Uneapa
Bali
Uniapa
Native toPapua New Guinea
RegionBali Island, West New Britain
Native speakers
10,000 (1998)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3bbn
Glottologunea1237

Uneapa (often called "Bali", natively Uniapa) is an Oceanic language spoken by about 10,000 people on the small island of Bali (Uneapa), north of West New Britain in Papua New Guinea. It is perhaps a dialect of neighboring Vitu. Uneapa is one of the most conservative Oceanic languages, having retained most of Proto-Oceanic's final consonants with an echo vowel, such as *Rumaq "house" > rumaka and *saqat "bad" > zaɣata.

A sketch grammar of this language was published in 2002 by Malcolm Ross.

Name

The name Uneapa is a variation of the native name Uniapa for the island. In Vitu, the same island is called Unea. Both names can come from a proto-form *Uniap or *Uneap, reflecting the addition of an echo vowel in Uneapa and the regular loss of final consonants in Vitu.

The alternative name Bali, used by foreigners, comes from the term bali meaning "to be not". It is not related etymologically to the more popular Indonesian island called Bali, which is home to a distantly related language called Balinese.

Classification

Uneapa, together with neighboring Vitu, forms a subgroup within the Meso-Melanesian cluster of the Oceanic languages. The two are sometimes considered to be a single language, called Bali-Vitu. However, there are some differences, particularly in their phonemic inventories, retention of final consonants (which is lost in Vitu), pronoun systems, and word choices. In general, Uneapa tends to be more conservative than Vitu in most respects.

Phonology

Phonemically, Uneapa has 5 vowels and 14 consonants.

Uneapa has a simple phonotactic structure, either V, CV, VV, CVV. Stress is located at the penultimate syllable. Optionally, clitic-final vowels may be lost, such as underlying balitaza "is not" becoming baltaza.

Example sentence

The following sentence illustrates the conservatism of Uneapa relative to Proto-Oceanic.[9]

Uneapa:

a

ART

rumaka

house

zaɣata

bad

a rumaka zaɣata

ART house bad

'a bad house"

Proto-Oceanic:

*a

ART

Rumaq

house

saqat

bad

*a Rumaq saqat

ART house bad

'a bad house"

References

  1. ^ Uneapa at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ /t/ can sometimes be affricated as [t͡s] before /i/.
  3. ^ Prenasalied [ᵐb] when word-medial.
  4. ^ Prenasalied [ⁿd] when word-medial.
  5. ^ Prenasalied [ᵑg] when word-medial.
  6. ^ Can be realized as [w], especially before /a/, /o/ or /u/.
  7. ^ Can be realized as [ɹ].
  8. ^ Can be realized as [h].
  9. ^ Malcolm Ross. "Proto-Oceanic phonology and morphology" (PDF). Retrieved 14 February 2022.