By door Gabriel Antunes de Araujo.
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Additional info for A grammar of Sabané, a Nambikwaran language
When this work started, the total number of Sabanê speakers was estimated at about fifteen (Wetzels 1999); however, the Sabanê Census (Araujo 2000) showed that in the year 2000 only eight native speakers were still alive. During the course of this study, the number of native speakers decreased to three. When this work was initiated, the Aroeira village community appointed Manoel Sabanê as my ‘teacher’, because of his knowledge of Sabanê, his availability and, above all, his willingness to work as an informant.
Consequently voiced stop consonants are not phonemes in 48 Phonology either of the two languages. In the absence of voiced stops, implosives are in opposition to voiceless stops. Implosives do not share allophones with voiceless stops either. Moreover, in medial position, implosives vary freely with normal voiced stops. The voiced coronal implosive / í / occurs only in onset position (initial and medial). The sound occurs in very few morphemes, although the ones in which it is found are of very high frequency: the first person possessive pronoun, the evidential present tense and past tense suffixes.
Two non-native speakers have also been crucial for this work: Ivone Sowaintê, Manoel Sabanê’s wife (the last remaining Sowaintê), learnt Sabanê when she was a child and does speak Sabanê regularly with her husband. Teresa Lakondê (the last Lakondê speaker), Manoel and Ivone’s sister-in-law, who also 24 Preliminaries learnt Sabanê when she was young and frequently speaks Sabanê to Manoel and Ivone. Moreover, Teresa Lakondê’s availability and proficiency together with her unique metalinguistic knowledge played a fundamental role in my own learning process of the language, as well as in the collection and confirmation of the data.
A grammar of Sabané, a Nambikwaran language by door Gabriel Antunes de Araujo.