East Ambae
Native toVanuatu
RegionAmbae
Native speakers
5,000 (2001)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3omb
Glottologeast2443
Daisy speaking East Ambae.

East Ambae (also known as Omba, Oba, Aoba, Walurigi, Lolovoli, Northeast Aoba, and Northeast Ambae) is an Oceanic language spoken on Ambae, Vanuatu. The data in this article will concern itself with the Lolovoli dialect of the North-East Ambae language.

Phonology

North-East Ambae distinguishes 5 vowels and 16 consonants, shown in the tables below.

Consonants[2]
Labial-
velar
Bilabial Alveolar Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Stop voiceless t k
prenasalized ᵑɡʷ ᵐb ⁿd ᵑɡ
Fricative β s h
Tap/Trill r
Approximant w l
Vowels
Front Central Back
High i u
Mid e o
Low a

Morphosyntax

Pronominals

In Ambae there are four different pronominal forms, one set of free forms, independent pronouns and three sets of bound forms, subject proclitics, object enclitics and possessive suffixes. All sets of pronominals distinguish between singular, dual and plural and between inclusive and exclusive in the first person. Independent pronouns are preceded by the personal article when the head of a noun phrase.

Independent pronouns

[3]
Singular Dual Plural
1st person exclusive neu gamaru gamai
inclusive gideru gide
2nd person niko gimiru gimiu
3rd person ngie garue ngire

Subject proclitics

The subject proclitic is the first part of a verb phrase and can attach to an aspect, mood, negative particle or verb head.[3] Dual forms cliticise to the marker ru. In Lolovoli, no= is applied when cliticised in 1st person exclusive singular.

Singular Dual Plural
1st person exclusive na=, no= ga=ru ga=
inclusive da=ru da=
2nd person go= ne=ru ne=
3rd person Ø, na=, vi= ra=ru ra=

Go=ni

2SG.S=IRR

inu

drink

rongo

feel

na

ACC

malogu

kava

Go=ni inu rongo na malogu

2SG.S=IRR drink feel ACC kava

"You will taste the Kava"

Da=hivo

1NSG.INS=go.down

da=si~siu

1NSG.INS=REDUP~fish

Da=hivo da=si~siu

1NSG.INS=go.down 1NSG.INS=REDUP~fish

"Let's go down and fish."

Object enclitics

Object enclitics occur when attached to the predicate head or last adverb in a verb phrase. These only occur in singular forms and all 3rd person forms.[4]

Singular Dual Plural
1st person exclusive =eu gamaru gamai
inclusive gideru gide
2nd person =go gimiru gimiu
3rd person =a =e =ra, =re =ra, =re

Ra=u

3NSG=TEL

hui

ask

i

PERS

gide

1NSG.IN

Ra=u hui i gide

3NSG=TEL ask PERS 1NSG.IN

"They asked us."

Go=mese

2SG.S=DEHOR

wehe

hit

i

PERS

netu-ku

child-1SG.POS

Go=mese wehe i netu-ku

2SG.S=DEHOR hit PERS child-1SG.POS

"Don't hit my children." Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

Possessive suffixes

Possessive suffixes are attached to the head noun in a direct possessive construction, or a relational classifier in an indirect possessive construction.[4]

Singular Dual Plural
1st person exclusive -ku -ma=ru -mai
inclusive -da=ru -da, -de
2nd person -mu -me=ru -miu
3rd person -na, -ne =ra, =re =ra, =re

Nago-mu

face-2SG.POS

u

TEL

memea

red

Nago-mu u memea

face-2SG.POS TEL red

"Your face is red."

no-ku

CL.GEN-1SG.POS

bue

knife

no-ku bue

CL.GEN-1SG.POS knife

"my knife"

Demonstratives

In East Ambae, demonstratives are a part of the subclass of nominals. They can function pronominally as an independent pronoun at the head of a noun phrase, or they can modify the head noun in a noun phrase.

There are two forms which distinguish a proximal location from a distal location. The form ngaha ‘this’ refers to a proximal location, while ngihie ‘that’ refers to a distal location. While generally considered a conservative Oceanic language, in this way, East Ambae differs from many Oceanic languages, and the reconstructed Proto-Oceanic in that it only has two forms to represent locations. Most Oceanic languages, for example, Futuna-Aniwa,[5] the Oceanic language also spoken on Vanuatu, have three forms, representing a near distance, a medium distance, and a far distance.[6] East Ambae also differs from Proto-Oceanic by not only using demonstratives at the end of the noun phrase.[6]

Ngihie also has a plural form, ngire, which is homophonous with the third person plural independent pronoun.

(1a[7])

Tangaloi

person

ngihie

that

u

TEL

haro.

not.know

Tangaloi ngihie u haro.

person that TEL not.know

That person doesn't know.

(1b)

Tangaloi

person

ngire

3NSG

ra=u

3NSGS=TEL

haro.

not.know

Tangaloi ngire ra=u haro.

person 3NSG 3NSGS=TEL not.know

Those people don't know. Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

The form ngaha can also have a temporal meaning of ‘now’. This is shown in the example below.

