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Documentation of Nasal: An overlooked Malayo-Polynesian isolate of southwest Sumatra


Language Nasal
Depositor Bradley McDonnell
Affiliation University of Hawaii
Location Indonesia
Collection ID 0468
Grant ID SG0472
Funding Body ELDP
Collection Status Collection online
Landing Page Handle


Summary of the collection

Nasal is an endangered Malayo-Polynesian isolate spoken by 3,000 speakers in southwest Sumatra. While reference to Nasal first appeared in Dutch colonial documents as early as 1887, the language only received an ISO code in 2008 and is absent from any survey of Austronesian languages in the last century. This overlooked Malayo-Polynesian isolate is quite simply the least documented language of Sumatra and its outer islands. This project represents the first substantial documentation of Nasal, including recordings of elicited word lists and grammatical phenomena as well as everyday conversation. A portion of these recordings are enriched with time-aligned transcriptions and translations and glosses in English and Indonesian. All of these materials were collected in July 2017.


Group represented

Nasal speakers from all three Nasal villages: Gedung Menung, Tanjung Betuah, and Tanjung Baru.


Collection contents

This collection contains recordings of conversations, lexical and grammatical elicitation sessions, and transcription sessions. Annotations of these recordings are ongoing and will be uploaded periodically. Portions of the completed annotations are already included.


Collection history

The data in the collection was collected in July 2017 funded by an Endangered Languages Documentation Programme Small Grant.


Acknowledgement and citation

Users of any part of this collection should acknowledge Bradley McDonnell as the principal investigator and the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme as the organization that funded the project. When a particular piece of data is used, the individuals who provided the data, whether that be a speaker, collector, or transcriber, should be acknowledged by name.

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

McDonnell, Bradley. 2017. Documentation of Nasal: An overlooked Malayo-Polynesian isolate of southwest Sumatra. Endangered Languages Archive. Handle: Accessed on [insert date here].

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