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Documentation of Kubokota

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Language Kubokota (ISO639-3:ghn)
Depositor Mary Chambers
Affiliation School of Oriental and African Studies
Location Solomon Islands
Deposit ID 0055
Grant ID
Funding Body AHRC
Collection Status Collection online
Landing Page Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2196/7666477b-e9dc-4c6b-a195-99af25311298

 

Showreel

 

Summary of the deposit

This deposit consists of audio and video recordings and written documentation of Kubokota (also known as Ghanongga), an Austronesian language spoken on the northern half of Ranongga Island, Solomon Islands, resulting from fieldwork conducted by Mary Chambers between September 2006 and June 2007. A small amount of data on Luqa, a closely related language spoken on the southern half of the island, is also included.

 

Group represented

Kubokota, an Austronesian language of the North West Solomonic branch of Western Oceanic, is spoken in the Solomon Islands by around 2500 speakers. The community is highly multilingual, most people speaking Kubokota, Solomon Islands Pijin (the lingua franca), some English (learned at school), and frequently other local languages such as Roviana (widely used as a mission language), while those who have married into the community (mainly women) may speak Bilua, Nduke or other languages. At present, however, most children still learn Kubokota as their mother tongue, and speakers are keen to raise the prestige of the language by introducing vernacular education at kindergarten level, and by other initiatives such as publication of Kubokota texts and a dictionary of tree terminology.

 

Language information

Kubokota, an Austronesian language of the North West Solomonic branch of Western Oceanic, is spoken in the Solomon Islands by around 2500 speakers. The community is highly multilingual, most people speaking Kubokota, Solomon Islands Pijin (the lingua franca), some English (learned at school), and frequently other local languages such as Roviana (widely used as a mission language), while those who have married into the community (mainly women) may speak Bilua, Nduke or other languages. At present, however, most children still learn Kubokota as their mother tongue, and speakers are keen to raise the prestige of the language by introducing vernacular education at kindergarten level, and by other initiatives such as publication of Kubokota texts and a dictionary of tree terminology.

 

Special characteristics

Kubokota uses a combination of geocentric and intrinsic frames of reference to express spatial relations and directions. A particular aim of this project was to document the use of motion verbs and descriptions of spatial arrays on various scales, including through maps, journey stories, route descriptions, frog stories and men-and-tree games.

The deposit also includes several personal stories describing people’s experiences of a major earthquake and tsunami in April 2007. Following the earthquake, several people also wrote songs about the event; in June 2007 the people of Obobulu put on a performance of earthquake songs and traditional dances, which is provided here in the OBB video collection.

 

Deposit contents

The deposit comprises over 150 audio files, as well as written texts, elicitation materials, participant observation notes and a small amount of video.

Genres include traditional narratives, procedural and route descriptions, personal stories and accounts of everyday events in which the researcher participated. Elicited materials include responses to the caused positions and cut and break video stimuli, frog stories, and men-and-tree games, which were used in the researcher’s doctoral investigation into the Kubokota directional system. The thesis and various literacy materials created for community use are also available.

The deposit also includes some material from Luqa, a closely related neighbouring language. In total, 50 speakers aged between 12 and 80 were recorded for the deposit.

 

Deposit history

The materials in this collection were recorded on a fieldtrip from October 2006 to June 2007 by Mary Chambers, who was based mainly in Obobulu village with occasional visits to Pienuna, Suava and other areas. In total, 50 Kubokota and Luqa speakers aged between 12 and 80 were recorded for the deposit. The researcher is indebted to them for sharing their stories, their languages and their homes, especially during the aftermath of the 2007 earthquake, which dramatically changed the course of the fieldwork! The research was funded by an AHRC grant, which is also gratefully acknowledged.

 

Other information

Language Resources

See also the ELAR collection “Recordings and texts from Ranongga Island, Solomon Islands” by Debra McDougall, for further documentation of Kubokota and Luqa: http://hdl.handle.net/2196/054c1a7f-83d9-4fa9-bc35-76d199a61622

See the Glottolog and the OLAC entries for more information and resources on this language.

 

Acknowledgement and citation

Users are requested to acknowledge the depositor, Mary Chambers, when citing resources from this deposit.

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

Chambers, Mary. 2009. Documentation of Kubokota. Endangered Languages Archive. Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/2196/00-0000-0000-0001-84A4-1. Accessed on [insert date here].

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