Pauline Yuaneng Agnes Luma Laki, a Journalist, Senior Publications and Public Relations Officer with the Public Employees Association of PNG, was one of the most knowledgeable elders of the Manambu nation of the East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea.  A talented natural linguist and anthropologist, Pauline Yuaneng made an immense contribution to the maintenance of the Manambu language and tradition, and its documentation.  Her untimely passing is an immense loss to us all.

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Eulogy from James Laki

BORN: 15 August 1954

To Lumawandem and Dumanakwi, of Avatip Village of the Manambw tribe, USA, Ambunti, ESP; as the only surviving child from many that could not be alive. She had brothers and sisters from another Mother and included late Joe, then Joel and Roslyn Luma, who are present here today. She had fond memories of growing up in the village amongst other girls like Esther Majegamban, Monica Maikep and boys like Sam Malo, James Gusa; and attending School in the village that just started in 1962.


Avatip Primary School from 1962 to 1967, then to Brandi High School from 1968 to 1971

In 1971 she became the Head Girl for the Girls School while her First Cousin (Brother) Job Kasa in the Boys School.  Brandi was Coeducational but with two  distinct facilities.

February 1973: Did and completed her Public Service Higher Certificate (PSHC) and the now PNG Institute of Public Administration, (PNGIPA) (then The Administrative College) in Port Moresby.

January 1974: After graduating with the Papua New Guinea’s Public Service Higher Certificate majoring in Social Work, she was posted to the Department of Social Development and Home Affairs as a Trainee Community Development Officer, dealing with welfare work, basic counselling, case work, attending to juvenile offenders cases (children’s courts), rehabilitation programmes with mentally retarded patients in the hospitals organising and setting up women’s clubs before becoming permanent in the Public Service in 1976. However, what would have been a career part was short lived for the second choice in High School for a career in Journalism.

March 1977: She was recruited by the ABC’s Port Moresby office to train as a cadet journalist and hence furthering her ambition, signed up with Radio Australia’s Papua New Guinea Service on a three (3) year contract switching to be a Programme Officer, doing actual on air broadcasting in the studio consul, news translations reading the bulletin in English and Talk Pidgin, recording, interviewing, producing, and editing various interviews, documentaries and musical programmes broadcasting to PNG, and the South West Pacific (Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia and where ever the airwaves frequencies reached, such areas as the Torres Strait Islands and Iryian Jaya (West Papua), broadcasting from 5 o’clock in the afternoon to 8:00pm in the evenings every day, in both languages, English and Tok Pisin.

May 1981: Upon return from a three (3) year contract with the Papua New Guinea Service of Radio Australia’s Overseas Service in Melbourne she became the Publication Officer, with the PNG National Council Women, however ended up performing duties as an Administrative Officer, just over twelve (12) months before she left to be a reporter with Word Publishing Company.

Aug 1982: She joined the Word Publishing Company and was reporting for the company’s four (4) newspapers, The Times of PNG, Wantok Newspaper, Business Times, PNG Trade Monthly, and the educational materials, profiles and features specifically for Primary and High School teachers and students.

Her task included every aspect in the general news coverage from women, sports activities to human interest and subsequently promoted to senior political reporter.

On many occasions on a capacity as chief of editorial staff delegating, and assigning reporters on assignments and supervising junior reporters then journalism students from the Divine Word University in Madang who were on practical attachments.

Within the five (5) years she was elevated to a senior reporter to the tabloid type the Wantok Niuspepa PNG’s only Tok Pisin newspaper for the average urban and mostly rural, on weekly of in depth coverage targeted toward the affluent readers’ politicians, diplomats, scholars, private and public sector executive alike.

January 1988: For twelve (12) months she was producing the Bi-monthly newsletter called “Youth on the Move” working with the Department Of Home Affairs and Youth. A newsletter targeted towards the youth Movement in Papua New Guinea.

March 1989: Employed as a journalist with the Papua New Guinea Electricity Commission (ELCOM) now PNG Power, later to be a Public Relations Officer after a structural change in the organising a month later. Duties involving production of the Elcom quarterly newsletter print and electronic media Liaison, facilitations and general public relations.

September 1990: Commenced with the Public Employees Association (PEA) Papua New  Guinea’s largest Public Sector Trade Union as the Senior Publications Officer.

First (8) eight years was producing and editing “The Voice of PEA” magazine and disseminating them to the union members and the entire government departments throughout the country, the Public Service International and PNG Missions abroad and other subscribers locally and abroad.

Ultimately she was also the public Relations Officer organizing press conferences, liaisons, with media, printers and publishers, managing events, official recordings of interviews and press conferences (video) Facilitating, being Master of Ceremony on numerous during Congresses, Seminars and signing of various awards (Memorandum of Agreements) between the Government and the Union.

She performed other administrative duties as required by the Unions General Secretary, The President and the Board of Directors from time to time.

Jan 1995: While on husband’s study trip in Canberra, was hired by the Australian National University (ANU), Department of Linguistic as a casual research assistant delivering group/tutorials and individual consultations on Tok Pisin to Post Graduates Linguistic students and other academics.

June 1998: She was pursuing further again as a part time Linguistic Research Assistant at the Australian National University (ANU) Research Centre for Linguistic and Typology working towards publishing a Linguistic dictionary in the Manambu language now, called “The Manamb Language of East Sepik, Papua New Guinea, one of PNG’s East Sepik River area of Ambunti’s local vernacular (which she was a native speaker). She’d been working on it from Port Moresby since 1995 in association with  Centre in Canberra.

January 1999: Attended University of Canberra, Australia began the first year of the three year course in Bachelor of Communication in Journalism.

2000-2001: Upon her return from Australia she resumed at substantive position of Senior Publications/Public Relations Officer with the Public Employees Association of PNG, editing all PEA’s publications including its quarterly publication The Voice of PEA. And performing all duties required of this

March 2003: pursuing her studies at UPNG and graduated in 2003 with Bachelor of Arts, Majoring in Journalism.

2014: She got retrenched from PEA on medical grounds, but unpopularity with outstanding issues.

Notable highlights in her life

Some of the significant assignments she undertook while with Word Publishing as a journalist were:

1982: Covered Queen Elizabeth’s tour of PNG, touring Port Moresby and Mt. Hagen travelling with the press corps.

Travelled to South Korea Representing the company with reporters of the other media organisations sponsored by the South Korean Government through its Embassy in Port Moresby as part of its foreign policy efforts to promote the kind of democracy of the country.

Covered the 1982 National Election for all the Word Publishing Newspapers.

1983: Covered a six (6) months running National Court trail, an extremely controversial and highly security and diplomatically sensitive case in   which Indonesian Embassy staff ( first secretary) was slayed by an Irian Jayan, a separatist activist living in Port Moresby.

May 1984: Covered the Papal tour, Pope John Paul the Second to PNG touring Port Moresby and Mt. Hagen. Covered the Mt. Hagen leg of tour.

August 1984: Covered the opening of the PNG’s new Parliament House by Prince Charles (The Prince of Wales) and travelled with his entourage to the other  three centres, Popondetta, Wewak and Manus where the Duke of Edinburg, Commonwealth Projects are.

October 1984: Toured with the entourage of the then Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Bill Hayden on his PNG Provincial Centres of Madang, Lae, Wewak, MT. Hagen and Goroka covering for the TIMES and WANTOK newspapers.

1985 /87 A three (3) year term 1985/87 Deputy Chairperson representing Word Publishing Company in the PNG church’s council for Media, CCM, an ecumenical watchdog to deal with freedom of speech, press etc. from any possible government suppression. Word Publishing Company is owned by an ecumenical churches, but is being run by the Divine Word Missionaries (Catholic)

Represented the Churches Council for Media of PNG attended conferences in Fiji, PNG, and subsequently was elected as South West Pacific Regional Secretary defeating three (3) other nominees from Solomon Islands , Tonga and Fiji Affiliated to the World Council of Christian Communication, thus Travelling Throughout the Eastern Pacific regularly on duty.

1995 Pauline agreed to work as instructor within a Field methods class taught by Professor Alan Rumsey, teaching a group of students ANU, Canberra her native tok peoples, Manambw.

1998 Continued to work intermittently and publishing the Manambw Language Book with Sasha in 2008, as part of resurrecting endangered languages project.

She was pursuing the Shadowy Side of the Language when she was struck with ill health.


