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A dictionary of the Lakalai (Nakanai) language of New Britain, Papua New Guinea

CollectionsANU Asia-Pacific Linguistics / Pacific Linguistics Titles
Title: A dictionary of the Lakalai (Nakanai) language of New Britain, Papua New Guinea
Author(s): Chowning, Ann
Goodenough, Ward H.
Keywords: Lakalai
Papua New Guinea
Date published: 2016
Publisher: Canberra, ACT : Asia-Pacific Linguistics, School of Culture, History and Language, College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University
Series/Report no.: Asia-Pacific Linguistics: A-PL 29
Lakalai (Nakanai) is an Austronesian language of Papua New Guinea spoken in 42 coastal and hinterland villages in five dialects spread along the coastal strip and hinterland of Kimbe Bay, from Cape Hoskins in West New Britain Province, to Bialla in East New Britain Province. This dictionary represents the Bileki dialect spoken with minor variations in 19 villages in the eastern part of the Hoskins Peninsula. The work stems from a project of anthropological research begun in 1954 by a small team from the University of Pennsylvania under the leadership of Ward H. Goodenough. The Lakalai-English dictionary is principally the work of the late Ann Chowning based on seven field trips between 1954 and 1992, during which she lived in Galilo village. In the last few decades the way of life of the Lakalai people has undergone many changes; this dictionary provides a valuable record of cultural practices and beliefs as they were in the 1950s and 1960s. With about 8,000 headwords and 10,000 distinct sense units, it is one of the largest dictionaries of any Austronesian language of western Melanesia. At Ann Chowning’s request, Wolfgang Sperlich and Andrew Pawley in 2012-2014 compiled an English-Lakalai reversal, which contains over 8,000 main entries and sub-entries.


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