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Title: The Elema languages : a comparative study of Toaripi, Orokolo and their related dialects
Author: Brown, H. A.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University of London
Date of Award: 1972
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It is now 35 years since I began studying the two languages, Toaripi and Orokolo, that are compared in this thesis. At that time I was doing an Honours Course in Anthropology at University College and the London School of Economics. It had then only just become possible for an Arts student to graduate in London in this subject, and I was, in fact, the only student taking the course during 1934-6, although there was also a fellow student doing a Special B. Sc. in Anthropology. For Linguistics we had the advantage of tuition by the late J. R. Firth. As there were only two of us students taking the course, his teaching was largely of an informal character. There were several occasions in our discussions when he paid generous tributes to the contributions to linguistic knowledge made by missionaries as a result of their work of Scripture translation. I say 'generous', because I am well aware that some Scripture translations into 'primitive' languages have shown little linguistic discernment. Those were the days before the Wycliffe Bible Translators 4 had begun their work. It would have been easy for a man of Firth's linguistic knowledge to have pointed out a few of the many errors made by missionary translators, but never did I hear him do this. It was these expressions of appreciation of linguistic work done by missionaries that encouraged me in my resolve to do all I could in the way of translation, whatever form my missionary duties might take. I further resolved I would set down in some systematic form such knowledge of Papuan languages as I might acquire. '-Towards the end of 1938 I left England for Papua, and there, apart from two furloughs in England and some shorter periods in Australia, I have been ever since. Prior to graduating, however, I made a start at investigating Papuan languages. I received an introduction to S. H. Ray, and at his suggestion I began a study of Orokolo, using as a basis the then recent translation of the Four Gospels and Acts, made by the Rev. H. P. Schlenker. The main reason for this choice was my anticipation that I would be appointed to a place somewhere in the Gulf of Papua. Ray told me that he had himself very little knowledge of Orokolo, but he knew it to be cognate with Toaripi.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available