(2[8])

Ngaha

now

no=vo

1SG.S=say

na=ni

1SG.S=IRR

tomu.

tell.story

Ngaha no=vo na=ni tomu.

now 1SG.S=say 1SG.S=IRR tell.story

Now I want to tell a traditional story.

The form ngihie can also function as an emphatic demonstrative, acting to modify an entire proposition.

Whether being used as the head of the noun phrase, or to modify the noun, the demonstratives take on the same form(s), ngaha and ngihie. This is typologically similar to other Oceanic languages, who often do not have different forms, either in the stem or in the inflection based on whether the demonstrative is acting as a noun or a modifier.[9]

Demonstratives as the head noun

Demonstratives, either in the form of the basic demonstratives ngaha ‘this’ (3) or ngihie ‘that’, or by a demonstrative derived from one of the members of the class of directionals prefixed with the demonstrative formative gi- or ngi- (5), can act as the head noun in a noun phrase, as shown in the examples given below.

(3[10])

Ngaha

this

mo

REAL

maraga.

get.up

Ngaha mo maraga.

this REAL get.up

This one got up.

(4[10])

Ngi-ngaha

DEM-this

gineu

thing

garea.

good

Ngi-ngaha gineu garea.

DEM-this thing good

This is a good thing.

(5[10])

Go=wali

2SG.S=take

gi-hivo.

DEM-down

Go=wali gi-hivo.

2SG.S=take DEM-down

Take that one down there.

Demonstratives as a modifier

Demonstratives, either in the form of the basic demonstratives ngaha ‘this’ (6) or ngihie ‘that’ (7), or by a demonstrative derived from one of the members of the class of directionals prefixed with the demonstrative formative gi- or ngi- (8), can act to modify the head noun of a noun phrase.

(6[11])

ngire

3NSG

ngaha,

this

ngire

3NSG

hiro-hirohi.

REDUP-old

ngire ngaha, ngire hiro-hirohi.

3NSG this 3NSG REDUP-old

Those ones, they are very old.

(7[11])

Maresu

child

ngihie

that

rno

REAL

ngara

cry

mwere.

INT

Maresu ngihie rno ngara mwere.

child that REAL cry INT

That child was crying so much.

(8[11])

Go=tai

2SG.S=chop

na

ACC

gai

tree

ngi-vano.

DEM-across.there

Go=tai na gai ngi-vano.

2SG.S=chop ACC tree DEM-across.there

Chop that tree over there.

When being used to modify the head noun, the order of noun and demonstratives in East Ambae is noun-demonstrative, which also occurs in all other languages in Vanuatu. This feature is common in almost all Oceanic languages.[12]

Similarly to the reconstructed Proto-Oceanic, common nouns and independent pronouns can be modified by a demonstrative, while proper nouns and temporals cannot.[13]

Demonstrative ge

Additionally, the form ge can be used to indicate the location of an object. This form is generally used when someone has asked for the location of an object, and is accompanied by either pointing to the object in question, indication with the eyes, or tilting the head.[14]

Presentative ia

The presentative ia is used when presenting an object to the addressee. Ia is a borrowing from Bislama, an official language of Vanuatu, from the English ‘here’. *Ia is the reconstructed form for ‘here’ in Proto-Malayo-Polynesian. Ia can still be found in many Malayo-Polynesian languages, such as Lamaholot, Tongan, Samoan, Maori and Hawaiian. An example of this presentative ia is given below.[14]

(9[14])

la,

here

no-mu

CL.GEN-2SG.POS

bue.

knife

la, no-mu bue.

here CL.GEN-2SG.POS knife

Here, your knife.

Demonstratives in spatial deixis

Apart from the two forms ngaha and ngihie, all members of the subclass of absolute location nouns, as in directionals (vano ‘go along, over there’, hage ‘go up, up there’, and hivo ‘go down, down there’) and the small set of absolute location nouns, aulu 'up high, on top' vine 'down low' atagu 'behind, at the back' amue 'infront, at the front' aute 'up in the bush' alau 'down by the sea' varea 'outside' and vagahao 'far away', can form demonstratives to be used for spatial reference. When prefixed with the demonstrative formative prefix (DEM), gi-/ngi-, absolute location nouns, but not place names, can form demonstratives. There is no difference between these two forms, gi- and ngi-, and the choice between the two is arbitrary. Demonstratives formed from directional and absolute location nouns can have either a referential or modifying function.[14]

Additionally, the suffixes -mai and -atu can be added to directionals. The suffix -mai is used to denote the object being closer to the speaker, while the suffix -atu is used to denote the object being closer to the addressee. Only the suffix -mai can be added to directionals that have formed demonstratives.[15]

In example 10, where the prefix ngi- has been added to form a demonstrative, and the suffix -mai has been added, the demonstrative indicates that the object is closer to the speaker, while in example 11, where the demonstrative is unmarked and thus has no suffix, the meaning is that the object is farther away.

