Lehali
Loli
Pronunciation[lɔli]
Native toVanuatu
RegionUreparapara
Native speakers
200 (2010)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3tql
Glottologleha1243
ELPLehali
A speaker of Lehali, recorded in Vanuatu.[2]

Lehali (previously known as Teqel) is an Oceanic language spoken by about 200 people, on the west coast of Ureparapara Island in Vanuatu.[1] It is distinct from Löyöp, the language spoken on the east coast of the same island.

Name

The language is named after the village where it is spoken, natively referred to as Loli [lɔli]. The name Lehali does not have any etymological value, other than being a corruption of the native name.

Phonology

Lehali phonemically contrasts 16 consonants and 10 vowels.[3]

Consonants

Lehali consonants
Bilabial Alveolar Dorsal Labialized
velar
Glottal
Nasal m ⟨m⟩ n ⟨n⟩ ŋ ⟨n̄⟩ ŋʷ ⟨n̄w⟩
Stop voiceless p ⟨p⟩ t ⟨t⟩ k ⟨k⟩ ⟨q⟩
prenasalized ⁿd ⟨d⟩
Fricative β ⟨v⟩ s ⟨s⟩ ɣ ⟨g⟩ h ⟨h⟩
Approximant l ⟨l⟩ j ⟨y⟩ w ⟨w⟩

Vowels

The 10 vowel phonemes are all short monophthongs /i ɪ ɛ æ ə a ɒ̝ ɔ ʊ u/:[4][3]

Lehali vowels
Front Central Back
Close i ⟨i⟩ u ⟨u⟩
Near-close ɪ ⟨ē⟩ ə ⟨ë⟩ ʊ ⟨ō⟩
Open-mid ɛ ⟨e⟩ ɔ ⟨o⟩
Near-open æ ⟨ä⟩ ɒ̝ ⟨ö⟩
Open a ⟨a⟩

Grammar

The system of personal pronouns in Lehali contrasts clusivity, and distinguishes four numbers (singular, dual, trial, plural).[5]

Spatial reference in Lehali is based on a system of geocentric (absolute) directionals, which is in part typical of Oceanic languages, and yet innovative.[6]

References

  1. ^ a b List of Banks islands languages.
  2. ^ A rough translation can be found in the comments to the Youtube version of this video.
  3. ^ a b François (2021).
  4. ^ François 2011, p. 194.
  5. ^ François 2016.
  6. ^ François 2015, pp. 175–176.

Bibliography