Language Contexts

Language Contexts: Paluai, also known as Pam-Baluan (Papua New Guinea)

  • Dineke Schokkin


Paluai, also known as Pam-Baluan, is an Oceanic language spoken on Baluan Island in Manus Province, Papua New Guinea. The total number of speakers is estimated to be 2,000-3,000. Although Paluai is relatively vibrant and passed on to younger generations, bilingualism with Tok Pisin is ubiquitous and there may be language shift taking place in some domains. The article discusses these issues, in addition to the language’s embeddedness in its environment and socio-cultural context, both related to elements of present-day life (economy, education, religion) and more traditional aspects such as song and music, customary ceremonies and naming practices.

Keywords: Paluai, Pam-Baluan, Papua New Guinea, Baluan Island, Oceanic language, Tok Pisin

How to Cite:

Schokkin, D., (2018) “Language Contexts: Paluai, also known as Pam-Baluan (Papua New Guinea)”, Language Documentation and Description 15, 65-86. doi:

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Published on
31 Jul 2018
Peer Reviewed