Language: Piru

Classification

This entry has been retired and is featured here only for bookkeeping purposes. Either the entry has been replaced with one or more more accurate entries or it has been retired because it was based on a misunderstanding to begin with.

E16/E17 has two entries Piru [ppr] and Luhu [lcq], but it has been known for a long time that these are two mutually intelligible varieties ( Stresemann, Erwin 1927 , James T. Collins 1983 ). See also: Luhu-Piru [lcq].

Retired in ISO 639-3: Merged into Luhu [lcq]

  • Change request: 2012-096
  • ISO 639-3: ppr
  • Name: Piru
  • Reason: merge
  • Effective: 2013-01-23

Excerpt from change request document:

In the previous cycle, the languages Piru and Luhu were combined, as the Piru group were determined to be a dialect of Luhu. The forms were written so that the code and name retained were [ppr] Piru. The name for this combined group should be Luhu.

The old information is most likely based on Taguchi's lexicostatistic data. However, Collins has done more in depth research in the area and has published a few articles that show

the similirities. The following are some excerpts from the published sources in the sources section of this request: “At the head of Piru Bay, a very small number of elderly in Piru village still remember the indigenous language. Although Dyen (1978:392) was doubtful about the classification of this speech community, it can be demonstrated that Piru is a dialect of Luhu, a fact which Van Hoevell correctly stated in 1877. For a variety of historical and social reasons (outlined in Collins 1983b), the language of Piru has undergone a number of irregular changes and now it is close to extinction. The most striking differences between Luhu and Piru are the loss of almost all productive verbal conjugations in the latter dialect and the sporadic influence of East Piru Bay languages and, perhaps, Alune. This is especially apparent in the numerous loan words which have slipped into Piru, apparently

via Eti, a Kaibobo-speaking village a few kilometers southward on the east shore of the bay. A few unexpected sound correspondences may also be attributed to Eti.” (Collins1982)

“As noted 20 years ago (Collins 1983), Piru is closely related to the language of Luhu. Moreover, Sachse (1919:44) considered Piru and Luhu the two dialects of ‘Behasa Loehoe’. In fact, Piru probably represents the northernmost point in the chain of Luhu-speaking villages that spread across the whole Hoamoal peninsula before 1650 (footnote 19 - Payapo’s map (1980:62-3) suggests just this kind of isolation of Piru, with non-Luhu- speaking villages, such as Ariate and Talaga, intervening between the main Luhu-speaking areas to the south and Piru, which Payapo also labeled as Luhu-speaking.) When De Valming’s forced resettlement policy depopulated the peninsula, the links in that chain were broken, leaving Piru speakers isolated from Luhu speakers, especially those remaining in Luhu itself...The borrowing of vocabulary, especially from Eti, a village which traditionally spoke and East Piru Bay language related to Kaibobo, but also lexical items from nearby Alune speaking villages, has made Piru diverge from contemporary Luhu. However, the relationship of Piru with Luhu is striking, (footnote 20 – Taguchi (1989:49) apparently did

not understand the argumentation inf Collins (1983:79-81). In those pages, Piru and Luhu are considered variants (dialects) of the same Luhu language because they share phonological innovations, not because there is a tradition that Hoamoal formed a single language. His untested assertion that these two ‘speech forms are probably not mutually intelligable’ is unlikely to be true. His informant, aged only 45 might, might perhaps experience difficulty, but speakers of Luhu would find Piru (if it was ever spoken in public) easy to understand. With no data from either of the Luhu or Piru wordlists used by Taguchi, it is difficult to understand where he sees the problem in intelligibility. Note that Payapo (1980), a speaker of Luhu, considered Piru a variant of Luhu. The reader can refer to the brief comparative wordlist, based on Collins(1977-79), found in Appendix 1 here to form his or her own opinion about the extent of differences between Piru and Luhu.) even to the point of both variants displaying mundai ‘man, male’ and sima ‘who’, found in no other

West Piru Bay languages – except Batumerah, as noted above.” (Collins 2003)

References

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