Dr Julie Barbour

Julie Barbour

Senior Lecturer, Linguistics

Qualifications: BA (English & Linguistics) Waikato; MA (Linguistics) (Hons) Auckland; CTEFLA RSA/Cambridge; PhD (Linguistics) Waikato

Personal Website:

Papers Taught

Research Supervised


PhD(Education) Gayleen Tarosa (enrolled 2016) Induction of secondary school teachers in Vanuatu

PhD(Linguistics) Royce Dodd. (enrolled 2016). Northwest Malekula: A study of verbal mophology.

PhD(Linguistics) Tihomir Rangelov. (enrolled 2017). Axamb: An endangered language of Malekula.

PhD(Linguistics) Kanauhea Wessels. (enrolled 2019). A grammar of Atchin, Malekula.


PhD (Linguistics) Daryl Macdonald. (2017). Information structure in the Oceanic Languages.

DEd Mark Holt. (2014).  Writing Lawa: Stimulating indigenous ownership of vernacular literacy through action research.

MA(Applied) Claudia Williams. (2019). A grammar sketch of Lamap.

MA(Applied) Alice Moore. (2019). A grammar sketch of Uripiv.

MA(Applied) Jean Murray. (2018). Ninde: topics in nominal and verbal morphology.

MA(Applied) Royce Dodd. (2015). V'enen Taut: Grammatical topics in the Big Nambas language of Malekula.

MA(Applied) Roxanna Holmes. (2014). Espiegles Bay: Grammatical Topics.

MA(Applied) Kanauhea Wessels. (2013). Malua Bay: A grammar of the Malua Bay language (Malekula, Vanuatu).

MA(Applied) Daryl Macdonald. (2010). A grammar sketch of Kwaraqae (Solomon Islands).

Research Interests

Julie's research interests are in the general areas of language documentation and description of the Oceanic language family. Within this, she has developed interests in linguistic typology, particularly morphological systems associated with the verb, in anthropological linguistics, and in vernacular literacy.

She completed her doctoral research on the Neverver language, funded by a graduate studentship from HRELP (ELDP). Her project was published as A grammar of Neverver. She has been working on a comparative study of Vanuatu languages in general, and Malekula languages in particular. The Exploring Mood in the Oceanic languages of Vanuatu project was funded by a Fast Start grant the Royal Society's Marsden Fund. The Malekula Languages Project (also Malakula) is now the focus of her long term research interests. She has supported a number of research students in the field, and in 2015 and 2016 she led a team including Dr. Nicola Daly (FEDU) and four student linguists to participate Vanuatu Ministry of Education workshops to develop literacy materials for seven of Malekula's languages.

The Malekula Languages Project houses Terry Crowley's archived research data from Malekula, and has developed working corpora for the following languages: Neverver, Neve'ei (in collaboration with Jill Musgrave), Avava, Naman, V'enen Taut (in collaboration with student Royce Dodd), Uripiv/Northeast Malekula (in collaboration with missionary linguist Ross McKerras), Larevet, Malua Bay (in collaboration with Kanauhea Wessels), Teperav/Espiegles Bay (in collaboration with student Roxanna Holmes and with speaker Gayleen Tarosa), Ninde (in collaboration with speaker Leina Isno), Atchin (in collaboration with Kanauhea Wessels) and Lamap (in collaboration with student Claudia Williams). Additionally, the project is supporting the development of literacy materials for Maskelynes/Uluveu (in collaboration with David and Sue Healey), V'ao,  and Tirax/Mae.

Julie supervises masters (APPL594) and doctoral (LING900) student research with descriptive and typological aims. She particularly welcomes inquiries from students with an interest in the languages of Malekula, Vanuatu.

Recent Publications

  • Daly, N., & Barbour, J. (2019). ‘Because, they are from here. It is their identity, and it is important’: teachers’ understanding of the role of translation in vernacular language maintenance in Malekula, Vanuatu. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. doi:10.1080/13670050.2019.1604625

  • Rangelov, T., Bratrud, T., & Barbour, J. (2019). Ahamb (Malekula, Vanuatu) - Language Contexts. Language Documentation and Description, 16, 86-126. Retrieved from

  • Barbour, J., Wessels, K., & McCarter, J. (2018). Language Contexts: Malua (Malekula Island, Vanuatu). Language Documentation and Description, 15, 151-178. Open Access version:

  • Daly, N., & Barbour, J. (2017). Teachers’ understandings of the role of translation in vernacular language maintenance in Malekula: some early thoughts. Wellington Working Papers in Linguistics: Linguistic travels in time and space: Festschrift for Liz Pearce, 23, 29-34.

Find more research publications by Julie Barbour



Language Documentation and Description; Oceanic Linguistics; Linguistic Typology; Field Methodology; Vernacular Literacy, Ethics.

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Barbour, Dr Julie 9336 jbarbour I.3.12 Linguistics/Applied Linguistics

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