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Documentation of Walman

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Language Walman
Depositor Matthew Dryer, Lea Brown
Affiliation University at Buffalo
Location Papua New Guinea
Collection ID 0025
Grant ID MDP0038
Funding Body ELDP
Collection Status Collection online
Landing Page Handle


Summary of the collection

This collection is the result of field research on languages in Sandaun Province in Papua New Guinea, that will result in a detailed grammatical description and dictionary of Walman. The data was collected by Matthew Dryer and Lea Brown between 2002 and 2017.


Group represented



Language information

Walman (Valman, ISO639-3:van)


Special characteristics

Walman is a Papuan language from the Torricelli family spoken on the north coast of Papua New Guinea, where there has been close contact with Austronesian languages. Austronesian influence on vocabulary is recognizable in some cases. Walman is like other Torricelli languages and unlike most other non-Austronesian Papuan languages in being SVO. An unusual phonetic feature is a prevalence of complex consonant clusters.


Collection contents

The collection comprises audio files and transcriptions and some video files with transcription of the audio component. Genres include narration, conversation, and elicitation from various speakers of phonetic features of importance in the language as well as words containing unusual phonetic features, and readings by one consultant of sentences he had written to illustrate words from the dictionary. Also included are PDF copies of 56 texts collected by an Austrian missionary Father August Becker and his local assistant in the early part of the twentieth century, with original German translations, and re-transcriptions into the modern Walman orthography with translations into English.


Collection history

Apart from PDFs of texts collected by Father August Becker between 1907 and 1934 (and published in Becker, August, S.V.D. 1971. Erzählungen der Valman von der Nordküste Neuguineas. Anthropos 66. 1-51, 397-443, 779-816), the data here was collected by Matthew Dryer and Lea Brown on various field trips between 2002 and 2017. Apart from the field trips funded by ELDP, other trips were funded by grants from the National Science Foundation in the U.S.


Other Information

The data was collected by Matthew Dryer and Lea Brown between 2002 and 2017.


Acknowledgement and citation

To refer to any data from the collection, please cite as follows:

Dryer, Matthew & Lea Brown. 2015. Documentation of Walman. Endangered Languages Archive. Handle: Accessed on [insert date here].

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