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Project Members

  • Jennifer Wilson

A grammar of Yeri

Yeri is a Torricelli language spoken in Sandaun Province, Papua New Guinea. The language is spoken in a single village called Yapunda, and is severely endangered, with approximately 100 speakers. The youngest generation speaks only Tok Pisin, and speakers under 40 often speak a simplified variety of the language.

This project aimed to document an unsimplified variety of the language while this was still possible, and included the production of a grammar, a corpus of glossed texts in a variety of genres, and a dictionary of the language. Some of the unusual documented characteristics included infixes which occur following the first syllable of the verb stem, a typologically rare infixation site, and affixes which occur on almost all parts of speech, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, ideophones, and possessive pronouns. The language is SVO, displays extensive argument marking, shows realis/irrealis distinctions on the verb, and makes frequent use of multi-verb clauses.