Other informal non- certificate achievements are:

April-1977 (4 weeks) Basic Radio Broadcasting Course at the ABC Training Centre on Darlinghurst street and the William street Studio in Sydney.
June -1980 (1 week) Introduction to news reporting. Post Courier, one of PNG’s daily newspapers, in-house Training, Port Moresby.
1980 - 3 months at the editorial section (newsroom) covering women’s stories.
May-1982 (2 weeks) Methods of news reporting. Word Publishing in-house training. By Father. Frank Mihalic founding editor/producer of PNG’s Talk Pidgin newspaper the WANTOK author of the only talk pidgin dictionary The Jacaranda, and the founder of Word Publishing company and currently the senior lecturer in Communication and Media studies at the Divine Word Institute in Madang PNG.
July-1982 (1 week) Photo Journalism Word Publishing in-house training by Rowan Callick, who was then the Chief Editor of The Times of PNG and the company’s Training Officer. After many years in PNG, Mr. Callick is now with the Financial Review in Brisbane.
June-1984 (1 week) Economic  Journalism Co-funded by UPNG and the Institute for International Journalism, Colongue, West Germany. Instructor, Frank Burton, International  Journalism lecturer IIJC. Venue: UPNG
October-1984 (3 days) Finance/Political Reporting (emphasis on Govt-Budget and other monetary issues touching on IMF, World Bank and Australian Aid in terms of tied and untied etc).  How to report in the basic layman terms possible using graphics etc, presented by: Professor Brian Brogan, PNG National Affairs University of PNG and Economic Advisor to the PNG Govt, and Rowan Callick.
It was a preparatory course for the forthcoming national budget by the Finance Minister in the November session of PNG’s Parliament, then I was the political reporter for the TIMES Of PNG and WANTOK newspapers and was covering the budget.

August-1993 (2 weeks) Industrial Relations With the Trade Union Training Association TUTA Clyde Cameron College, Wudonga, NSW. Funded by the South Pacific, Oceania Confederation of Trade Union, SPOCTU (Brisbane).
Throughout the years I’ve attended numerous seminars and conferences representing my employer including for gender in women’s roles as well.

Marriage & Children

She was married to James Laki in 1980 and has three adult children; Kelvin, Cashmira and Salome; and four grandchildren; Benedict, Veronica, Malula and Hazel.


Finally: She travelled extensively to many countries - France, India, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, the South Pacific Island countries - for seminars, conferences and other work related assignments.

Pauline was rich — if not in transient monetary wealth, but in the wealth that matters: she had a wealth of knowledge of Manamb lore, traditions, songs, and personal names. This wealth will survive her own physical life. Alongside her success in the modern world and her knowledge of it, she kept up with the centuries-old customs and rituals of her native nation. Only she could explain the ancestral travels — reflected in the mourning songs, ngrakundi, and songs of foiled marriages, namay and sui, which she sang like no one else. Every stanza in a song, Pauline explained, has to be restated in a different language — ‘the other side’, or, as she called it, ‘the shadowy side’. She was one of the few — if not the only one! — who knew it all. She acquired the knowledge from her illustrious father Lumawandem — and perhaps her knowledge did exceed what was fit for a woman to know. But Manamb men accepted this, and often asked Pauline for help if there was a word or a name they could not quite recall.

Her spiritual wealth was reflected in the number of names she had herself — Yuaneng, Pakanember, Iramanjau, Nyam; Bebeywagurakinember, Bebeypasikeneber, Vakergaaj, Takagaj, Yijimbira Wundumb. She was strong and courageous, and never afraid to speak up, berating youngsters for not speaking Manambu or even Tok Pisin. What she did not appreciate she called a ‘syndrome’, and acceptable things were called ‘way of life’. Her words and her ways of saying things remain part and parcel of the language used by us all.

Messages Of Appreciation


Distinguished Professor Sasha (Alexandra) Y. Aikhenvald (JCU)

This is a short message of love, grief, and appreciation, for my adopted older sister, maam, Pauline Yuaneng Agnes Luma Laki.

Pauline and I met in the autumn of 1995 in Canberra. James Sissu Laki, was then at Royal Australian Air Force Staff College, at Fairbairn on prerequisite training to be Lieutenant-Colonel in then PNG army, and Pauline agreed to work as instructor within a Field methods class taught by Professor Alan Rumsey, teaching a group of students her native tok ples, Manambu. I joined the class — and this is how it all started. She was eager to teach and to share her knowledge: the group was transfixed by stories she told about the Manamb clans and the totemic names, and the powerful tale of the Benjingay canoe and the two brothers who had carved the Sepik river.

Pauline adopted me as her younger sister, her nyamus. I immediately acquired a new big adopted family in Avatip, Yawabak, Yambun, Malu — and beyond. She taught me the language and introduced me to her native Avatip and other Manambu villages. My son Michael got a new second mother, someone who had a special place in his heart — and a whole new lot of brothers, sisters, uncles, and aunties. So important for us — both Michael and me are only children, from a family decimated by the vagaries of the Soviet regime! Pauline also welcomed into her family my partner, Professor Bob Dixon, originally from England.

And then Pauline gave me a Manamb name, sealing our deep link — a strong, powerful name Nyamamayratawk. Having a name was like a naturalization certificate — my white woman stigma faded into the background, and I was on my way to becoming a real village woman, meya tepa taawk. My other name, Apagaaj, was given by our maternal uncle Paul Badaybag. Pauline immediately supplied the other side, totemic form of it – Rekagaaj. One more inseparable link, on maternal side, was sealed – again and again. Together with Pauline, we travelled all over the Sepik region – the remote Swakap, Yalaku, besides other places along the mighty Sepik.

Pauline – Yuaneng, or Neng, by her main name of her Maliau clan — was a born leader, first in everything. She was the first ever girl from the Manamb nation to be the Head girl at Brandi High School, ESP (1971). She was the first ever to work at the ABC Radio National, and the first ever to get a University degree. Yuaneng was a talented linguist — the grammar, the stories and the dictionary of Manamb language are imbibed with her knowledge. She travelled the world over and told us stories about her adventures. Once, in the mid-seventies, she visited France on her newly issued passport of Papua New Guinea, a recently independent nation. And she was stopped at the border: the ignorant officials thought she was arriving from Guinea-Bissau, a troublesome nation then. For them, too, she was the first! She dreamt of visiting my two countries – Russia and Brazil; dreams that did not come true.

Pauline, Yuaneng, left us — this is a loss which we will never get used to, a wound which will never heal. Messages of grief, condolences, and appreciation of Pauline’s heritage keep pouring in, from friends, colleagues and students, from every part of the world — Rina Marnita, Pauline’s former student from the Australian National University, now professor of linguistics in Padang, her native Indonesia; Professor Alan Rumsey, from the Australian National University; Professor Anthony Grant, from Edgehill College, Liverpool, to name a few. Using the words of Professor Gerrit Dimmendaal, our friend from the University of Cologne, ‘Pauline was a person with a good heart, somebody who did make a difference for the society in which she lived’.

Pauline’s voice, her spirit, her knowledge and her heritage will live on — in the stories and in books, and in her work which James Sissu Laki will continue to pursue. She will live on through her children, Kelvin, Cashmira and Salome (Starlet), and through her grandchildren who remember her love and dedication. She will live on in everyone who ever got to meet her and to read what she wrote and hear what she recounted. Pauline’s life and work will be celebrated for years to come.

The loss remains — like an abyss, a deep black hole of no return. As Lord Byron, an English poet from Pauline’s adopted culture, put it —

Away! we know that tears are vain,

That death nor heeds nor hears distress:

Will this unteach us to complain?

Or make one mourner weep the less?

And thou—who tell’st me to forget,

Thy looks are wan, thine eyes are wet

Graremb granadian, Yuaneng, Pakanember, Yinjimbira Wundumb, gaaj, tapwuk, wundemb, yara maay, yabenay, nyiaur!

Message by James Sesu Laki

It has been hard to forget someone or anything that has been part of you after being mutually intertwined for years with intermittent separation only to know you will meet again in days, weeks and months, but not years or for evermore; yet the feeling is real that this separation is far from the truth, the plans and expectations in retirement which Pauline Yuaneng and I had in mind.  It was a whirlwind life from the time we met in Lae when she returned from her Short Contract with Radio Australia in Melbourne, Australia.  I just fell “head over heels” with myself having trust issues of past girlfriends and knowing she was from our tribe with words of my mother echoing in me to meet and marry a Manambw Educated Girl.  I knew she was right for me.

She was right for me but not simple, having herself set standards, unlocked herself from the traditional barriers of the tribe and inculcating the morals and values of decency and humanity of both our culture and that western one we were getting into.  Together we were seen as the new Manambw and Pauline of all people embraced this.  She was already intrigued by the myths, sociology and cosmology and many rituals and practices she grew up with not only her mother who was very affluent as a wife of leading figure in tradition and modernity there was a father who led these shows and carried oratory art.

It took a strong woman like Pauline to break away from that strong family and tribal bondage that was subjective to woman and girls. This was also an opening, an opportunity to understand and see from her perspectives to not only realize I was not a weak Manambw man but a strong one accepting humanity and practise in tribal and western cultures.  Many a times we would talk these into the nights and even more encouraging when we have her brother Joel Yuakalu Luma who on occasions joined us to talk the night away to morning hours.

