PACIFIC LANGUAGES UNIT

 

The Pacific Languages Unit (PLU) is part of the Department of Literature and Language of the School of Humanities. It is based on the Emalus Campus in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

MISSION STATEMENT

The PLU’s mission statement is:

to raise the awareness of Pacific Islanders about problems and issues relating to their own languages and other languages spoken in their country;
to provide Pacific Islanders with the skills necessary to ensure the survival and development of their languages;
to teach university credit courses in and about Pacific languages; and
to conduct research into Pacific languages and the language situation in the region.

 

COURSES AND PROGRAMS - COURSES AND PROGRAMS -

The PLU offers a Diploma in Pacific Language Studies and a major in the BA degree, and Pacific Language Studies can also be a joint double major with Linguistics. At present, both the diploma and the major require 8 courses: 2 at 100-level, 3 at 200-level and 3 at 300-level. The courses offered by the PLU are:

Foundation level (Year 13/Form 7 equivalent) -

LLF21 Communication and Language

100-level -

LL122 Introduction to Language Studies
LL124 The Analysis of Language

200-level -

LL214 Applied Phonetics and Phonology
LL221 Language Issues in the Pacific
LL222 The Languages of the Pacific
LL226 Pacific Language Case Studies (specially tailored Summer School course)

300-level -

LL321 Translation
LL322 Dictionary-Making
LL323 Comparative Linguistics
LL324 Special Topics in Pacific Linguistics (only with consent of Director of PLU)
LL325 Syntax and Typology

Almost all of these courses are, or will be, available through Extension, and some are also taught as intensive Summer Schools, depending on numbers of students enrolling. USP Centre Directors can be consulted about the availability of LL226 and LL324. Students may also credit some Linguistics courses taken on the Laucala Campus towards the Diploma or the major.

 

CAREERS

A qualification in Pacific Language Studies could lead to a number of careers, among them being:

teaching
journalism
translation and interpretation
cultural and anthropological studies
foreign affairs and international relations

Courses in Pacific Language Studies are also very useful as electives in many other programmes of study, such as law, education, sociology, literature, and many other areas.

 

OTHER ACTIVITIES

In addition to teaching normal university courses, staff of the PLU can conduct or arrange workshops or other short-term training programs in areas like:

translation skills
dictionary-making skills
design of writing systems for unwritten languages
curriculum design for national languages

The PLU is also available to advise governments and other bodies on matters like:

language policy in the education system
language use in the media
dictionaries of national languages
language policy and planning
language maintenance
cataloguing of dying languages

 

ARTICLES

English in the South Pacific
by John Lynch and France Mugler
(1999)

 

USEFUL LANGUAGES LINKS

Annotated bibliography of Vanuatu languages:

http://www.linguistics.unimelb.edu.au/vanlangs/VANLANGS.HTM

Languages of the Pacific, by country (from the 13th edition of Ethnologue, a catalogue of the world’s languages):

http://www.sil.org/ethnologue/countries/Pacific.html

A bibliography of Melanesian Pidgin English dictionaries, phrase books and study guides

http://www.vanuatu.usp.ac.fj/sol%5Fadobe%5Fdocuments/usp%20only/pacific%20languages/slone.htm

Austronesian On-Line, a website with a number of links related to the study of Austronesian languages:

http://rspas.anu.edu.au/linguistics/AustLing/anhmpg.htm

 

 

PACIFIC LANGUAGES ON THIS SITE:

The About the School of Law page from this site has been translated into several Pacific languages, as listed below. These can be accessed by clicking on the hyperlinks provided.

Bislama Version LONG SAED BLONG SKUL BLONG LOA
Fijian Version VEIKA E SO BALETA NA KORONIVULI NI LAWA
French Version A propos de la Faculte de Droit
Kiribati Version TAEKAN REIREIN TE TUA
Samoan Version E UIGA I LE AOGA O MEA TAU TULAFONO
Tongan Version FEKAUAKI MOE 'APIAKO LAO

 

STAFF

The current staff of the PLU, with their research interests and other areas of expertise, are:

John Lynch, BA Syd., PhD Haw.
Professor of Pacific Languages and Director

Oceanic languages, especially languages of Vanuatu; history of languages of the Pacific; pidgin and creole languages; language change; dictionaries; orthography design.

Robert Early, BA VUW, BD Melb. Coll. Div., MA Auck., PhD ANU
Senior Lecturer

Descriptive studies of Pacific languages, especially Polynesian languages and the languages of central Vanuatu; translation theory and practise; linguistic typology; computer applications in language studies.

Apolonia Tamata, BA USP, MA Haw.
Lecturer

Fijian, especially the Bua dialect; phonology; dictionaries; narrative discourse syntax and semantics.

Hannah Vari-Bogiri, Cert. Ed. (ESL & FFL) St Mark & St John, BA Grad. Dip. Ling. JCU
Assistant Lecturer, MEd Honours (James Cook University, Qld. Australia)

English and French as Second/Foreign Languages; multilingualism; Araki (Southwest Santo) and other languages of northern Vanuatu.

 

CONTACT

You can contact us through the USP Centre Director in your home country. Alternatively, you can contact us directly as follows:

Mail:

Pacific Languages Unit
Emalus Campus
PMB 072
Port Vila.
VANUATU

Telephone: (+678) 22748
Fax:          (+678) 22633

Email: lynch_j@vanuatu.usp.ac.fj
early_r@vanuatu.usp.ac.fj
schmidt_h@vanuatu.usp.ac.fj
tamata_a@vanuatu.usp.ac.fj
bogiri_h@vanuatu.usp.ac.fj

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