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Lovestrand, Joseph (2021) 'Languages of Sumba: State of the Field.' NUSA: Linguistic studies of languages in and around Indonesia, 70. pp. 39-60.

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This paper reviews the state of documentation and description of the languages of Sumba, an island located in the province of Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) in Indonesia. Sumba is home to a population of over 800,000 people. The languages of Sumba can be divided into eight or more distinct languages. Language documentation and description in Sumba began in the 19th century with the arrival of the Dutch. The most well-described language of Sumba is Kambera, spoken by 150,000 or more people occupying the eastern half of the island (Klamer 1998a). There is much less documentation and grammatical description of the languages of West Sumba. with the exception of two recent MA theses. There are also many word lists, as well as orthographically transcribed ritual texts included in publications by anthropologists interested in this aspect of the culture. Video documentation of the languages of Sumba is almost completely lacking. Language vitality in Sumba remains relatively high, however, there are signs of a possible shift to Indonesian. This increases the urgency of the need for language documentation and description, as well as investment in programs that facilitate ongoing local language use.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics > Department of Linguistics
ISSN: 01262874
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 30 May 2022 10:01

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