Notes to Boerger

1. It is my pleasure to thank Susan F. Schmerling and Daniel Boerger for their substantive and stylistic input to this article at a number of stages. I would also like to thank Alexander François, Åshild Næss, Malcolm Ross, and Paul Unger for constructive discussions by email, and students in my “Structure of Natqgu” course Albert Archer, David Graves, Ashley Lober and Gabrielle Zimmerman for their verbal and written comments. Thanks are also due to my colleagues Karen Ashley, Gerry Beimers, Freddy Boswell, John Bruner, Steve Doty, Roxanne Gebauer, Pamela Gentry, Greg Mellow, James Mudge, and John Rentz for providing information and data cited herein regarding the languages of the Solomons, in which they worked for many years. The content was significantly strengthened by suggestions from two anonymous reviewers. As always, any errors or misinterpretations remain my responsibility.

2. For the purposes of this article, which discusses language maintenance efforts, I use the orthography preferred by the speakers of the language. The q in Natqgu is phonemically /ü/. Vowel equivalences between the old and new orthographies are presented in Table 4.

3. The language names Natqgu and Nalrgo mean ’our-incl language’ in the respective languages.

4. Many of the languages of the Solomons, including those in Temotu Province, contain prenasalized voiced stops. These are more accurately written without the nasal consonant, since the nasal is predictable. Natqgu speakers also routinely use a low front vowel for the first vowel in Nagu. Therefore, the sometimes cited spelling Nanggu is more accurately written Nagu or perhaps Nxgu, if the Natqgu pronunciation is accurate and the same orthography is adopted for it, as well.

5. No linguistic data were recorded in the 1986 census.

6. Nalrgo was labeled as Nea in the census materials. The dialect from the Mbaengr region patterns more closely with Nalrgo than with Nagu. So the figure 1045 for the year of 1976 includes 73 Mbaengr speakers who were originally counted with the Nagu total in the census materials. The census figures for 1976 recorded 311 Nagu speakers, of whom there were 73 Mbaengr speakers. The figure 238 reflects the subtraction of this number.

7. The sequence Rr, used initially to translate a Biblical proper name, proved to be ambiguous. Understandably, readers did not know whether the first or the second symbol was the consonant, though CV would be the prevalent pattern. This was easily solved by writing the name Er, rather than Rr.

8. The titles “Mister” and “Miss” followed by a first name are used as titles for school teachers in the Solomon Islands.

9. The population of Santa Cruz was evangelized in the early twentieth century, and most of the inhabitants are affiliated with one of the Christian denominations on the island. The COM is the majority denomination, comprising perhaps 75% of the population. Given this Christian context, the Natqgu community has welcomed the religious aspects of the materials supplied to the schools for advanced reading practice.

10. The Mota language of Vanuatu (New Hebrides) was introduced as a liturgical language by the Melanesian Mission of the Anglican Church in Australia and New Zealand, starting in the mid-nineteenth century with periodic tours by ship through Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. The first Mota Bible was published in 1928. The oldest population on Santa Cruz grew up using Mota in the church context, and they still sing Mota carols at Christmas. In the 1970s or earlier there was a shift to English, coupled with the establishment of the indigenous COM.

11. I noted in section 8 that passing information on the island can be a challenge. So can passing materials. The journey of the Nalrgo manuscript illustrates both the norm there and the shrinking size of the world. A Nalrgo team member, who may have traveled by foot, truck, or canoe, entrusted the manuscript to Joseph Kennedy Clq of the Natqgu team. Clq emailed to ask for instructions and on 21 June 2007, I suggested he send it with a reliable person going by plane to Honiara on one of the two weekly flights, and I would ask colleagues there to pick it up from that person. Kennedy gave the manuscript to Fr. Joses Balq, who was on his way to New Zealand for further schooling. The SITAG Deputy picked up the manuscript on 29 June, and handed it to the SITAG Director, who took it with him to a meeting in Australia. After the meeting, he and his wife met their son and daughter-in-law there, who were themselves en route back to the US following a trip to the language group in Papua New Guinea in which the daughter-in-law had grown up. The director handed it over to his son, whose wife dropped it off at her mother’s house in Dallas. Our son retrieved it on a visit he made to the son of that family and delivered it into my hands on 24 August.