Vera’a (Oceanic, Vanuatu)

Stefan Schnell

Vera’a (ISO 639-3: vra) is an Oceanic (Austronesian) language from the village of the same name on Vanua Lava (13.80° S 167.47° E), one of the Banks Islands in North Vanuatu. The language has approximately 450 speakers and is the first language of most inhabitants of Vera’a and the coast line to the north of it. Vera’a is closely related to the neighbouring language Vurës, and speakers of Vera’a also speak Vurës. Both languages have been extensively documented within a VolkswagenStiftung-funded DoBeS documentation project (2006-2012; PI: Dr. Catriona Hyslop-Malau). Vera’a has been the focus of Stefan Schnell’s PhD project at Kiel University (2007-2010), and Stefan has subsequently been undertaking additional documentary work on Vera’a as part of his ARC-funded DECRA project “Typology of Language Use (ARC grant no. DE120102017)” in 2012-2015, hosted by La Trobe University (Melbourne, Australia). A corpus of Vera’a is being compiled and curated by Stefan Schnell in close collaboration with speakers of the language and researchers of other disciplines from outside the community. This collection of texts constitutes a sub-corpus of the Vera’a corpus and is part of Multi-CAST. It consists of 11 folkloristic narrative texts collected and annotated by Stefan Schnell. Annotations include glossing according to the GRAID conventions (Haig & Schnell 2014) which constitute the foundation of quantitative investigations into argument realisatio in discourse (see also Multi-CAST: Research and publications).

Linguistic background


Schnell, Stefan. Vera’a. In: Haig, Geoffrey and Schnell, Stefan. Multi- CAST (Multilingual Corpus of Annotated Spoken Texts),, date accessed.