Meeting Professor Alexandra Aikhenvald brought a new meaning to Pauline’s life as she went around with Sasha and documented some of the work mentioned in the this memorial page.  She enjoyed what she was doing and she also had a way with people that could like or dislike her.  She could be direct and resolvable but polite and mostly kind and immediately create attention especially with the Manambw tribe when she greets with accolades superior to his or her normal.  That is already humbling and people appreciate that.  I will never meet anyone with that kind of greetings or having that peoples’ communication skills.

Wuna Kalu, Ngymammairatauk, Pakannymbirwali, Yijimbira Wundimb, Tapuk Kaluyapakan, Gaanj Tapuk;

Memories Of Pauline Laki, By Alan Rumsey

I first met Pauline Laki in 1995, when I was looking for someone to help me teach a course in linguistic field methods at Australian National University. The point of such courses is to teach students how to learn and analyse the workings of a language they know nothing about, through interacting with a speaker of it – preferably one who is a good teacher in their own right. As luck would have it, Pauline turned out to be marvellous in that role. As an eloquent and linguistically perceptive speaker of Manambu, she patiently responded to our queries about the language, often going beyond them to show us how much more we could learn by asking different questions. The stories she told us in Manambu were a treasure trove, not only of linguistic resources, but for the insights they gave us into cultures and societies of the Middle Sepik region.

Pauline took a personal interest in everyone in that class and got to know us all well. It is especially fortunate that one of the participants in it was Alexandra Aikhenvald, who was so inspired by the opening that Pauline gave us into Manambu that she continued studying the language for many years, both with Pauline and with other speakers to whom Pauline introduced her in PNG. That work has resulted in one of richest bodies of documentation and analysis that has ever been published for any language in Papua New Guinea – one to which Pauline has contributed enormously.  Farewell Pauline. We will miss you more than words can tell!

A Message From Professor Anthony Grant

“Pauline and I met in 2004, during my first (and so far only) visit to Australia from what is now Edge Hill University.  Sasha had always said that if I was in Australia I must come to Bundoora, and when I had the chance to visit Sydney for the Australian Linguistics Conference, I decided to append a visit to La Trobe.  Sasha introduced me to Pauline and James, and we got on at once.  Pauline was so cheerful;, so delighted by her language and culture and by other people’s enthusiasm for it.  I remember that she and James told me how they had enjoyed seeing TV programmes from Britain in the past, and how they were entranced and intrigued by such things as castles , very different from what one might see on the Sepik River.   They also graciously tolerated me trying out my Tok Pisin, a language I had read lots of, in, and about but which I had never had chance to try out.  Pauline was a star, and her legacy will shine long and far for decades to come.”

Anthony Grant

Paulines Life Story as told to Canberra 10th March 1999

Life story (told to Sasha Aikhenvald, 10.03.1999, Canberra)

Wunake wun bas yawi wakun kurtuel sa:d lekel ma:j wunake laiftaim stori ketekapek al

‘This is how I went out to work, this is more or less my life story’

Wa:j akaya wayaketuaya Sasa, aka wukekeñina nukedi du ta:kwab aka wukekedanaya

‘I will tell this story for you, Sasa, to hear, and for other men and women to hear’.

Aka ya nebla nabi vau 10 March 1999 yakia

‘Let me see what is today’s day, 10 March 1999, OK’

Wunake sukulim ruku yawik wakutuel sa:d aka waketua ya

‘I will tell (you) how I went to work after I finished school’

Skul kusuku skul Brendi haiskul, anay aka Wewakam rena, Wewak Papua Niu Guini atawanab wau

‘Having finished school, Brendi high school, it is in Wewak, in Papua New Guinea, let me say it like this.’

Alem skul kusuku 1973 skul kuselwun, keta ma nemade tal ad  sukul, kusuku yawik ata wakulwun

‘Having finished school in 1973, now it is a big school, I went out to work’.

Yawik ma wa:kw college yilwun, Administrative college Mosbim rena, Administrative college wakwadana, keta aka Public Institute of Administration wadana, alem yiku Public School High Certificate alem kurlwun nabi nak alem sukurelwun

‘I did not go out to work, I went to College, there is Administrative College in Moresby, they call it Administrative college, now it is Public Institute of Administration. There I got Public School High Certificate, I spent one year there’.

Geñer yiku Divine Word Institute alem diploma in journalism alem kurlwun

‘Later I got a diploma in journalism at the Divine Word Institute’.

Suku reku keka naka social worker teker wakulwun ke Sasa kekanaka wuken rena  alek wajinaun kedi ma:j wayatualek kekanaka wuken rena  Sasa

‘Having got the certificate, I was to become a social worker. I am laughing because Sasa is sitting here listening to these stories.’

Alek waku ade nabi kusuku basa yawi ata 1975 Papua New Guinea Independence tedel (kurdel) a bas yawik kurtuel akanaka

‘When that year finished, I went out to my first job, in 1975, Papua New Guinea Independence, I went out to my first job’.

Basa yawi aka atawa salidak Gorokam telwun Gorokar wartuel o! nekerek miya kiyareb wun ma la:kw neker taytay telel nekere kurku tabek kurlwun

'First after they sent me, I was in Goroka, I went up to Goroka, o! I almost died of cold, I didn't know what cold was like, having caught a cold, I ran away'

Salidak weyakedak ma wartuel waren Mendim telwun adi pagiya yalibu adi tepam atawa tetay welfare yawi kurelwun yawik yitay adi nebek badau

'After they sent me, told me to go, I went up again, I was in Mendi, there I did welfare work, going to work, mountains, valleys'

Adi adult education course wadanadi community education adiya atapeke course school yik adi tepa du ta:kwak tepa du ta:kw tamiya kedi adi health and hygiene  adiya akatawa kain skul lani yikalwun wapwi samasapi tepatepa vyakata sukulek yi ye wa atawa sukul kwiyikwatudi adiya akatawa kain skul kwi yikwalwun

'Adult education courses, community education, teaching people from that area, health and hygiene, this type of school, sewing clothes, from village to village, this sort of schooling I was giving’.

Bas treni trenituel  aka

‘I was doing training this way’.

Neke Samaray kel ta:kw wunake Senior Officer wuna yawi ta:y yel ta:kw lekewa ata yi:kwabran ata yawi kuryikwabran

'Another woman from Samaray was my Senior Officer, she was my boss, we used to go together with her, we worked.'

Gaman patrol deyadi tim ad policeman nak tanim tok nak tanim tok tukwade du nak wa adi tepa du adi ñanadi patrol boks kago atawa yatayi:kwadi yatadakeb ata watay tayir 26 mails wadadi keta be kilometre wan nesedana seker a

'The government patrol team, one policeman and one interpreter, and people from the village carrying the cargo, as they said before, 26 miles, now they count it in kilometres'

Ata watay 26, 20 atawa mails wadadi seker bas gaman stesheneb tetay adi kwasadi trakta atawa kuren  kraydakeb tri o for mail samting traktasap yi:tay yakia wursedadakeb yakia

'So they used to go 26, 20 miles, from the government station, these small tractors, three or four miles by tractor, they they would unload things. OK.'

Adi nemadi semi ya:b ata mæner yi nebek badau nebek badau yi:::n 26, 27 adi mæner (wakabuten) mæner yitay  ata gan yakia

'We would go on foot 26, 27 miles, mountain, valley, go and go, then it would be night.'

Gan alem sekwatay ata watay wik nak ana

'Having slept a night, we would spend a week or so there'.

Adi tepa du ta:kwak ata ke watua adult education sukul ata kwi:yikwabran wunawa samare takwawa yawi kurtay tuku yakia samare ta:kw le keka naka nekede tepar Mosbi:r salidak yalek wunada kap tan yakia a yawi ata kurlwun

'I was teaching ‘adult education program’ to the village people, we were teaching, me and the woman from Samare, then the Samare woman got snt off to another place, to Moresby, after she’d gone, I was by myself, I was doing the job.'

Alem nabi nak tetud nabi nak tetuek alem nabi nak tuku keka salidak yi:n Vanimoam Vanimoar keka yilwun Vanimoam tetay  yakia

'I stayed there for a year. Having stayed there for a year, I went to Vanimo, I went to Vanimo, and stayed there. OK.'

Ata wartay kedi tepam Telefomin Yapsi Oksapmin, Tekin wadanadi tepam atawa tetay  adi ata tepa takwak adi yawi kwalas wapwi mowi jab tepatep  semapisemapi kwalas mawi jab semakan ata semakayawi kuryikwalwun

‘Having gone up there, I stayed in the villages called Telefomin, Yapsi, Oksapmin, Tekin, I showed sewing clothes to village women, I did this job of showing’.

