Linguistic archaeology on New Ireland, Papua New Guinea

Project leader

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2010


Kuot is a language spoken by some 1000 people on the island of New Ireland in Papua New Guinea in the southwest Pacific. It is an isolate, with no demonstrable relatives, and it is endangered as children are not learning it.

The project has two interrelated aims:

1. To document the vocabulary of Kuot and make it available in dictionary versions suitable both for the Kuot community and for linguists.

2. To investigate the multi-layered traces of contact accumulated during the many centuries of interaction between Kuot speakers and Austronesian- (Oceanic-)speaking neighbours, preserved in the vocabulary, sound system and to some extent the grammatical structures of Kuot. Sifting through these layers of influence and interpreting their sociocultural context constitutes the archaeological metaphor of the title.

Funded by Vetenskapsrådet.

Last updated on 2017-23-03 at 09:08