The Korowai of Irian Jaya: Their Language in its Cultural Context

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byGerrit J. van Enk, Lourens de Vries

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Irian Jaya is the official name of the western half of New Guinea, a province of Indonesia since the 1960s. Its inhabitants are generally untouched by civilization, and most of their hundreds of native languages and cultures remain unstudied. Van Enk and de Vries gained access to one of themost isolated parts of Irian Jaya in order to study the Korowai, a tribe in southern Irian Jaya. The Korowai still use stone tools, live in tree-houses, and have no knowledge of the outside world. Van Enk and de Vries provide the first study of the Korowai language and culture. They reproduce oraltexts that show patterns of grammar, discourse, and culture, and discuss the phonological, morphological, and syntactical aspects of the language. In the process, van Enk and de Vries reveal a number of key semantic fields and conceptual patterns such as kinship, counting, the role of lunar phases,and Korowai cosmology.

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Irian Jaya is the official name of the western half of New Guinea, a province of Indonesia since the 1960s. Its inhabitants are generally untouched by civilization, and most of their hundreds of native languages and cultures remain unstudied. Van Enk and de Vries gained access to one of themost isolated parts of Irian Jaya in order to ...

Gerrit J. van Enk is a Minister of The Reformed Church of Enumatil (The Netherlands), and also teaches cultural anthropology at the missiological Institute of Reformed Theological Training in the Netherlands. Lourens de Vries is a Research Fellow of Leiden University in the Department of Languages and Cultures of South-East Asia a...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.49 × 6.3 × 0.94 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195105516

ISBN - 13:9780195105513

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"...this is an excellent work for people seeking information about the languages and cultures of peoples of southern Irian Jaya, and a useful source of information on Papuan language structures and oral traditions more generally....[a] valuable work."--Language in Society