Adi atawa kain sadi yawi adi watuadi kain health and hygiene adi sadisad   deyak atawa vyakata gutpela sinduan sep wi tami family kulapwen vyakanakun atawa re skul kwiyikwalwun famili lukwaten re tiyawi (kulakwun) atawa kain skul deyak amæyebrak laniin skul kwiyi:kwalwun

'I did these types of work, teaching the village women about the good life, I was teaching them these things.'

Alebab aka naka duakab aka naka komuniti kedi vyakata sad vyakat re sad sukul kwiyikwalwun tamiya tami: adi tep ata watay mæner yikwalwun

‘I was teaching men, too, I was teaching all the members of the community about good ways of life, so I went on on foot’.

Keta ma seker yakia ya:b kwadanalek ka:r mowi  trak adi atawa yidanapek ma adi seker atabek ma ma te akes tiyikwadi adi seker alek menaka

'Now it is not like this, now it is time when there are good roads, there cars, trucks and other things, at that tiume no, they did not go (there), those times one went on foot only.'

Wunabab ata watay wakuba tetudi mænar yikwatudi sep akes jan yikwalwun wunabab bædi kwadi bædi kwatuel seker adi bædi kwatudi seker adi

'I too, I went on feet, I did not get tired, I was young then'.

Wunabab sukul kusuku bas wakwen tetuadi nabi adi 19, 20, 21 atawa tetuadi seker taim adi tetudi  nabi adi yakia

‘I, too, after I finished school, these were the years when I first went out to work, these were the years. OK’.

Alem tuku tetuek  kekanaka alem tetuek  ke Redio Ostrelia yawi keka ñuspepam kamapil kwal kwalek ada alem tede patrol ofisa Popondetta kedad de Telefomin kel ta:kw krad

‘So I was staying like this, and there appeared a notice on work in Radio Australia, there was a patrol officer in Popondetta who married a woman from Telefomin’.

Telefomin kel deke ta:kw leke wuna welfare assistant tal teku keka naka ke pepa keka karyadal karyaku wad keka naka ke atawa wad, kal! ke vetua yawi kal waku wad a wun redio Wewakar wun alem adi kuryikwatudi yawi deyadi progrem mowi sukutay saliyikwalwun

‘This woman from Telefomin was my welfare assistant. So he brought the paper, and said: here it is. I saw (it). This is work. I wrote all the papers for the job and sent them.’

Ke wik atawa yaknaun watay mi ma:j atawa redio wewakam alay Skosio wadana tep au West Irian au Vanimo PNG meya namel yayakebi tepar atawa yaknaun watay ma:j kwitak wapuwap si: yikwalwun deyak ata watay redio Wewakam maj atawa maj wapuwapwum

‘Having said: I will go this week, I will go to Skosio or Vanimo, some place in the middle, I will go; having said that, I sent them a notice (toksave), to Radio in Wewak’.

Nay neyikwadadi deyadi result sukutay ata saliyikwalwun redio Wewakar al wuna yawi ma wunawuna yawi ma wuna mawul yikwalwun  laikituel akatawa yawi kurkurek

‘I used to send the results of the games to Radio Wewak. It was not my job but I liked it’.

Ata watay  kwitakayikwatukekeb saliyikwatukekeb yakia ata spotñius ma:j riditay wuna se ab ata seki  yikwadal le kwitakaladi saliladi ma:j adi watay Redio Wewaka kedi

‘Thus after I sent (the news), they read them, and acknowledge my name, having said, these are the news sent by her (me), the people from Radio Wewak.’

Akatawa yawi kurelwun kurtukeb ke ñe ata keber du ta:wk de du se Frenk ad deke ta:kw Sendi ya de Popondetta kedad le Telefomin kelal

‘I was working this way. That day, there were these two, the man’s name was Frank, and his wife Sandy, he was from Popondetta, she was from Telefomin’.

Wau! ata watay redio wewakar ata adi na:y deyakedi yawi deyakedi kedi watuadi yawi toksape progrem yawi deyakedi ripot/ma:j sukutay ata saliyikwalwun kwitakayikwalwun

‘Wau! Having said that, I used to send sport news to Radio Wewak’.

Telefomin Oksapmin o Vanimoam tetuelab ata watay (katawa) yawi kuryikwalwun

‘When I was staying in Telefomin, Oksapmin or Vanimo, I did this too’.

Ata watay  kurtukeb dey nius riditay wuna se ab ata seki yikwidad sekitay  ata wadi le saliladi adi watay atawa yawi kurtay ata waren Telefominem bap mugulapek tetuek keber watuaber du ta:kw Frenkawa Sendi de Patrol ofisa ad Popondetta kedad  le Sendi Telefomin kel ta:kw al wunake welfare assistant tal adi kedi du Frenk a ñiuspepa ata karyaku semadal semakaku wad

‘Having read the news, they would announce my name; having worked like this, having gone up, I stayed in Telefomin for about three months, then the two I have been talking about, a man called Frank and his wife Sandy, he was a Patrol Officer from Popondetta and she was my welfare assistant from Telefomin, he brought this newspaper and having shown it (to me) said’.

O! ke yawi veñena waku vyakatayake yawi al ata wadek veku o! ata wadek Redio Ostreliam yin yawi kurkwer al ateta se sape tena  atawa yawi kurkurek watay atawa maj ata walwun

‘He said, o! Have you seen this job?, this is good job, after he said this, I saw (it), I was asking myself, how will I go and work for Radio Australia, but who knows, I was saying thus’.

Adi maaj mawul atawa tal

‘This is what I was thinking’.

Wuna mawul atawa tal telek keka naka yawi kwalel tedadi pepa ata katituel katiku a ñiuspepam kwal yawi te ka ata katituel

‘This how I thought. Having thought like this, I cut out the paper where it said about the job, I cut it out’.

Kep katin napaku katin napaku ata kep wun yawi kurtay sukuyikwatuel dayari bukam dey bukam ata kuselatuk  ata kwayal, kwal be wukemaymaren ata telwun

‘Having cut it out and put it into the diary book I was writing in, I completely forgot about it’.

Ata tuku yakya Vanimoar keka ata dalwun  adi Indonesia kedi ta:kw ñanawa volebol na:y næyik væradak wun West Sepik PNG sait gak ta:kw voleybol tim wun tay yilwun wun kepten telwun

‘Then I went down to Vanimo, these Indonesian women were going to play volleyball with us, I was on the West Sepik PNG side, I was in charge of the team, I was the captain’.

Keka naka ke dey bukam kwal a ñiuspepam kwal yawi ata semakatuel a wuna yawi ta:yel megelapwa takwak tolai al lekek a yawi semakatuek le ata wa:l

‘Then I showed this job advertisement which was in the diary to the women who was my boss, a woman from Megelapw. she was Tolai, and she said’.

Jau traimen (kepabe) applai tan ap yakia waku atawa walek keka naka kepa pasedaka ñigadaka sukutuel

‘She said, try and apply, and I wrote a letter myself’.

Sukuku salituek   ABC ofis  PortMoresbir ya:l yalek veku au dey kediyanadeka ringtuku mi: majar wadi  kediyadiya wadi ata wadi rait tuku ata wadi

‘Having written, I sent (it) off to the ABC office in Port Moresby, and it (letter: feminine) went down, then they rang me up saing like this, having written (to me).’

Interview teker mæy waku wadak a ma deyake pas a kuker yal wun be tayib  yalwun Wantok ñuspepam yawi kurek

‘They said, come for an interview, after they said that, their letter came after, I already had a job in Wantok newspaper’.

Alem yawi kuryikwade Father Kevin Walcot de England kede du ad de teacher tad [gabe maja yawi kured] Papua Niu Guineam nabi nabi tad atawa Soger National Highschool atawa adi tamiyam yawi kured

‘There was Father Kevin Walcot, from England, he was a teacher in Papua New Guinea, for many years, he was working in Soger National Highschool’.

Atawa alem tuku  dan word publishing company adi ñuspepa company ad  ata bas de statiyid dekewa Father Frenk Mihalic anay adeka Madeng Divine Word Institute alem dekede kapwa sabe kurku keta lecturer (gaba maj) tenad

‘Having gone down there, he became the founder of the word publishing company, the newspaper company, together with Father Frank Mihalic, he is now a lecturer at the Divine Word Institute in Madang, having taught himself’.

De ade Wantok ñuspepa asay adeka deka de bas statidel kirapidel ke wantok ñuspepade bas mau takadal

‘He is the real father of the Wantok Newspaper, he started the Wantok newspaper’.

Wirewim wirewi wewakam statiku keda wunak ata wad  ke wantok ñuspepa ñenapeka ñaba takwañan al

‘Having started in Wirui, in Wewak, he said to me like this: ‘This Wantok Newspaper is a Sepik girl, like you’.

