Lamenu

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A language of Vanuatu

Alternate Names
Lamen, Lewo, Varmali
Autonym
Lewo-Lamen
Population

500 (Early 2002). Very few monolinguals.

Location

Shefa province: Varmali region, Epi island northwest tip, Lamenu island; Luganville, Port Vila, and Sara villages.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

Galoparua, Galokumali, Galovasoro. Lexical similarity: borderline with Lewo [lww], but strong local identification as separate language.

Typology

SVO; prepositions; indefinite articles; 17 consonants and 10 vowels; stress on the penultimate syllable; inclusive/exclusive pronouns; alienable/inalienable possession; verb serialization.

Language Use

Vigorous. Kindergarten, oral and some written use in church, oral use in commerce. All ages. Positive attitudes. All also use Bislama [bis], bilingually with speakers of Lewo [lww]. Many also use Lewo [lww], especially adults (Early 2002). Also use Paama [pma]. Used as L2 by Lewo [lww].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 50%. Literacy rate in L2: 40%. Taught in primary schools. Dictionary. Texts. Bible portions: 1987–2002.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Population of Lamenu and Epi was over 14,000, but was reduced to 800 in early 1900s due to disease and economic dependence. Christian.

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