(10[15])

Na=ni

1SG.S=IRR

bubu-sl

shoot-APPL

ngi-vanai.

DEM-across:to.sp.

Na=ni bubu-sl ngi-vanai.

1SG.S=IRR shoot-APPL DEM-across:to.sp.

I'll shoot that one closer towards me.

(11[15])

Go=lehi

2SG.S=see

na

ACC

boe

pig

ngi-hivo

DEM-down

Go=lehi na boe ngi-hivo

2SG.S=see ACC pig DEM-down

Look at that pig down there

The suffix -atu cannot be added to demonstratives, thus example 12 is not grammatical.

(12[15])

Go=ni

2SG.S=IRR

well

take

na

ACC

gineu

thing

ngi-vanatu.

DEM-across:DIR

Go=ni well na gineu ngi-vanatu.

2SG.S=IRR take ACC thing DEM-across:DIR

If you come, bring that thing there near you.

Reduplication of demonstratives

Reduplication is a common process in East Ambae, and demonstratives are able to be reduplicated. When directionals that have formed demonstratives are reduplicated, the purpose is to either indicate a greater distance away (as in the case of forms without the -mai suffix), shown in example 13, or a considerably closer distance to the speaker (in the case of forms with the -mai suffix), shown in example 14.[15]

(13[16])

Hate,

no

ngi-hage-hage.

DEM-REDUP-up

Hate, ngi-hage-hage.

no DEM-REDUP-up

No, that one further up there.

(14[16])

Go=bitu

2SG.S=pick.fruit

ngi-him-himei.

DEM-REDUP-down:to.sp

Go=bitu ngi-him-himei.

2SG.S=pick.fruit DEM-REDUP-down:to.sp

Pick that one down here closer to me.

Negation

In North-East Ambae negative construction formation differs depending on firstly, whether the unit is verbal or nonverbal, and then based on what clause structure is being employed. Instances of verbal negation are obligatorily a double negative construction, using preverbal and postverbal particles. Nonverbal structures are formed with a different particle, the placement of which varies depending on the other components in the structure.

Verbal negation

Constructions of verbal negation in East Ambae are formed through a bipartite process, as there must be two specific negative particles present. The preverbal particle is ‘hi’, and the postverbal particle is ‘tea’. This is demonstrated in the example below. In these clauses, the subject marker is attached to the preverbal particle as a clitic. The subject proclitic attaches to the preverbal negative particles ‘hi’ (1) or to the irrealis particle ‘ni’ (2). Irrealis mood is how a speaker marks something as not known to have happened to them, as they are forming the utterance.[17]

The word order of a negative verbal phrase is Verb Phrase → Subject = ni (hi) HEAD tea.[17]

1[17]

Na=hi.

1SG.S=NEG

gato

speak

tea

NEG

Na=hi. gato tea

1SG.S=NEG speak NEG

I didn’t speak.

2[17]

Bataha

I.think

da=ni

NSG.INS=IRR

hi

NEG

mwaso

live

tea.

NEG

Bataha da=ni hi mwaso tea.

I.think NSG.INS=IRR NEG live NEG

I think we won’t live. Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

Neither the realis mood or telic aspect particles can be used within a negative verbal clause.[17]

Verbal negative clauses in the past tense are formed by using an unmarked subject marker. Clauses with an unmarked subject marker express present or past reference to time, or instead, are indicative of the habitual aspect.[17] Example 3 shows how the pronoun ‘ga’ combined with the negative preverbal particle ‘hi’ forms the past tense negative displayed in the sentence.

3[18]

Ga=hi

1NSG.EXCL=NEG

vei

make

rarai

ready

na

ACC

no-mai

CL-GEN-1NSG.EXP

avi

firewood

tea.

NEG

Ga=hi vei rarai na no-mai avi tea.

1NSG.EXCL=NEG make ready ACC CL-GEN-1NSG.EXP firewood NEG

We hadn’t prepared our firewood.

Nonverbal negation

In nonverbal clauses, negative mood is expressed by the negative particle ‘hate’. ‘Hate’ can doubly function as a negative predicate that can only take a complement clause as its argument.[19] There is no grammatical means to mark TAM (Tense, Aspect, Mood) in nonverbal clauses, therefore, tense may only be understood from the semantic context of the clause.[20] Below is an example of a nonverbal negative clause.

4[21]

Hate

NEG

vo

say

no-mu,

CL.GEN-2SG.POS

ngie

3SG

no-ku.

CL.GEN-1SG.POS

Hate vo no-mu, ngie no-ku.

NEG say CL.GEN-2SG.POS 3SG CL.GEN-1SG.POS

It's not yours, it's mine.