Ñenapeka ñaba takwañanñen waku wunak ata wad

‘Like you, you are a Sepik girl, he said to me’.

Alek ke ñena ñames ma:m takwawa  yawi kurñenkek ñuspepak ata wad a wadek ata walwun a! yakia!

‘You are going to work with the newspaper like with your sister, he said. After he said this, I said, OK’.

Wuna yawi a Vanimoam tetualeb vyakata yake yawi al

‘My job in Vanimo was a very good job’.

Kurtuel  welfare yawi vyakat al tamiya tami yelwun vakituel vakin Skochio wadade  tepar  al ma kapeba sad al

‘The job when I worked with welfare was good, I used to go from one area to another, I went across to a village called Skochio, but this is again another story’.

West Irian soldiers hansapimdadiyan albaba kapeba maj al  geñer waketua

‘West Irian soldiers arrested us, this is another story, I will tell (it) later’.

Kedi Indonesia kedi soldiers hansapiku teñedi vedal aka be wuna aka be du ketek telwun

‘These Indonesian soldiers arrested (us) and stayed, (they thought I was a man), I was already like a man’.

Wun du adewun waku yara ata vedalwun bikos wun nemadi wapwi kuselwun kusuku ma:gw kenves but kusuen army deyake (h)at kusuku aka betay du ketek telwun

‘Having said that I am a man, this is how they saw me (they thought I was a man), because I was wearing large clothes, what’s name, canvas boots, army hat, this is why I looked like a man’.

Yaku geñer wunam ata chekidalwun ya:n vesemeldalwun vesemelku ata wadi oh! ma! ta:kw al  waku takwa wadak ata walwun

‘Then later they checked me, having checked, they said: oh!, this is a woman, then I said:’

Wun welfare oficerwun alay skochio tepam adi du takwak welfare skul laniyik vakinaun oh! waku jau waku wapedak keka ata vakilwun alabab ma kapeba sad al

‘I am a welfare officer, I go across to teach these men and women in Skochio village. OK, they said, go, and thus I went across, this is another story’.

alek wa ma

‘I won’t tell it now’

Yakia ata wantok ñuspepam yawi kurek kurtuek kureknaun waku watuek Don Hook ABC ofice Mosbi alem yawi kured a seker deyakede ABC Australia representative ada dad de kedada yeku au kede pater akatawa waded

‘OK, then I promised to work for Wantok newspaper; at that time Don Hook was working at the ABC office in Moresby, he was representative of the ABC Australia, he having gone down said to Father’

Maski! kedi nabideka kedi ñanawa dan yawi kurkwa!

‘Let her work with us down there for only a year!’

Au geñer sebenen warku ata geñer ya:n wa mena pepam gurapepam ata yan yawi kurkwa

‘Then, after she returns having gone up, she will work in your paper’.

Atawa deya blajeyaku maj ata pasidal lakatidal ma:j ata wa:kw lekidal something like that

‘This is how they agreed’.

Ma:j ata pasidal pasidal veku keka naka pasidak veku kekanaka napaku Bryan Merrit a seker de Redio Australia Papua Niu Guinea service bos yawi tay ad Papua Niu Guinea service bos teda ada wunake ñeg sukuku ata wad de keka waded OK lekem waku wadek Don Hook wadek Bryan Merrit kedeka wunak ata rait tad raittuku keda wad yakia interview teker mæy waku wadek nukedi takwaañanugwab yedi wunabab interview teker keka yilwun

‘This is how they arranged it. After they have arranged everything, Bryan Merrit was the boss of Australian service in Papua New Guinea. After he has written my letter, saying OK, he told Don Hook and told Bryan Merrit, and he wrote to me, saying: come to an interview, other girls came too, so I went’.

Father keda wad Father Kevin o Father Mihalic kebra waber weyakeber “Mæy, jau, tay dan deyawa yawi kurku vyakata yawi ya sebenen warkeñena mo save tuku ata ke ñuspepam ata nebe ta:y ye yawi nebe kurel

‘Father Kevin or Father Mihalic said to me: ‘Go, do this work with them down there, later you will come back with more knowledge, you will be able to get a leading job in this newspaper’.

Waku ata wabrek wun keka OK, yakia, waku keka naka ata yakia waku keka, ya:n interview tenapaku sebenen yi:n waren aday Telefominem kwarbam nebeke tepam  West Sepik aday border alem tan ata yawi kurelwun

‘After they said that, I said OK, I went to Moresby, and did the interview, returned, I went up and worked in Telefomin, in the bush, in mountain village on the border with West Sepik’.

Kepa interview deka tanapaku sebenen yin yin alem deyadeya kuren karyadalwun balus yapin

‘They themselves paid my fare’.

Al yatuel ABC lain deyadeya balus yapidak dalwun Mosbir a interview teker

‘ABC paid for me to go down to have the interview’.

Deyadeya ABC kedi balus yapidak a sebenen yituel ab akanaka

‘ABC paid for the plane, and for the return, so I went’.

Au sebenen yituel ABC kedi deyadeya ma balus yapidak yilwun

‘On return, too, the ABC people paid for my fare’.

Yeku alem betay tan kurtuel vik viti mugul samting atawa walek ABC kedi pas sukudi sukuku ata wadi

‘Having come, I worked there (in Telefomin), two or three weeks later the ABC people sent me a letter, saying like this’.

Oh yakia ñen abe repem nanañen

‘OK, you are accepted’.

A pasem ñegam ata wadi

‘They said like this in the letter’.

Ñen Madang o Sepika kedi du takwak mædekmædek takwak takwañagwak kwakebanal a alek ñen aka abe repem nanañen ke yawik wan ata wadi

‘We were looking for a woman or a girl from Madang or Sepik, this is why you are accepted for this job, they said’.

Waku ata wadi yakia ñenadi tiket mowi wa kwasakwasa ja:p adiya atawa salekebanadi Mosbir atawa yañenkek yaku ñenadi passport mowi ja:p stretim napaku ata dakenañen  daku ata ñenade yawi contract al ata nebe val waku adi ma:j veku ay! waku wuna mawul ata jaujau ata tal

‘They said, we will send you your ticket and other small things, so that you could come to Moresby, having sorted out your passport, you will go down, then the contract will be there. Seeing this, I got excited’.

Amamas tan ma wuken watay ata watay ata kurelwun ma ameyawa asayik wuken atawa ata kurelwun

‘I was happy, then worried, worried about my mother and father’.

Amæik wuken oh amæy watay Australiam dan  yawi kurkenaun wan wuna mawul ata watay tal

‘I was worried about my mother, that I will go down to work in Australia, this is how my mind was’.

Kapen dan  tetak  yagalwun al nabi 21-22 akatawa tetuel akanaka tuku kap dan  tan yawi kurkurek yagalwun  yagaku watuek ma! yagatukwa waku du takw anad be tenadi Papua New Guinea kedi du ta:kw anad be tan yawi kurnadi ñenadaka ka:p ma waku Kavienga kel ta:kwab waku Cathy Sakias keta anay NBCam yawi kurna  Mosbi:m ber aka takwañendi aka beraberber waku ata wadi wadak hay! o! yakia  wuna mawul ata tal

‘I was afraid of going down and staying there by myself, I was 21-22, I was afraid of going down and working by myself; after I got scared they told me, don’t be scared, there are people from Papua New Guinea who are already working there, there is a woman from Kavieng, Cathy Sakias, she is now working in NBC in Moresby, you are the two (there), after that I said, OK, this is how my mind stood’.

Keka naka tepar  ata yilwun a kurtul yawi ata wapetuel resain teku tepar  ata yilwun

‘Then I went to my village, I left the job I was doing, having resigned I went to my village’.

Basadaka secondment kedi nabi mugul a daka on secondment basadaka dan yawi kurku warknaun watuek ma wadi  ma wadak keka resain telwun wapareb  wapatuel wunake welfare yawi

‘I offered them to second me for a few years, they said no, then I resigned from my welfare job’.

Resain tuku keka tepar  ata yilwun amæy asay yin ma:k vau waku tepar  yuku amæy asayik yuku tepar  Abuntim daku dan  tepar  amæy asayik ata yarek yituaber wun atawa dan yawi kurknaun waku

‘Having resigned, I went to the village, I was going to tell my mother and father myself, having gone down to Ambunti and then down, I told the news to mother and father that I am going to work down there’.

Wuna amæy ata wukeku wari tuku ata gral waku wuna aka meya ñan abe taya wunam wapaku be ma yin ke walbab wagum tenañen ka ma alæy nema seka wagur yekekeñena a ma ñen naka meya ñen waku

‘When my mother heard this, she became worried and cried: You are my only child, and you are already not close, now you are going to a really far away place, you are my only real child’.

Aka be wunam wapaku yin ke walbaba wagum tenañen kal ma alay nema seka a ma o! ñen nakameya ñen

‘You are already not close, now you are going to a really far away place, you are my only real child’.

