Grammar and Vocabulary of the Lau Language, Solomon Islands

By | July 22, 2019

Grammar and Vocabulary of the Lau Language, Solomon Islands

This book is written about the Lau is the name given to the language spoken by the inhabitants of the artificial islets which lie off the northeast coast of Big Malaita, Solomon Islands. The language spoken on the coast from Uru on the northeast to Langalanga, Alite Harbor, on the northwest of Big Malaita, is practically Lau. On the west coast there is considerable admixture of Fiu, which is the language of the bush behind the Langalanga lagoon. In Dr. Codrington’s “Melanesian Languages,” pp. 39 et seq. , certain words are given as spoken at Alite in Langalanga. These words are probably Fiu rather than Lau. The purest Lau is spoken at Sulufou, one of the artificial islets near Atta Cove. The inhabitants of Ai lali, on the mainland of Big Malaita opposite the island Aio, are an offshoot of the Lau speaking peoples. In Port Adam (Malau) on Little Malaita, some 12 miles north of Sa’a, there are two villages, Ramarama and Malede, inhabited by Lau speaking peoples, and the inhabitants of these villages hold as a tradition that their forefathers migrated from Suraina, near Atta Cove, 80 miles away, along the coast to the north. The Lau of this grammar and vocabulary was learned from dealings with the Port Adam natives and also from a stay of several weeks with Rev. A. I. Hopkins, at Mangoniia, on the mainland opposite the artificial islet Ferasubua. It is not claimed that the Lau here presented is the same as the Lau of the northeast coast of Big Malaita. Doubtless owing to the Port Adam peoples being surrounded by Sa’a speaking peoples, they have adopted Sa’a words and methods of speech to some extent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.