Ph. D. dissertation, A Grammar of Ughele – An Oceanic language of Solomon Islands, is available online

My Ph. D. project with the aims to write a grammar of the Oceanic language Ughele is now officially concluded. I am continuing to write on Ughele, making use of the body of data assembled during my field trips for the time being. My Ph. D. dissertation is available online and can be downloaded using the link below its description.


Ughele is a language belonging to the Oceanic subgroup of Austronesian languages. It is spoken by two communities inhibiting the neighbouring villages, Ughele and Egholo, on the island of Rendova in Western Province, Solomon Islands. This dissertation represents the first description of the Ughele language to this date. It consists in 25 short chapters that covers essencial information about its phonology, morphology, syntax, pragmatics and discourse structure, with the most emphasis put on morphology and syntax. In addition, it contains a brief introduction to one of the Ughele speech communities, and an appendix containing word lists and a few Ughele texts with interlinear glosses and translations.

PDF: Frostad, Benedicte Haraldstad. 2013. A Grammar of Ughele, Utrecht: LOT Publications.

Hard copies can be purchased from LOT here.

Reading book for speakers of Ughele in primary school is available online


Pa rineka Ughele.

This reading book for primary school students introduces the letters of the Ughele alphabet, the numbers from 1 to 10, and concepts such as verbs, nouns and sentences. It also contains simple stories, riddles, poems and children’s songs. The example sentences and illustrations were made by the students at Buruku Primary School and the stories, riddles and poems were written by Douglas Vaghi. The book was edited by Benedicte Haraldstad Frostad with the asssistance of Hukari Navo and chief of the Ughele community, Vili Lianga. Printed copies have been provided free of charge by Radboud University in Nijmegen for Buruku Primary School, and an electronic version can be downloaded for free below.

PDF: Lianga, Vili, Hukari Navo and Benedicte Frostad. 20. Buka Tiro Pa Ughele, Nijmegen: Radboud University Nijmegen.

Masters thesis on postural and directional verbs in Äiwoo is available online


This thesis studies verbs used in locative sentences in Äiwoo. When describing the location of inanimate entities, speakers of Äiwoo must choose either the existential verb or a proper posture verb. Judging from data collected through elicitation tests, posture verbs are used to denote objects with a spatial configuration, orientation, and/or elongation that resembles the postures of human beings and animals denoted by the same verbs. This conforms to data from several other languages, and supports the view that the use of posture verbs to describe inanimate entities is a metaphorical extension of the use of the same verbs to describe human and animal posture. The existential verb is used when a posture verb is not applicable. There are also verbs encoding motion and the path of the movement. Morphological causative transitive verb forms can be derived from some of the posture and motion and path verbs. The causative meaning of verbs that do not form morphological causatives are described by lexical causatives. Posture verbs, causative verbs, and motion and path verbs combine in serial verb constructions on the nuclear and core layer of the clause structure. The distribution and function of the different types of verbs combined in a nuclear layer serial verb construction can be described in terms of positional slots. Two or three verbs can combine in nuclear layer serial verb constructions, where the initial verb carries the main meaning, modified by the second and third verb. Verbs combined in core layer serial verb constructions can either share one or both arguments.

PDF: Frostad, Benedicte Haraldstad. 2006. Syntactic and Semantic Aspects of Some Verbs of Motion and Location in Äiwoo, Oslo: Master of Arts Thesis, Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian studies, University of Oslo.