Negative clause structure

Negative existential clauses

To form a negative existential clause, the negative particle ‘hate’ is placed after the Noun Phrase. In order to investigate negative clause structure, it is important to contrast the formation process of affirmative clause structure. Minimally, a positive existential clause, contains a single constituent of the Noun Phrase, and this is a predicate. When this single Noun Phrase form is formed, the predication that follows is that referent in that Noun Phrase exists. In the corresponding negative existential clauses, what is predicated is that that referent of the subject Noun Phrase does not exist. It is worth noting that there are no existential verbs in East Ambae, and that all existential clauses are subsequently nonverbal.[22]

Formation of the negative existential clause involves the Noun Phrase becoming the subject and the negative particle becoming the predicate.[22] This is shown in the example below.

5[23]

Tuei

before

bana

because

[bongi

day

maraga]NP

get up

[hate,] PRED

NEG

ngie

but

[bongi

day

gai-lime,] NP

NUM-five

[bongi

ten

sangavulu']NP

day

Tuei bana [bongi maraga]NP {[hate,] PRED} ngie [bongi {gai-lime,] NP} [bongi sangavulu']NP

before because day {get u}p NEG but day NUM-five ten day

Because before there was no Ascension Day, but there was a (special feast on the) fifth day, and there was a (special feast on the) tenth day.

In positive existential clauses, modification of the head noun or a fronted topic must be present to construct these clauses. In contrast, for negative existential clauses, there is no clause initial topic slot and the subject Noun Phrase can be solely constituted by the head noun.[23] This construction is demonstrated in the below example.

6[23]

[Lulumu-gi]NP

taste.good-AL

[hate.]PRED

NEG

[Lulumu-gi]NP [hate.]PRED

taste.good-AL NEG

There was no good taste

Negative possessive clauses

Formation of a negative possessive clause necessitates that the negative particle ‘hate’ is after the relevant noun phrase. This form is very similar to that of the negative existential clause. Modification of the head noun has no bearing on the positioning of the topic clause, which remains in the initial position.[20]

7[20]

(Ngire)

3NSG

luqa

clothes-3NSG.POS

-ra hate.

NEG

(Ngire) luqa {-ra hate.}

3NSG clothes-3NSG.POS NEG

They have no clothes./They don't have any clothes.

Negative equational clauses

Formation of all negative equational clauses necessitates that the negative particle be placed between the subject and predicate noun phrases.[24] This is demonstrated here:

8[24]

Ngie

3SG

hate

NEG

a

NOM

tangaloi-ni

person-CONST

ga-garu

REDUP-swim

garea.

good

Ngie hate a tangaloi-ni ga-garu garea.

3SG NEG NOM person-CONST REDUP-swim good

S/he is not a good swimmer.

9[24]

Maresu

child

ngihie

that

hate

NEG

no-ku

CL.GEN-1SG.POS

buluana.

friend

Maresu ngihie hate no-ku buluana.

child that NEG CL.GEN-1SG.POS friend

That child isn’t my friend.

In these examples, the negative particle 'hate' occurs before the subject noun phrases 'he/she is' and 'that child' respectively. There are two subtypes of equational clauses: classificatory and identificational. Classificatory clauses depict the class membership of an entity,[25] example 7 is a negative classificatory equational clause as it posits the subject 's/he' in the class of bad swimmers. Identificational clauses are similar to classificatory ones but they also assert the identity of the object.[26] Example 8 is an identificational negative equational clause, as it asserts the object's (my friend) identity (that child).

Negative equational clauses can have a subject noun phrase that is ellipsed within the clause.[21] For example.

10[21]

Hate

NEG

takure

sago.palm

viro-viro,

sew-REDUP

ngie

but

takure

sago.palm

vatu-vetu.

weave-REDUP

Hate takure viro-viro, ngie takure vatu-vetu.

NEG sago.palm sew-REDUP but sago.palm weave-REDUP

It wasn't (a house) sewn with sago palm, but (a house) woven with sago palm. (Lit. It was not sewn sago palm, but woven sago palm.)

In the example, the subject noun phrase ‘a house’ is omitted in the clause.

If a speaker needs to indicate that an entity is pointedly not a member of a certain class, then the negative particle ‘hate’ can be used as a predicate and takes a complement clause headed by ‘vo’ (say). The English literal translation of ‘vo’ is “it is not that..” This alternate negative structure can also be used in some verbal clauses to express the same emphasis again.[21] Below is an example of this alternative formation.

11[21]

Hate

NEG

vo

say

gineu

thing

lague,

big

gineu

thing

biti.

small

Hate vo gineu lague, gineu biti.

NEG say thing big thing small

It's not that it's a big thing, it's just a small thing.

Negative prepositional clauses

In the negative prepositional clause formation, the negative marker is placed before the prepositional phrase predicate and occurs after the subject noun phrase.[27] For example:

12[27]

Ngie

3SG

hate

NEG

tau

from

Australia

Australia

Ngie hate tau Australia

3SG NEG from Australia

S/he is not from Australia.

Negative prepositional clauses are capable of a degree of ambiguity. This is due to negative prepositional clauses commonly having the same structure as existential clauses with prepositional phrase adjuncts.[27] In the below example, it can be seen that the unmodified noun (tangaloi) can be placed as the subject noun phrase in an existential clause.