Ata ma ata samasam wukel wori tal wukeku gral

‘She worried a lot, and cried’

Wuna amæy ata ma wuketukwa ata watuel  semi te ma yabib yaknaun ñenak pas ñig rait teda tekeknaun ata watuel  ma

‘My mother again, don’t worry, I said, it is not far away, I will be writing to you all the time, I said again’

Ke rediowam ma:j blatukeb ata wunakudi wukeda wukekeñena ata watuel

‘When I am talking on the radio, you will be hearing my voice’

Au ber Tubeki wuken ata kwayikwaber

‘The two of them, my mother and Roslyn, were together’

Roslyn wuken ber ata kwayikwaber dey amæy asay ka:p ata kwayikwadi

‘My father and mother stayed together with Roslyn by themselves’

Ñan Apikweñ Yuakaluwa wun ñan betay awt tediyan ñan be yediyan wagwar sukulwa yawi:k

‘We, Joe, Joel and me, we already went out, to school and to work’.

Apekuñawa wun an betay yawi kurbran Yuakalu Joel ade universitim redel a University of Technology, Leiim ber a las meri abagañ ta:kwawa Tubekiwa ber amæy asay kap ata kwadi kwayikwadi

‘Joe and I were working already, Joel was at the University of Technology in Lei, the last daughter, Roslyn, father and mother were with Roslyn by themselves’.

Tepam  ata watay kwadi

‘This is how they stayed in the village’

Yakia ata dalwun  ya amæy asay wa vakin wik nak tuku væran væraku Wewakam balus mi: val kurku yan Mosbi Mosbi:m wunak ata dan  yawi kurtukek wadadi pepa ata semakadadi riditukek vetukek

‘Having stayed with mother and father for a week I went down, went across to Wewak, on a plane, then I went to Moresby, there they showed me the contract (papers talking about the work)’.

Wunak ata dan adi yawi kurtuadi pepa contract semadak ata vetuadi

‘After I went down to Moresby, they showed me the contract and I saw it’

Ñus tani yawi nak kurtel al a interview tetuel seker taim a ñus tani yawi nak aka naka aw inglisar kwatiyadak a wun tok pisina tanituel say one paragraph, kudi ma:j mugwel OK aw nak ma tok pisinar kwatiyadak aw inglisar tanituel another paragraph atabek ma nukedi kudi ma:j mugwel

‘When I was doing my interview, they gave me translating job, say, a paragraph from Tok Pisin into English, and then the other way round again’.

Atawa tanituek vedal akabe repem nal way wun ma: la:kw keka naka ata wadi yakia waku yan Mosbi:m kamapeku Mosbim yaku ya:kia wunadi pasport visa mowi ata vyakanaku napadak ata dalwun  datuel abaka wun kap dalwun

‘When they saw how I translated they thought it was fine, I don’t know, thus they said OK to me, I went to Moresby, having come to Moresby, OK, they looked after my passport and visa and so on, after that I went down (to Australia). Time I went down, I went by myself’.

Aw Australiar datuel a tayir al wun sukelem vetuel seker al 1970 aw geñer tripetuel akatawa dalwun Australiar sukulem reku wunake gabemajawa daaaaan yin Hobart  Tasmaniam alem holiday telwun

‘I went to Australia before, when I was at school, around 1970 or so, with a school teacher, I went down and had a holiday in Hobart, Tasmania’.

Alem Hobart alek tuku waren Launceston Devenport Oliverston adiya alem ata holiday telwun alem holiday teku Canberrar ab waren Sydneyam waren al tasol a yigen keteka meyir ma au geñer daku Canberra vetua aka be  Wau! nema apau tepa

‘Then from Hobart, having gone up, I had a holiday in Launceston, Devenport, Oliverston, these places, spending holidays there I went up to Canberra, I went up to Sydney, it was like a dream, not real, then later, having come down to Canberra I said: Wau! What a big city!’

Au ade nabi adatuel  ma Canberra kwasa countrytown tep ketek tal Canberra vetuel au yigen ketek vetuel  aka au Canberra ata ata rena  watay wadak kekeb aka Parliament house wa Fountainad tenad a aram aka lakutuada watay atawa yikwalwun akatawa vetuel au geñer daku  veku vetuel ku! Canberra keka nema apau nemade fountain kedeka vetuadi fountain ade Parliament house kedeka olpela Parliament house waku ata walwun al akanaka Canberra Canberra lekel akanaka

‘That year when I went down, it was not like that, Canberra was like a little countrytown, I saw it, it was like a dream, I saw Canberra, all I knew was the Parliament house and the Fountain, on the lake, and this is how I saw it, and later, when I came down and saw, I said: Ku! Canberra is so big, and the fountain, the fountain and the Parliament house which I had seen was the old Parliament house, so this is what I said about Canberra’.

Datuel aka dan  yakia dan Radio Australia contract kwatiyadak tri years, nabi mugwel contract ata sain tetuadi adi nabi mugwel be dan tan yawi kurku yawi kurku alem tetuel tuku holiday akata wunakel a France a kel takwañan le French Service of Radio Australia alem yawi kuryikwal ta:kw

‘I went down, they gave me a contract for three years at Radio Australia, I was working there, then I went away for a holiday with a girl from France who worked for Radio Australia French service.’

Leke se Pascale Wagner lekewa an nawinawi ta:kw yitel lekede tepam yin France tuku yitel yin India Bombay tamiya tami: adadi kwasabi bekpek kukem ada kekeb yakia kwasadi wapwideka kusutay yakia atawa waterbottle kegu botelam tedakekeb  yatatay karim wokabaut Salvation Army deyadi Hostelam sekwayikwabran yeeeen tamiyam tami: yi:n veku ma ata yibran Australiar yaku geñer ata warbran wuna tepar a Francar yitel aka naka leke amay lekedi gwalugwu du ta:kw akatawa wanapaku yiiin tamiyatami: South of France vakin Britany wadana tep wan yitel yeku Greece wadanad tepam alem yin kwaku Australia keber takwadedi viti New Zealand kel nak nakamib yakia val nak Roskat jaba kar nak yabibal yapiku yakia Greece tamiya:r tami: ata yidiyan

‘Her name was Pascale Wagner, we went together to her place in France, to India, Bombay, from one place to another, with backpacks on our backs, with only shorts on, with water bottles to drink, we slept in Salvation Army places and went on, from one place to another, then we went back to Australia, then to my village, then to see her mother and relatives in the South of France, we went across to Brittany, then to Greece, we met up with two women from Australia, and one from new Zealand, and we bought an old car, and so we went across Greece, from one place to another’.

Val nak yapiku adi taim ata roni yidiyan wanpela olpela car ata yapibal yapiku arel ata yidiyan

‘Then we bought a car, and went around in it’

Wakubal adi Greek island  nakamyib holiday tan raun  tan a vyakat adi vyakat seker adi

‘Having come out, we went to Greek islands, we were on holiday going round, these were good times’

Tuku al aka naka aw ma krel abaka akatawa wun teparab atawa warebran

‘Then we also went to my village’

Akatawa al aka yin adi nabi kusedak nekedi contract ma sainiku nabi nak tetuek  amæy ata sikak ata bagarapel sikak ata vækren kwal wuna amæy nabi ali Melbournam tetuek  amæy  ata sikak vækren kwal keka naka ring tuku wadi o! amæy aka seka aka numa seka kamapaku aka kiyak kusekuseb kwanapaku ata wadak keka warelwun  tepar  waren ameyim veku sori tuku yakia

‘So it was, I stayed there, after these years finished I signed another contract again, after I stayed there for one year, my mother fell ill, my mother, after I had stayed in Melbourne for four years, they told me on the phone, o! mother is very sick, she was about to die, after they said this, I went up to the village, saw my mother, and was upset. OK’

Keka sebenen Melbournam dadak ma: walwun alek tuku wunake contract keka naka sain tetuelek  keka aw yapituel a contract yapilwun a contract breach of contract wadana law al bruki tuku yapituel yapilwun

‘After having gone down to Melbourne, I broke off my contract, so I had to pay out, there is a law called ‘breach of contract’, this is why I had to pay out’.

Yapiku yakia keka sebenen warlwun warku alem tuku yakia keka naka kediya Post Korea atawa newspaper yawi kurlwun a radioam Australia radio announcer  atawa yawi kurlwun adi ma:j radio studioam radioim maj blatudi adi blatudi Vanuatu South Pacific North Queensland Irian Jaya adi tami maj blatukeb adi tamiya kedi du ta:kw ata watay ata wuna wukeyikwadalwun wuna blakudi radiowa

‘Having paid off, I went up, then I worked in Post Korea, as a radio announcer in radio Australia, for Vanuatu, South Pacific, North Queensland, Irian Jaya, all the people there heard my talk’.

