Language Archives

Papua New Guinea

Some learning materials Tok Pisin

A new course in Tok Pisin (New Guinea Pidgin) documents and tracks 1-11 (ZIP, 43543 KB)

Nalik Language (from C A Volker)

Nalik is an Austronesian Oceanic language spoken in a band across New Ireland in the Tikana Local Level Government area of Kavieng District in northern New Ireland, Papua New Guinea. It is closely related to the other Tungag-Nalik languages to its north (Lakuramau, Kara, Tiang, Tigak, and Tungag), less closely related to the other New Ireland languages (which includes the Kuanua language of the Tolai people of East New Britain), and not genetically related to the non-Austronesian Kuot language, which neighbours it to the south. There has been extensive migration of other people into the Nalik area and of Nalik people to other parts of Papua New Guinea and overseas. All of the estimated 5000 Nalik people are fluent in Tok Pisin, which has become the dominant language for many, and almost all have at least a passive knowledge of basic English. Many ethnic Nalik children no longer learn Nalik or develop only semi-fluency in the language, and higher registers of the language are being lost. There is almost universal adult literacy and an orthography has existed for the language since 1990.

These pages are maintained by Adjunct Professor Craig Alan Volker.

As a bilingual Nalik-English dictionary is being developed, drafts of the work in progress will be placed here. In accessing these unpublished drafts, users are reminded that they are still far from complete, that entries have not yet been proofread,  and that they undoubtedly still have errors or typos that will need to be corrected before publication. Comments and corrections, especially from the Nalik community, are very welcome.

Please send them to:





Volker, Craig Alan. "Nalik Grammar (New Ireland, Papua New Guinea)." PhD dissertation, University of Hawai'i. 1994

Volker, Craig. “Variation in Nalik grammar.” Oceanic studies: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Oceanic Linguistics, edited by John Lynch and Fa‘afo Pat,  Canberra: Pacific Linguistics C-133, 1996, pp 451-462.

Volker, Craig [クレイグ ・フォルカー]. “ナリク語の辞書作成の経過報告 NO.1 : ナリク語の数学 / A Lingmaam 1: A Ikakating wan a ling a Nalik / Nalik Dictionary Project 1: Nalik Mathematics”. Annals of the Gifu University for Education and Languages, No. 32, 1996, pp. 1-33.

Cover of The Nalik Language of New IrelandThe Nalik Language of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

Volker, Craig.  The Nalik Language of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea. Berkeley Models of Grammars Series 4. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 1998.
ISBN 0-8204-3673-9

Available from the publisher at:

Anderson, Gregory D.S., Christie Paskalis and K. David Harrison. Nalik Talking Dictionary. Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages, 2015.


Mazzitelli, Lidia Federica. Documentation of Lakurumau: Making the case for one more language in Papua New Guinea. Language Documentation & Conservation 14, pp. 215-237, 2020.

A Maani book cover A Maani book cover

da Silva, Cláudio & Craig Alan Volker(eds). A Maani: Birds and Nalik Culture. Sheridan, Wyoming: Education Projects International, 2018.
ISBN: 978-1-5136-1827-2

Volker, Craig Alan.Vernacular education in Papua New Guinea: Reform or deform?”  Education in Languages of Lesser Power: Asia-Pacific Perspectives, edited by Craig Alan Volker & Fred Anderson, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. IMPACT: Studies in Language and Society Book 35. 2015. pp 205-211 DOI 10.1075/impact.35.12vol

Available from the publisher at:

da Silva, Cláudio. Aves na cultura Nalik: (re)Conhecendo a voz da comunidade por meio da investigação-ação (Papua Nova Guiné). 2017. University of Coimbra, MA thesis.

More can be found here:

da Silva, Cláudio. “As aves na cultura Nalik: um projeto educativo na Papua Nova Guiné.” Conferência Internacional de Investigação, Práticas e Contextos em Educação (IPCE), edited by Dina Alves, Hélia Gonçalves Pinto, Maria Odília Abreu, & Romain Gillain Muñoz,Leira, Portugal: Escola Superior de Educação e Ciências SociaisInstituto Politécnico de Leiria. 2017. pp. 234-243.

More can be found here:

da Silva, Cláudio. “Tell us your story: documenting the Nalik culture through an educational project in Papua New Guinea.” Asian Conference on Education & International Development 2018, Conference Proceedings, 2018. pp. 311-327.

More can be found here:

da Silva, Cláudio. “Documentando a cultura tradicional local por meio de um projecto educativo interdisciplinar na Papua Nova Guiné.” Ensaiar arte e ciência para religar natureza e cultura, Pesquisa Experimentação Reflexão 2, edited by Alison Neilson & José Eduardo Silva, Porto: Teatro do Frio, 2019. pp 93-110.

More can be found here:

da Silva, Cláudio. “Documenting local traditional culture through an interdisciplinary educational project in Papua New Guinea.” Rehearsing Science and Art to reconnect culture and nature. edited by Alison Neilson & José Eduardo Silva, Porto: Teatro do Frio, 2019. pp 93-102.

More can be found here:

Book cover Saaule Nakma Saaule Nakmai cover

a Xomerang, Michael & Craig Alan Volker, translators. Saaule Nakmai. (prayers in the Nalik language), Port Moresby: National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Papua New Guinea, 2003.

Download here

Cover-A Lan Ipana

Kingsley, Mandas, Dorine Patai, Jeffrey Nguren, & Evelyn Baramus. :

A Lan Ipana Aifakatang Ma Aifaaralang: Nalik Transition Book. Kavieng, Papua New Guinea: SIL International. 2010.

Download here

Ka Saa Nina cover Ka Saa Nina cover

Osake, Biliso. Ka Saa Nina? Translated by Maxading, Grace Kaminiel, Bata Taufa, & Craig Alan Volker, Gifu, Japan: Gifu Shōtoku Gakuen University. 2011.

Download here

South America

Discover the selected materials on the Yahgan language and the Kawesqar language here.

Margarethe Sparing-Chavez was a major expert in Amahuaca and Panoan linguistics. This is her introduction to the materials on Amahuaca grammar, soon to be published by SIL (Dallas).

Download the file Margarethe Sparing testimony (PDF, 127 KB)

This capybara is a pet at Santa Terezinha village, up the Iauari River (distrito Taraqwa, north-west Amazonia, Brazil). It is called ke:tu (rising tone on first syllable) in Baniwa (the main language in the village) and hemasiere in Wamiarikune Tariana. The Kumandene Tariana - the majority population in Santa Terezinha call it ke:tu.

A Capybara

View the video about Ashéninka Perené, an endangered American language of the Arawak family spoken by natives in Perú's Upper Perené river, a tributary of the Tambo river.