13[27]

Tangaloi

person

hate

NEG

lolo

in

vale.

house

Tangaloi hate lolo vale.

person NEG in house

a) The person is not in the house.
b) There is no-one in the house.

Negative Complement-taking Predicate (CTP) ‘hate’

A construction employed to signal that the event predicated in the complement clause does/did/will not happen is formed with the negative particle ‘hate’ preceding the particle ‘vo’. With ‘vo’ “introducing”[28] the ‘hate’ particle.

This form alters the semantic layer of the negative clause form, conveying an additional pragmatic layer. It has an implication that the speaker would have expected the predication of the complement clause to be truthful, when it is not. The pragmatic layer in this construction is not found in other simple negative forms. ‘Hate’ then functions as a predicate that can take a complement of verbal or nonverbal clause, take a complement clause as its argument or act as the predicate to express that something does not exist through the noun phrase in a nonverbal existential clause. ‘Hate’ cannot be employed in a verb phrase that has been imbued with subject or aspect/mood, despite functioning as a predicate.[28]

14[28]

Hate

NEG

[vo

say

na=ni

1SG.S=IRR

bete=a

give=3SG.O

lawe=go.]

DAT=2SG.O

Hate [vo na=ni bete=a lawe=go.]

NEG say 1SG.S=IRR give=3SG.O DAT=2SG.O

I'm not going to give it to you. (Lit. It's not that I'm going to give you. )

15[29]

...hate

NEG

[vo

say

neu

1SG

tamte-gi,]

spirit-AL

neu

1SG

tangaloi

person

vurugegi

proper

taligu.

again

...hate [vo neu {tamte-gi,]} neu tangaloi vurugegi taligu.

NEG say 1SG spirit-AL 1SG person proper again

I'm not a spirit, I'm a real person again. (Lit. It's not that I'm a spirit ... )

Example 13 is a verbal clause representing a predicate which will not happen, for instance: the speaker is not going to give the subject 'it' to the object/addressee 'you'. Example 14 is a nonverbal clause, also representing a predicate that does/did/will not happen.

Across the world's languages it is generally rare for there to be a negative predicate that can take a complement clause as its argument, but this is not uncommon amongst the Oceanic language family.[28]

Possession

East Ambae has four different possessive constructions, these are the distinctions between direct and indirect possession, and simplex and complex possession (Hyslop, 2001, p. 165).[30]

If the possessor is marked on the possessed noun, this is a direct possessive construction, whereas if the possessor is marked on a relational classifier rather than the possessee, this is an indirect possessive construction. Additionally, a simplex construction, where the possessor is pronominal, a possessive suffix occurs on the possessee or the relevant classifier, while a complex construction is one in which the possessor is represented by a nominal (Hyslop, 2001, p. 166).[30]

The table below illustrates the four different possessive constructions.

Direct Indirect
Simplex possessee-poss.suffix

netu-ku

child-1SG.POS

netu-ku

child-1SG.POS

my child

classifier-poss.suffix possessee

me-mu

CL:DRINK-2SG.POS

malogu

kava

me-mu malogu

CL:DRINK-2SG.POS kava

your kava

Complex possessee-i possessor

netu-i

child-CONST

Margaret

Margaret

netu-i Margaret

child-CONST Margaret

Margaret's child

possessee classifier-i possessor

malogu

kava

me-i

CL:DRINK-CONST

retahigi

chief

malogu me-i retahigi

kava CL:DRINK-CONST chief

the chief's kava

According to Hyslop (2001, p. 167), while it is a morphosyntactic difference between direct and indirect possessive constructions, it is a semantically motivated distinction. In a direct possessive construction, nouns that function as the possessee can be said to be inalienably possessed, which refers to a permanent and inherent connection between the possessor and possessee that is indissoluble. Indirect possessive construction refers to alienable possession, a relationship between two referents of a less permanent and inherent type than inalienable possession, of an item that is to be 'possessed' in the conventional sense (Hyslop, 2001, p. 176).[30]

Inalienable possession

There are two distinct categories in East Ambae that nominals taking part in inalienable possession can belong to, these being those reflecting an intimate relationship to the possessor, and part-whole and positional relation expressions (Hyslop, 2001, p. 168).[30] Those that reflect an intimate relationship to the possessor, the 'self' can be divided into four sub-categories: kin relations, body parts and associated body products, natural behaviour and personal attributes, and intimate personal property (Hyslop, 2001, p. 169).[30] These sub categories are explored below.

