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Sula: Its language, land, and people

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Title:Sula: Its language, land, and people
Sula: Bahasa, Tanah, dan Penduduk
Authors:Bloyd, Tobias
Contributors:Blust, Robert (advisor)
Linguistics (department)
Cultural anthropology
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Date Issued:2020
Publisher:University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Abstract:This dissertation is a documentation of Sula [ISO-639-3 szn, mqc; Glottocode sula1245, mang1408]. Sula is a critically to severely endangered language of North Maluku, Indonesia. This dissertation includes: demographic and ethnographic information about the community, the first description of the language’s primary dialect division, a sizable lexicon, and the only available (substantial) grammatical sketch of a language native to the Sula archipelago (which includes a large dialect continuum spanning Taliabo island, the Sula dialects on Mangole and Sanana islands, and a still undocumented Sama–Bajau language/dialect on Sanana). Although imperfect, the grammatical sketch covers commonly-expected categories of the core areas of linguistics, and the lexicon gathers the language’s basic vocabulary along with additional vocabulary pertaining to travel in the archipelago.
Sula is spoken by up to 47,000 residents spread out across the Sula archipelago. The community has undergone a 40 year period of language attrition—particularly in the main population center, Sanana city. While language use remains strong in some remote communities, these areas are rapidly being connected to urban centers for the first time, both physically via newly constructed coastal roads, and virtually, via efforts to expand cellular data coverage across the archipelago.
The Sula community consists of four tribes: Facei, Fagud (Fagudu), Faahu (Falahu, Fahahu), and Mangon (Mangoli, Mangole). Villages settled by the first three tribes speak a number of similar dialects that I identify as /Sanana/ type, while villages settled by the fourth tribe speak a significantly different group of dialects that I identify as /Mangon/ type.
Data for this dissertation was collected over a span of ten years (2010–2019), during which I made three, three month field trips to Indonesia along with several trips of three to six weeks to both Indonesia and Sweden (where my principal collaborator lives). Additionally, my principle collaborator made two trips to the US, and I maintained continual virtual contact with language consultants throughout the course of my research.
Pages/Duration:669 pages
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Linguistics

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