Languages of the week: Kele

This week’s language of the week is actually three languages: Kele, Kele and Kélé. Kélé and Kele(1) are African languages, spoken in Gabon and DR Congo respectively. Kele(2) (not to be confused with Kela, another Austronesian language spoken in Morobe Province, PNG) is an Austronesian language spoken on Manus Island off the North Coast of Papua New Guinea. Kele is probably most famous for its bilabial trills (shared with most if not all of the languages in the Admiralty subgroup). The link goes to the late Peter Ladefoged’s sample sounds on UCLA’s web site. Wikipedia’s page for Kele is a bit sorry-looking (I’ll at least update it with a version of this blog post when I have time). There’s a nice set of Kele folk tales (in English though, unfortunately), on this page.
There’s a sketch of Kele in The Oceanic Languages (Lynch and Ross, eds, 2002), and an article on stress in the journal Oceanic Linguistics.

No information seems to be available for the other Keles.

(By the way, someone mentioned to me recently that the Languages of the week have been a bit wanting for content sometimes. True. I should have chosen Kabardian for this week’s language, for which there’s an online grammar, bibliography, a home page or two in the language, and extensive discussion of the number of vowels. Think of this as a suggestion for a PhD topic..)


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