Ke neke gan aka akes wukemarkwatua kekanaka du nak adæy County of Somerseth Endland wadanade tepam  alem ata 8 o’clock ga:n alem ringtuku tad ringtuku atawa wad

‘Another night I will never forget. A man from County of Somerseth in England rang up around 8 o’clock at night, and said like this’.

A gan ran næytuel music vyakata mey ad Slim Dusty dekede ba:gwad næytued

‘That night I was playing very good music, Slim Dusty’s music’

Næytuek  de wukeded alem wukeku keda ring tad

‘He heard me play and this is why he rang up’

Ring tuku wad au de Australia Slim Dusty ba:gw laik takakwanad ring tuku  ata wad mi: majar oh! wun County of Somerseth alem tan yawi kurnadewun yawi tan kurku ring tenadewun waku ata wad

‘Having rung up, he said he liked Australian music by Slim Dusty, and this is what he said on the phone. Oh, I am in the County of Somerseth, I work, and after work I am calling, he said’.

Ah! County of Somerseth Telefomin ata walwun al ake tamiya? watuek ata wad ka England wad wun bilip ma te

‘Ah, I said on the phone, County of Somerseth, where is it? He said, here in England, I could not believe it’

Ñana kudi ya aka wuketua waku ata wadek Hi? atawa walwun al akanaka al

‘I understood our language, so I just said Hi?, this is how it was’

Aka naka (neke seker aka) nak aka al University of Toronto nak aka naka wuna admin Collegim social development sukulkwide lanide gabe maj David MacDonnell deke takwawa Nola ber University of Toronto alem sukul reber

‘There was another time, from University of Toronto, my lecturer from admin college, David MacDonnell and his wife, Nola, they were both studying at the University of Toronto’.

Alem sukul reku 2 o’clock ganebagan ber patim tuku sebenen wiyar waraku keka ata wiyar yiber yaku Radio Australia tanimbrel ya keka ata wukebrel ke ma:j Radio Australia PNG service your host Paulime Luma wa:n atawa wukebrel keka naka ñeg nak sukuku calendar University of Toronto City of Toronto calendar nak kuselaku a pas sukuku ata salibrel saliku wunak a pasem ata waber

‘They were studying there, and came home from a party at 2 a.m., having come back home, they turned on Radio Australia, and so they heard, it is Radio Australia PNG service, your host Paulime Luma, and they wrote me a letter, and put a calendar with views of the University of Toronto and of the City of Toronto, and this is what they said in this letter’.

“A ke ñe patim tuku yaku ñena  kudiya wuketel wukeku wun ñena kudiwa ñena se wun bilip tetak hat tru tedewun” waku ata wad wunade gabe maj

‘“After I came home from the party that day, I heard your voice, your voice and your name, I couldn’t believe it”, this is what my old teacher said’.

Ata wunabab aka naka a pas veku ridiku it’s just incredible seinaun wunabab meya seipæy petiyakelwun alebabab akes wukemarketua

‘When I saw this letter and read it, I was lost for words, too, so I will never forget this’.

Adi seker adiya akatawa sadesad akatawa tay kamapedi

‘This is how it was, what happened those days’

Wunam atawa tarawiyikwadi adi seker yawi kurtukeb atawa tarawi yikwadi sa:d adiya watuadi

‘This is what used to happen when I was working’

Alem tuku sebenen wartuel

‘So having returned I went up’

Warku keka naka Post Koream atawa wik mugul o ali samting atawa yawi kurlwun or four something'

‘After I came (up to Moresby) I worked in Post Korea for three or four weeks’

Yawi kurku yakia wunadi ñanugw deyade asayab ata stakratued

‘Then I met the father of my children’

De captain rak tedela very young captain tad naubadi captain lieutenant tuku promotidak yariar captain tedek

‘He was in captain’s rank, a very young captain, brand new (promoted)’.

A sekereb keda warku stakratud stakraku atawa bap abun ata engaged tebran atawa maj pasim bran akatawa marit tekeketa waku maj pasimbran engaged tuku ade nekedi nabi bap tabati mæn viti walek ata november ata nema military wedding ata tebran Murray Barracks Mosbim al aka alem

‘I met him, and a month later we were engaged, and twelve months later we got married, we had a big military wedding in November, in Murray Barracks, in Moresby’

Tuku  keka naka yuku wik mugul o ali walek aber paterek Father Kevin na Father Mihalic ata yilwun yin brekek  vetuek kamapetuek wunam veku ata waber

‘After three or four weeks I went to the two fathers, Father Kevin and Father Mihalic, and saw them, they saw me and said like this’

Mey mey waku yuku kamapeku kekanaka Wantok newspepam ata ya yawi kurlwun sebenen yin yawi kurlwun

‘Come, come, so I went to work in Wantok newspaper’

A watay Father Kevin kwatiyadel pas ñig yawi kurtukek alebab ata yi:n semakaku ata walwun

‘Having shown them the letter written by Father Kevin, I said like this’

Wun kekanaka sebenen yatua aka waku watuek keda ata wad

‘I have come to work (here), and after I said this, (the man in charge) said’

A yakia meya! yan yawi akwur ya! wadeke yakia word publishing adi nabi ata tan alem yawi kurelwun

‘Come and work, and so I worked there on word publishing’.

Yawi kuren yin yin  yiiin yin 1987 alem yawi kurtuel o! tamiya tami yilwun

‘There I worked until 1987, I went everywhere’

Tamiya tami travel telwun South Korea Japan Fiji planti kantri  atawa journalist deyadi yawik exchange yawi assignment Fiji military coup tel alem wakun yawi kuren adi company yæy  atawa deya kedi ecumenical nakamiba lotu yawi ata kurelwun

‘I was travelling everywhere, South Korea, Fiji, Japan, lots of countries, for journalist’s work, exchange, assignment, I was there during the Fiji military coup, as a company representative, ecumenical work’, this is the sort of work I did’.

Mendia watch deyakedi kain wadanadi atawa organization yawi ata ata wan ab adiya atawa yawi ata alem tuku keka naka ya Robin Reporter tetak ya keka ya les telwun sep jinel sep jinelwun hurrying around scooping news atawa walking down numadi du ta:kw deyadi yawi kurdanadi tami yin yan tetak atawa corridors of power les yilwun akatawa yawi kurku les yilwun

‘Mendia watch, that kind of organization work, these kinds of jobs, Robin Reporter kind, so I got tired, tired, hurrying around scooping news, walking the corridors of power, I got tired of this job’.

Sepadaka ma jen au kedi kwasadi ñanugw Demiyawi ata kamaped Kelvin Cashmira ata kamapebrek keka naka yawi kwasa isi kurku aw wun keber kwasaber ñendiyek  waku a kwasaber ñendiwa family waku kekanaka kedi nekedi ofisam riyawik ata stakraku kedi public relation yawi yin Elcomam yawi kuren (PNG Electricity Commission) atawa public relations publications officer yawi Department of Home affairs geñer yin PEA public employees association alem Elcomab tuku nabi naki samting ruku kedi PEA wuken deyakedi magazines publications mowi yawi  atawa yawi ata kurelwun

‘Not that I got tired, my children were born, Kelvin, Cashmira, so I had to find an easier job, to be with two small children, an office job, I worked as public relations officer, I worked in Elcom, as public relations, publications officer, then in the Department of Home affairs, in Public employees association, I stayed there for a year after Elcom, I worked for their magazines, publications and things, this is the sort of work I did’.

Keka dan  keka kelem James sukul reker dadek keka ñan ñanugw amæy dan nakamib keka kelem Canberram

‘Then James started his studies, and we came down to Canberra’

Ñenawa keka kelem ke Manab tepa kudi ma:j yawi ab aka kurta wunabab kekanaka University of Canberra sukul renaun

‘Here we study the Manambu language, and I, too, am studying at the University of Canberra’

Kelem reku yakia nabi nabi yin kusedak tuku wun kekanaka ya University sukul  retua aka naka ya em nau yakia Sas adiya wayatuadi ya kuselal aka

‘After all these years here I am, studying at the University, Ok, Sas, my talk is finished’.

A Bibliography of works


By Sasha Aikhenvald and others, fully or in part inspired by Pauline Laki, incorporating her comments and knowledge 
(all materials are also available through; and from Alexandra, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


  • 2000 Classifiers. A Typology of Noun Categorization Devices Oxford University Press: Oxford, xvii, 535 pp. Paperback edition 2003.
  • 2008. The Manambu language, from East Sepik, Papua New Guinea. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 702+xxxv. Paperback 2010.
  • 2010. Imperatives and commands. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Paperback s2012.
  • 2011. A. Y. Aikhenvald and R. M. W. Dixon. Language at large. Essays in syntax and semantics. Leiden: Brill.
  • 2015. The art of grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 2016. How gender shapes the world. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Forthcoming. 2020. I saw the dog. How language works. London: Profile books.


