The documentation of Ambel, an Austronesian language of Eastern Indonesia

The documentation of Ambel, an Austronesian language of Eastern Indonesia

Language: Ambel
Depositor: Laura Arnold
Location: Indonesia
Deposit Id: 0377
Grant id: IGS0241
Funding body: ELDP
Level: Deposit

Summary of deposit

This collection is an audio-visual documentation of Ambel. Ambel is an endangered language with around 1600 speakers. It is spoken in the Raja Ampat archipelago in West Papua province, Indonesia. Genetically it is an Austronesian language, of the South Halmahera-West New Guinea branch. However, like many of the Austronesian languages of Papua, it shows evidence of prolonged and intense contact with non-Austronesian languages, such as a complex prosodic system, clause-final negation, and many words with a non-Austronesian origin.

This project is supported financially by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Academy, the University of Edinburgh, and the Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Documentation Programme.

This project is carried out in collaboration with the Center for Endangered Languages Documentation at Universitas Negeri Papua, Manokwari.

Group represented

Deposit contents

This collection comprises elicited and naturalistic speech. The naturalistic items cover spontaneous speech (e.g. conversations; personal reminiscences; expositional and procedural texts, such as information about local ethnobiology, local fishing techniques, and canoe-building), semi-spontaneous speech (e.g. narratives of traditional stories; oral histories), and planned speech (e.g. song; speeches). The remainder of the data in this collection comprises selected elicited material (morphological paradigms, syntactic structures, and lexical forms).

The corpus includes material from both male and female speakers, from a range of age groups.

Each bundle contains an audio recording of the session, which is accompanied by transcription, translation, and morphological glossing in an ELAN file. Some of the bundles also contain a video recording, and/or supplementary photographic data. In addition, included are a scan of the accompanying field notes, a metadata file, the consent form, and further information about the speaker's language background.

An index to all the bundles is saved in the file '00_AmbelIndex.pdf'. This file contains information on the content of each bundle, as well as basic metadata. The use of this index is highly encouraged, as it will facilitate navigation of this collection.

Acknowledgement and citation

When citing resources from this deposit, please acknowledge Laura Arnold as the principle investigator. The following citation form is recommended:

Arnold, Laura. 2017. The documentation of Ambel, an Austronesian language of Eastern Indonesia. London: SOAS, Endangered Languages Archive. URL: Accessed on DATE.

If audio or visual material is used from this deposit (including photographs), the user is also required to acknowledge the individual speakers by name.


Collection online
Resources online and curated


Laura Arnold
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Affiliation: The University of Edinburgh

Deposit Statistics

Data from 2021 October 21 to 2021 October 21
Deposit hits:1
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Showing 1 - 10 of 288 Items

Elicitation of basic words in the village of Go. NB The recorder battery ran out during the session, so there are two recordings in this bundle. There is only one Elan file, of AM001-02.

Recorded on: 2014-01-05

Elicitation of basic words in the village of Kabilol

Recorded on: 2014-01-05

Keywords: Elicitation

Elicitation of basic words in the village of Kalitoko

Recorded on: 2014-01-06

Elicitation of basic words in the village of Warimak

Recorded on: 2014-01-06

Elicitation of basic words in the village of Waifoi

Recorded on: 2014-01-07

Elicitation of basic words, Kapadiri A drunk man joined us half-way through. This meant I had to cut the recording short.

Recorded on: 2014-01-08

Elicitation of basic words in the village of Kabare No recording of this session as there was a problem with both the main SD and backup SD cards

Recorded on: 2014-01-10

Elicitation of some basic words and phrases in Ambel (e.g. 'good afternoon', 'thankyou') and more body part terms

Recorded on: 2014-02-13

Elicitation of basic sentences and alienable possession structures involving the meaning 'cat' in Ambel

Recorded on: 2014-02-15

Elicitation of some kinship terms and some basic sentences in Ambel

Recorded on: 2014-02-17