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Barupu grammar and dictionary materials


Language Barupu
Depositor Miriam Corris
Affiliation University of Sydney
Location Papua New Guinea
Collection ID 0037
Grant ID IGS0012
Funding Body ELDP
Collection Status Collection online
Landing Page Handle


Summary of the collection

This collection consists of Toolbox dictionary files, audio files, and some time-aligned transcripts.


Language information

Barupu is a language of the Piore River family. It is spoken on the north coast of New Guinea in the vicinity of Sissano lagoon west of Aitape. It is spoken by about 2,000 people living immediately south of the lagoon, most of whom previously (before the 1998 tsunami) occupied the old village called Warapu, on the coastal edge of the lagoon, next to Sissano.

Barupu is still learned by children as a first language, but there are no monolingual speakers. Everyone also speaks Tok Pisin and this is the main language of communication with people outside the village. There is a small group of fluent English speakers (the teachers at the school and other officials), and many young adults have a smattering of English. Closely related varieties are spoken in nearby Ramo and Sumo and they share many lexical items (with some sound changes) and morphosyntactic features.

Barupu is currently not used in any media or mass communication. It is however used inside the village in two public or formal arenas: in the lower years of primary school it is starting to be used for basic literacy instruction; and in council meetings – business is always discussed in Barupu unless this involves people from outside the linguistic community.


Collection history

Despite Barupu’s relative vitality, there are two reasons for urgency in to documentation the language now. The first is that, since the 1998 tsunami, the push to preserve and pass on older people’s knowledge is very strong. Speakers feel that the deaths of so many elderly people has caused a serious break in linguistic and cultural continuity. The second, more optimistic, reason for the desire to document now comes from the perceived requirement for a dictionary and other books written in Barupu to keep going with Tok Ples literacy. Ppeople are very keen to see the dictionary and other written materials as soon as possible.


Acknowledgement and citation

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

Corris, Miriam. 2016. Barupu grammar and dictionary materials. Endangered Languages Archive. Handle: Accessed on [insert date here].

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