The 'self'

Kin

A direct possessive construction is used in all expressions of relationships between kin (Hyslop, 2001, p. 169).

hava-da

family-1NSG.INP

dolegi

all

hava-da dolegi

family-1NSG.INP all

all of our family Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

tama-i

father-CONST

netu-i

child-CONST

Roselyn

Roselyn

tama-i netu-i Roselyn

father-CONST child-CONST Roselyn

Roselyn's husband

tue-i

same.sex.sib-CONST

re

PL

maresu

child

tue-i re maresu

same.sex.sib-CONST PL child

"the (female) children's sister(s)" or

"the (male) children's brother(s)" or

"the children's brother(s) and sister(s)"

Body parts and products

Any body part of a person or animal is referred to using the direct possessive construction (Hyslop, 2001, p. 170).[30]

vulu-ku

hair-1SG.POS

vulu-ku

hair-1SG.POS

'my hair'

vulu-i

hair-CONST

Kenneth

Kenneth

vulu-i Kenneth

hair-CONST Kenneth

'Kenneth's hair'

vulu-i

feather-CONST

toa

chicken

vulu-i toa

feather-CONST chicken

'(all/the) chicken's feathers'

In addition, any bodily features or fluids/secretions (such as tattoos and a person or animal's odour) that could be considered part of, or an extension of the body are inalienably possessed (Hyslop, 2001, p. 170).[30]

Go=ni

2SG.S=IRR

leo

see

huri

PURP

na

ACC

bona-i

smell-CONsT

bigi

meat

mate

dead

Go=ni leo huri na bona-i bigi mate

2SG.S=IRR see PURP ACC smell-CONsT meat dead

You must look out for the smell of rotting meat

Tatai-ne

tattoo-3SG.POS

ra=u

3NSGS=TEL

garea

good

Tatai-ne ra=u garea

tattoo-3SG.POS 3NSGS=TEL good

Her tattoos are nice Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

Gutu-mu

louse-2SG.POS

lu-mu?

on-2SG.POS

Gutu-mu lu-mu?

louse-2SG.POS on-2SG.POS

Do you have lice?

Behaviour and personal attributes

Natural behaviours, physical attributes, emotions, and mental processes (such as sleep, age, anger, and thought) enter into a direct possessive construction as personal attributes such as these are seen as an inalienable aspect of the concept of the self (Hyslop, 2001, p. 171).[30]

Maturu-ku

sleep-1SG.POS

mo

REAL

vanai

come

Maturu-ku mo vanai

sleep-1SG.POS REAL come

I am sleepy (lit. My sleep is coming)

Higao-mu

year-2SG.POS

gai-vihe?

NUM-how.many

Higao-mu gai-vihe?

year-2SG.POS NUM-how.many

How old are you? (lit. Your years are how many?)

Mero-na

anger-3SG.POS

u

TEL

lague

big

Mero-na u lague

anger-3SG.POS TEL big

She is very angry (lit. Her anger is big)

Domi-mu

thought-2SG.POS

ra=u

3NSGS=TEL

hesi

bad

Domi-mu ra=u hesi

thought-2SG.POS 3NSGS=TEL bad

You have wicked thoughts! (lit. Your thoughts are bad!) Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

Intimate personal property

This class of objects can be possessed or 'owned' in the traditional sense, however, in the East Ambae culture, these objects are so closely associated with a person's existence that they are considered inalienable objects, and when referred to, it is using the direct possessive construction. These objects that are considered 'intimate' include things such as a person's pillow, as well as a person's clothes, which are seen as an extension of the body. This can also be said for an animal's cave or bird's nest (Hyslop, 2001, p. 172 & 173).[30]

lumwe-ku

pillow-1SG.POS

lumwe-ku

pillow-1SG.POS

my pillow

Go=ni

2SG.S=IRR

gevu-gi

clothes-APPL

na

ACC

bari-mu

skirt-2SG.POS

Go=ni gevu-gi na bari-mu

2SG.S=IRR clothes-APPL ACC skirt-2SG.POS

You will dress in your skirt

mwagoni-re

nest-3NGSP

mwagoni-re

nest-3NGSP

their nest Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

Part-whole and positional relations

Part-whole relations

Part-whole relationships are expressed in a direct possessive construction as it is used to describe parts of objects and plants that are divisible into recognised parts in the same way as body part relations are expressed. The part is the 'possessed' head noun and the whole is the 'possessor' (Hyslop, 2001, p. 174).[30]

rau-i

leaf-CONST

gai

tree

rau-i gai

leaf-CONST tree

leaf (leaves) of a tree

qetu-qetu-i

wall-REDUP-CONST

vale-na

house-3SG.POS

qetu-qetu-i vale-na

wall-REDUP-CONST house-3SG.POS

the walls of his house

This relationship is also used to refer to pieces of a whole. This is done by using the anticausativeised form of a verb, describing the way the object was divided, such as vise 'split', or kore 'break' (as seen in the examples below), and by taking the construct suffix, the form is marked as being a nominal (Hyslop, 2001, p. 175).[30]

ma-vise-i

ANTI-split-CONST

qeta

taro

ma-vise-i qeta

ANTI-split-CONST taro

a piece of taro Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

ma-kore-i

ANTI-break-CONST

avi

firewood

ma-kore-i avi

ANTI-break-CONST firewood

a piece of firewood Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

Positional relations

Positional relations are a small subclass of bound relational location nouns and function as the possessee noun in a direct possessive construct, used to define the position of one object in relation to another, such as ulu- 'above' and mawiri- 'left, as shown below (Hyslop, 2001, p. 175).[30]

