A grammar of Ulwa (Papua New Guinea)

Russell Barlow


This book is a grammatical description of Ulwa, a Papuan language spoken by about 600 people living in four villages in the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. Ulwa belongs to the Keram language family. This grammatical description is based on a corpus of recorded texts and elicited sentences that were collected during a total of about twelve months of research carried out between 2015 and 2018. The book aims to detail as many aspects of Ulwa grammar as possible, including matters of phonology, morphology, and syntax. It also contains a lexicon with over 1,400 entries and three fully glossed and translated texts. The book was written with a typologically oriented audience in mind, and should be of interest to Papuan specialists as well as to general linguists. It may be useful to those working on the history or classification of Papuan languages as well as those conducting typological research on any number of grammatical features.


Author Biography

Russell Barlow, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Russell Barlow is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. He has been researching the Ulwa language since 2015. His PhD dissertation at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa provided the first grammatical description of Ulwa. He has subsequently also conducted field research with the four other members of the Keram family: Mwakai, Pondi, Ambakich, and Ap Ma. More recently, he has begun documenting and describing some of the Papuan and Austronesian languages of New Britain. His research includes broad issues in linguistic typology, as well as the historical reconstruction and classification of Papuan languages. He is particularly interested in contact between Papuan and Austronesian languages and the history of settlement of the Pacific.

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August 1, 2023
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Cite as
Barlow, Russell. 2023. A grammar of Ulwa (Papua New Guinea). (Comprehensive Grammar Library 6). Berlin: Language Science Press. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.8094859


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Details about the available publication format: PDF


ISBN-13 (15)




Details about the available publication format: Bibliography


ISBN-13 (15)


Details about the available publication format: Hardcover


ISBN-13 (15)


Physical Dimensions

180mm x 245mm