya-kofn

1SG-speak

ve

ve

to

warga

warga

member

jemaatsi.

jemaat=s-i

church=3PL.ANIM-SPC

Pendeta dóve "a, bukan yakofn ve ko vape yakofn ve warga jemaatsi.

pendeta d-óve a bukan ya-kofn ve ko vape ya-kofn ve warga jemaat=s-i

minister 3SG-say a NEG 1SG-speak to 1PL.INCL but 1SG-speak to member church=3PL.ANIM-SPC

The minister said "Ah, I did not say that to us, but to the members of the church!"[43]

Imperative negation: awer

The prohibitive marker awer is used to negate arguments in 1st, 2nd and 3rd person.[44]

1st person
(36)

Voi

voi

but

komyof

ko-myof

1PL.INCL-defend

setengah

setengah

half

awer

awer

PROH

i

i

3SG

voi

voi

but

komyof

ko-myof

1PL.INCL-

kaku

kaku

defend

i

i

true

kám

kám

3SG

fa…

fa

all

 

 

CONS

Voi komyof setengah awer i voi komyof kaku i kám fa…

voi ko-myof setengah awer i voi ko-myof kaku i kám fa

but 1PL.INCL-defend half PROH 3SG but 1PL.INCL- defend true 3SG all CONS

'And let us not defend half of it, but let 's really defend all of it, so that …'[45] Mismatch in the number of words between lines: 11 word(s) in line 1, 11 word(s) in line 2, 12 word(s) in line 3 (help); Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

2nd person
(37)

Wenf

w-enf

2SG-sleep

awer!

awer

NEG

Wenf awer!

w-enf awer

2SG-sleep NEG

‘Do not sleep!’[32]

3rd person
(38)

Ipok

i-pok

3SG-can

vyunk

v<y>unk

<3SG>wipe.off

awer

awer

not

mnor

mnor

mucus

vyena.

v<y>e=na

<3SG>POS=3PL.INAN.SPC

Ipok vyunk awer mnor vyena.

i-pok v<y>unk awer mnor v<y>e=na

3SG-can <3SG>wipe.off not mucus <3SG>POS=3PL.INAN.SPC

'He is not allowed to wipe off his mucus.'[46]

Other Negators

To express ‘not yet’, Biak uses the marker vanim/vaim. For ‘not any more’ wer va is used.[42]

(39)

Ono

ono

INDEF.PL

sibur

si-bur

3PL.ANIM-leave

ve

ve

to

movo

mov=o

place=NSPC.SG

movo

mov=o

place=NSPC.SG

vaím

vaím

not.yet

kám

kám

all

vo

vo

SIM

(…)

 

 

Ono sibur ve movo movo vaím kám vo (…)

ono si-bur ve mov=o mov=o vaím kám vo {}

INDEF.PL 3PL.ANIM-leave to place=NSPC.SG place=NSPC.SG not.yet all SIM {}

'There were not yet any people at all who had left to other places and (….)'[47]

(40)

Sikafkif

si-kaf~kif

3PL.AN-REDUP~pick

fa

fa

CONS

sséwar

s-séwar

3PL.AN-seek

sarak

sarak

bracelet

ini.

i-ne

3SG.SPC-this

Ma

ma

and

sisrow

si-srow

3PL.AN-find

i

i

3SG

vanim.

vanim

not.yet

Sikafkif fa sséwar sarak ini. Ma sisrow i vanim.

si-kaf~kif fa s-séwar sarak i-ne ma si-srow i vanim

3PL.AN-REDUP~pick CONS 3PL.AN-seek bracelet 3SG.SPC-this and 3PL.AN-find 3SG not.yet

'They (the chickens) pick to find this bracelet. And they have not found it yet.'[42] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

(41)

Bukuno

buku=no

book=NSPC.NSG

vaíme.

vaím-e

not.yet

Bukuno vaíme.

buku=no vaím-e

book=NSPC.NSG not.yet

'There are no books yet'.[35]

(42)

Isyor

I-syor

3SG-low.tide

wer

wer

again

va.

va

not

Isyor wer va.

I-syor wer va

3SG-low.tide again not

'It is not low tide any more.'[31]

Typological perspectives

In Austronesian Languages, the negator commonly precedes the predicate. So Biak, with clause final negation, is atypical in this feature. Clause final negation however, is a common feature in the region of the Eastern Bird's Head Peninsula, in both Austronesian and Papuan languages. It appears to be of Papuan origin.[48]

Numerals

Biak numerals[49]
Biak
1 eser/oser
2 suru
3 kyor
4 fyak
5 rim
6 wonem
7 fik
8 war
9 siw
10 samfur
11 samfur sesr oser
20 samfur di suru
100 utin
1000 syáran

Glossary

ANIM animate
GIV given
INAN inanimate
INCL inclusive
INDEF indefinite
LOC locative
NEG negator
NSG non-singular
NSP nonspecific
PL plural
POS possessive marker
PRED predicate
REL relativiser
SG singular
SIM simultaneous
SPC specific
U ‘filler’
VBZ verbaliser

SPC:specific NSPC:nonspecific NSG:non-singular GIV:given SIM:simultaneous

Footnotes

  1. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 7.
  2. ^ Ronsumbre, Adolof (2020). Ensiklopedia Suku Bangsa di Provinsi Papua Barat. Yogyakarta: Penerbit Kepel Press. ISBN 978-602-356-318-0.
  3. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 5.
  4. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 6.
  5. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 11.
  6. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 21.
  7. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 26.
  8. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 27.
  9. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, pp. 64–66.
  10. ^ a b van den Heuvel 2006, p. 67.
  11. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 66.
  12. ^ a b c d van den Heuvel 2006, p. 68.
  13. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 71.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g van den Heuvel 2006, p. 332.
  15. ^ a b c van den Heuvel 2006, p. 327.
  16. ^ a b van den Heuvel 2006, p. 333.
  17. ^ a b c d van den Heuvel 2006, p. 336.
  18. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 84.
  19. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 230.
  20. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 231.
  21. ^ a b van den Heuvel 2006, p. 232.
  22. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, pp. 232–234.
  23. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 238.
  24. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 239.
  25. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 235.
  26. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, pp. 243–245.
  27. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 243.
  28. ^ a b c van den Heuvel 2006, p. 251.
  29. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 250.
  30. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 129.
  31. ^ a b van den Heuvel 2006, p. 28.
  32. ^ a b c Steinhauer 2005.
  33. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 146.
  34. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 440.
  35. ^ a b van den Heuvel 2006, p. 211.
  36. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 130.
  37. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 289.
  38. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 221.
  39. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 400.
  40. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 409.
  41. ^ Sneddon 2010, p. 202.
  42. ^ a b c d van den Heuvel 2006, p. 131.
  43. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 442.
  44. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 132.
  45. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 147.
  46. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 98.
  47. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 255.
  48. ^ Reesink 2002, pp. 29–30.
  49. ^ van den Heuvel 2006, p. 140.

References