Dodo

cloud

maeto

black

lo

LOC

ulu-de

above-1NSG.INP

Dodo maeto lo ulu-de

cloud black LOC above-1NSG.INP

There were black clouds above us Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

Danuta

Danuta

mo

REAL

toga

sit

lo

LOC

mawiri-ku

left-1SG.POS

Danuta mo toga lo mawiri-ku

Danuta REAL sit LOC left-1SG.POS

Danuta was sitting on my left

Alienable possession

Four different relational classifiers are used to express indirect possession, the use of a particular relational classifier is dependent on the possessive relationship between the possessed object and the possessor, rather than any characteristic of the possessee (Hyslop, 2001, p. 176).[30]

The four relational classifiers are:

Relational classifier ga-

This classifier indicates that the referent of the possessee noun is a food item. This can be used for any edible item including food that has already been eaten, food that has been prepared and ready to eat, unprepared or uncooked food, and so on. Usually, the ga- relational classifier is used only to refer to food that is ready to be eaten, so an animal yet to be slaughtered or plant yet to be harvested would be referred to using the bula- classifier (Hyslop, 2001, p. 177).[30]

Kenneth

Kenneth

u

TEL

geni

eat

na

ACC

ga-na

CL.FOOD.3SG.POS

loli

lolly

beno

already

Kenneth u geni na ga-na loli beno

Kenneth TEL eat ACC CL.FOOD.3SG.POS lolly already

Kenneth has already eaten her lollies

Ga-da

CL.FOOD-1NSG.INP

hinaga

food

u

TEL

manoga

cooked

Ga-da hinaga u manoga

CL.FOOD-1NSG.INP food TEL cooked

Our food is cooked Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

Only one relation expressed by ga- does not relate to food possession, and that is illness, despite perhaps expecting it to be categorised inalienably as a body part or product one can never describe one's illness using a direct possessive construct (Hyslop, 2001, p. 177).[30]

ga-ra

CL.FOOD-3NSG.POS

sege-ana

sick-NR

ga-ra sege-ana

CL.FOOD-3NSG.POS sick-NR

their illness(es)

Relational classifier me-

This classifier indicates that the referent of the possessee noun is something for the possessor to drink, this can be the possession drinkable items such as ti 'tea' or wai 'water', as well as some plants classified as drinkable rather than edible, such as tovu 'sugarcane' and lamani 'lemon' and medicine, whether it is in liquid or tablet form as even then you swallow it with water (Hyslop, 2001, p. 178).[30]

me-ku

CL.drink-1SG.POS

tovu

sugarcane

me-ku tovu

CL.drink-1SG.POS sugarcane

my sugarcane

Go=bitu

2SG.S=pick

na

ACC

lamani

lemon

me-i

CL.DRINK-CONST

Lulu

Lulu

Go=bitu na lamani me-i Lulu

2SG.S=pick ACC lemon CL.DRINK-CONST Lulu

Pick some lemons for Lulu to drink

Go=dono

2SG.POS=swallow

na

ACC

me-mu

CL.DRINK-2SG.POS

panadol

panadol

Go=dono na me-mu panadol

2SG.POS=swallow ACC CL.DRINK-2SG.POS panadol

Swallow your panadol

Relational classifier bula-

The bula- classifier mainly refers to the relationship between 'natural entities' and their possessor, such as the ownership of crops and animals (Hyslop, 2001, p. 178).[30]

Bula-na

CL.NAT-3SG.POS

boe

pig

mo

REAL

gani

eat

na

ACC

bula-da

CL.NAT-1NSG.INP

toa

chicken

tamwere

always

Bula-na boe mo gani na bula-da toa tamwere

CL.NAT-3SG.POS pig REAL eat ACC CL.NAT-1NSG.INP chicken always

His pig is always eating our chickens Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

Nu

1SG.S:TEL

rivu

plant

na

ACC

bule-ku

CL.NAT-1SG.POS

qeta

taro

Nu rivu na bule-ku qeta

1SG.S:TEL plant ACC CL.NAT-1SG.POS taro

I planted my taro

Go=dono

2SG.POS=swallow

na

ACC

me-mu

CL.DRINK-2SG.POS

panadol

panadol

Go=dono na me-mu panadol

2SG.POS=swallow ACC CL.DRINK-2SG.POS panadol

Swallow your panadol

Ngie

3SG

u

TEL

voli

buy

na

ACC

bule-ku

CL.NAT-1SG.POS

toli-gi

seed-AL

Ngie u voli na bule-ku toli-gi

3SG TEL buy ACC CL.NAT-1SG.POS seed-AL

She bought me some seeds (to plant)

This category has been broadened to include some items introduced by Europeans that could be said to have some lifelike characteristics (Hyslop, 2001, p. 179).[30] An example of these items are listed below.