  • 1998 Alexandra Aikhenvald and R.M.W. Dixon 'Dependencies between Grammatical Systems.' Language 74: 56-80.
  • 2002. 'Traditional Multilingualism and Language Endangerment', pp. 24-33 of Language Maintenance for endangered languages: an active approach, edited by David Bradley and Maya Bradley. London: Curzon Press.
  • 2004. 'Nominal classification: towards a comprehensive typology', pp. Nominal classification, Special issue of Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung 57 2/3, edited by A. Y. Aikhenvald, pp. 105-16.
  • 2004. 'Language endangerment in the Sepik area of Papua New Guinea', pp. 97-142 of Lectures on endangered languages: 5 — From Tokyo and Kyoto Conferences 2002, edited by O. Sakiyama and F. Endo. The project 'Endangered languages of the Pacific Rim'. Suita, Osaka, pp. 97-142.
  • 2006. 'Classifiers and noun classes, semantics', pp. 463-70 of Volume 1 (article 1111) of Encyclopaedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd edition, edited by Keith Brown. Elsevier: Oxford.
  • 2006. 'Manambu' (with P. Laki), pp. 475-6 of Volume 7 (article 4491), of Encyclopaedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd edition, edited by Keith Brown. Elsevier: Oxford.
  • 2007. 'Linguistic fieldwork: setting the scene', in Linguistic Fieldwork. A Special issue of Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung, edited by A. Y. Aikhenvald, 60: 1-11.
  • 2007. A. Y. Aikhenvald and T. Stebbins. 'Languages of New Guinea', pp. 239-66 of Vanishing Languages of the Pacific, edited by O. Miyaoka, O. Sakiyama and M. Krauss. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 2008. 'Semi-direct speech: Manambu and beyond'. Language Sciences 30: 383-422.
  • 2008. 'Versatile cases'. Journal of Linguistics 44: 565-603.
  • 2008. Reciprocals in the making: multiple grammaticalization in Manambu', pp. 157-68 of Studies on grammaticalization, edited by Elisabeth Verhoeven et al. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • 2009. 'Eating, drinking and smoking: a generic verb and its semantics in Manambu', pp. 92-108 of The linguistics of eating and drinking, edited by John Newman. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • 2009. 'Semantics of clause linking in Manambu', pp. 118-144 of Semantics of clause linking: a cross-linguistic typology, edited by R. M. W. Dixon and A. Y. Aikhenvald (Explorations in linguistic typology, vol. 5). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 2009. 'Semantics and grammar in clause linking', pp. 380-402 of Semantics of clause linking: a cross-linguistic typology, edited by R. M. W. Dixon and A. Y. Aikhenvald (Explorations in linguistic typology, vol. 5). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 2009. 'Language contact along the Sepik River'. Anthropological Linguistics 50: 1-66 (dated 2008, published 2009).
  • 2010. 'The social life of a language: will Manambu survive?'. pp. 13-28 of New Perspectives on Endangered Languages. Bridging gaps between sociolinguistics, documentation and language revitalization, by Flores Farfán, José Antonio and Fernando Ramallo (eds.) [CLU 1], Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • 2010. ' Typological plausibility and historical reconstruction: a puzzle from New Guinea', pp. 308-17 of Studies in linguistics and semiotics, edited by T. M. Nikolaeva. Moscow: Jazyki slavjanskikh kultur.
  • 2010. 'Will Manambu survive?', pp. 265-72 of Language and society in present-day Russia and other counties. Proceedings and reports from an International Conference. Moscow: Russian Academy of Sciences.
  • 2011. Oxford Bibliography Online: Classifiers (refereed updateable resource with summaries and evaluation for each entry). General Editor: Mark Aronoff. Accepted February 2011. Live 10 November 2011.
  • 2012. 'Round women and long men: shape and size in gender choice in Papua New Guinea and beyond'. Anthropological Linguistics 54 (1): 33-86.
  • 2012. 'Invisible loans: how to borrow a bound form', pp. 167-85 of Morphology: between copies and cognates, edited by Lars Johanson and Martine Robbeets. Leiden: Bril.
  • 2012. 'Possession and ownership in Manambu, a Papuan language from New Guinea', pp. 107-25 of A. Y. Aikhenvald and R. M. W. Dixon. eds. Possession and ownership: a cross-linguistic typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • and Anne Storch. 2013. 'Perception and cognition in typological perspective', in Perception and cognition in language and culture. Leiden: Brill, 1-46.
  • 2013. 'Perception and cognition in Manambu', in Perception and cognition in language and culture. edited by A. Y. Aikhenvald and Anne Storch. Leiden: Brill, 137-60.
  • 2013 'Multilingual fieldwork, and emergent grammars'. Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Meeting of Berkeley Linguistics Society. Berkeley: UCB. 3-17.
  • 2013. 'The language of value and the value of language'. Hau: a journal of ethnographic theory 3 (2): 55-73.
  • 2014. A. Y. Aikhenvald and Carol Genetti. 'Manambu', How languages work, edited by Carol Genetti. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 530-50. Second edition 2018.
  • 2014. 'Living in many languages'. Language and Linguistics in Melanesia 32.2: I-XVII.
  • 2014. 'Double talk: parallel structures in Manambu songs'. Language and Linguistics in Melanesia 32.2: 86-109.
  • 2015. 'Body, mind and spirit: body parts in Manambu and their meanings'. Studies in Language 39: 85-117.
  • 2015. 'Differential case in Yalaku'. Oceanic Linguistics 54 (1): 241-70.
  • 2015. 'Distance, direction, and relevance: how to choose and to use a demonstrative in Manambu'. Anthropological Linguistics 57: 1-45 (published in 2016).
  • 2016. ‘Gender, shape, and sociality: how humans are special in Manambu’ International Journal of Language and Culture for the Special Issue “Aspects of the Meaning of Gender”, edited by Angeliki Alvanoudi, volume 3: 68-89.
  • 2016. 'Imperatives and commands in Manambu'. Oceanic Linguistics 55: 639-73.
  • 2017. A. Y. Aikhenvald and R. M. W. Dixon. 'Linguistic typology: setting the scene', pp. 1-35 of The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Typology, edited by A. Y. Aikhenvald and R. M. W. Dixon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • 2017. 'A typology of noun categorization devices', pp. 361-404 of The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Typology, edited by A. Y. Aikhenvald and R. M. W. Dixon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • 2018. 'The magic of names: a fieldworker's perspective', pp. 9-27 of Word hunters: Field Linguistics on Fieldwork, edited by Hannah Sarvasy and Diana Forker. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • 2018. 'Comparison, contrast and similarity in Yalaku', Linguistic Discovery 16, 1: 1-13 (special issue edited by Katarzyna I. Wojtylak and Yvonne Treis).
  • 2018. 'Worlds apart: language survival and language use in two Middle Sepik communities'. Journal de la Société des Océanistes 146: 203-12.
  • 2019. ' Expressing 'possession': motivations, meanings, and forms', Possession in Languages of Europe and North and Central Asia, edited by Lars Johanson, Lidia Federica Mazzitelli & Irina Nevskaya. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 7-25.
  • 2019. 'Noun categorization devices: a cross-linguistic perspective', in A. Y. Aikhenvald and Elena Mihas eds. Genders and classifiers: a cross-linguistic study. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-29.
  • 2019. 'The legacy of youth: the seeds of change and the diversity of voices in Papua New Guinea. A plenary address'. Proceedings of LSPNG Conference, Port Moresby, September 2019.
  • 2020. Language contact and language change in the Sepik region of New Guinea: the case of Yalaku. Dynamic Language Changes Looking Within and Across Language, ed. Keith Allan. Singapore: Springer.
  • 2020. 'Language contact and language endangerment', pp. 241-60 of The Oxford Handbook of language contact, edited by Anthony Grant. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • forthcoming. 'Language change and language obsolescence'. to appear in Handbook of Historical Linguistics, edited by Brian Joseph and Richard Janda. Wiley, Routledge.
  • forthcoming. 'Nominal classification', to appear in The International Encyclopedia of Linguistic Anthropology, ed. Jack Sidnell.
  • forthcoming. 'Morphology of Arawak languages'. Oxford Research Encyclopedia online, ed. Francesca Masini. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • 2020. 'Damn your eyes! (Not really). Imperative imprecatives, and curses as commands', pp. 53-77 of Swearing and Cursing – Contexts and Practices in a Critical Linguistic Perspective, edited by Nico Nassenstein and Anne Storch. Berlin: Be Gruyter Mouton.
  • forthcoming. 2020. 'Word in Yalaku', in Phonological and grammatical word: a cross-linguistic typology, edited by Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, R. M. W. Dixon, and Nathan M. White. Oxford: Oxford University Press.