Bislama Reference Grammar
Bislama is the national language of Vanuatu, the world's most linguistically diverse nation with at least 80 actively spoken Oceanic languages used by about 200,000 people. Bislama began as a plantation pidgin based on English in the nineteenth century, but it has since developed into a unique language with a grammar and vocabulary very different from English. It is one of very few national languages for which there is no readily available reference grammar. This book aims to fill this gap by providing an extensive account of the grammar of Bislama as it is used by ordinary Ni-Vanuatu. It does not, therefore, aim to describe any kind of artificial written norm but sets out to capture a range of different kinds of ways that Ni-Vanuatu will say things in various contexts, both written and spoken, formal and informal. The thrust of this volume is to show that Bislama has a grammar - an unfamiliar concept for those educated in Vanuatu. It also shows that Bislama is a language of considerable complexity, which will come as a surprise to many of its users, who have been taught to view their language as somehow simple and even deficient.
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BACKGROUND TO BISLAMA
PRONUNCIATION AND SPELLING
LIST OF TABLES
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action adjective adverbs appear Baeyu Baeyumi bakegen bigfala Bislama blongyu commonly compound consonant corresponding described dring kava element English evriwan example express the meaning finis French function go long grammar hamas haos blong Hemia huia ia i stap indicate intonation intransitive involves kakae Kali karem kasem kastom katem kava kind laekem language long haos long saed blong Malakula mekem mifala modifier naet nakamal nating negative marker nogud nomo noun phrase object olfala olgeta olsem ia olsem wanem pattern Pijin pikinini ples plural preceding predicate marker preposition long prepositional phrase pronoun question word raes reduplication refer relative clause S)he samting sapos sequence serial verb construction singular sitsit skul stap long stil subordinate syllable toktok traem trak transitive suffix transitive verb Tufala tugeta tumas tumora Vanuatu verb phrase vowel wetem wokbaot wokem Yumi