Another category includes items of adornment as they are not inalienably possessed as clothing is (Hyslop, 2001, p. 179).[30] Examples include:

Relational classifier no-

The no- classifier is considered a general classifier, or the default category, for a range of possessive relationships that are not related to any of the other categories of possessive relationships previously mentioned (Hyslop, 2001, p. 180)[30] Possessive relationships included in this category are: traditional ownership of objects, activities such as work, the possessor's relationship with people who are not kin, and natural behaviours and mental processes that are not part of a direct possessive construction (Hyslop, 2001, p. 180).[30]

Ngire

3NSG

no-ra

CL.GEN-3NSG.POS

bubusi

gun

hate

NEG

Ngire no-ra bubusi hate

3NSG CL.GEN-3NSG.POS gun NEG

They didn't have guns

No-da

CL.GEN-1NSG.INP

hala

visitor

mo

REAL

dadari

arrive

No-da hala mo dadari

CL.GEN-1NSG.INP visitor REAL arrive

Our visitor has arrived Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

Gai-siwo

NUM-nine

ra=u

3NSGS=TEL

vei

do

no-na

CL.GEN-3SG.POS

tabana-gi

work-NR

Gai-siwo ra=u vei no-na tabana-gi

NUM-nine 3NSGS=TEL do CL.GEN-3SG.POS work-NR

Nine (of them) did his work Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

...mo

REAL

bulu-tegi

join-APPL

na

ACC

no-ra

CL.GEN-3NSG.POS

domi-ana...

think-NR

...mo bulu-tegi na no-ra domi-ana...

REAL join-APPL ACC CL.GEN-3NSG.POS think-NR

...they joined together their thoughts...

Abbreviations

- Separates morphemes
. Separates clitics
= Separates words in multi-word gloss or meanings in a semantically complex morpheme
1 1st person
2 2nd person
3 3rd person
ACC Accusative case article
AL Alienable suffix
APPL Applicative suffix
CL.GEN General possession classifier
CONST Construct suffix
DAT Dative preposition
DEM Demonstrative formative prefix
DIR Deictic specifying direction towards addressee/past-future deictic centre
EX Exclusive
IN Inclusive
INST Instrumental preposition
INT Intensifier
IRR Irrealis mood particle
NEG Negative particle
NOM Nominative case article
NP Noun Phrase
NSG Non-singular
NUM Numeral marker
O Object enclitic
P Possessive suffix
PL Plural human article
PP Prepositional phrase
REAL Realis mood particle
REDUP Reduplication
S Subject proclitic
SG Singular
TEL Telic aspect particle
VP Verb Phrase

1NSG:first person, non-singular 2NSG:second person, non-singular 3NSG:third person, non-singular DIR:deictic specifying direction towards addressee/past-future deictic centre CONST:construct suffix S:subject proclitic O:object enclitic

FOOD:food possession DRINK:drink possession

Source:[31]

Footnotes

  1. ^ East Ambae at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Hyslop 2001, p.28
  3. ^ a b Hyslop 2001, p.95
  4. ^ a b Hyslop 2001, p.96
  5. ^ Dougherty, Janet W. D. (1983). West Futuna-Aniwa: An Introduction to a Polynesian Outlier Language. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  6. ^ a b Terry., Crowley (2013). The Oceanic Languages. Taylor and Francis. ISBN 978-1-136-74985-8. OCLC 831119322.
  7. ^ Hyslop 2001, p125
  8. ^ Hyslop 2001, p64
  9. ^ "WALS Online - Feature 42A: Pronominal and Adnominal Demonstratives". wals.info. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  10. ^ a b c Hyslop 2001, p113
  11. ^ a b c Hyslop 2001, p129
  12. ^ "WALS Online - Feature 88A: Order of Demonstrative and Noun". wals.info. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  13. ^ Hyslop, Catriona (2001). The Lolovoli Dialect of the North-East Ambae Language, Vanuatu. Pacific Linguistics.
  14. ^ a b c d Hyslop 2001, p97
  15. ^ a b c d e Hyslop 2001, p221
  16. ^ a b Hyslop 2001, p222
  17. ^ a b c d e f Hyslop 2001, p.259.
  18. ^ Hyslop 2001, p.260.
  19. ^ Hyslop 2001, p.99.
  20. ^ a b c Hyslop 2001, p.370.
  21. ^ a b c d e Hyslop 2001, p.380.
  22. ^ a b Hyslop 2001, p.367.
  23. ^ a b c Hyslop 2001, p.368.
  24. ^ a b c Hyslop 2001, p.379.
  25. ^ Hyslop 2001, p.376.
  26. ^ Hyslop 2001, p.378.
  27. ^ a b c d Hyslop 2001, p.383.
  28. ^ a b c d Hyslop 2001, p.405.
  29. ^ Hyslop 2001, p.406.
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Hyslop 2001, pp.165–180.
  31. ^ Hyslop 2001, p.xxiv-xxv.

References