The Nafsan Dictionary App


This is an Android app for Nafsan. It is supplied in a downloadable form here (122 MB) that you can then install on your phone and pass on to other people without an internet connection.

The dictionary was published in 2021 by the University of Hawaii Press.


I would like to thank the following for their help with this work: Silas Alban; Endis Kalsarap; Kalsakar Wayane; Manuel Waiane Kalopong; and Joel Kalpram. Rosey Billington’s work on the phonetics and phonology of Nafsan has been very helpful in finalising the dictionary.

Thanks also to Sean and Lisa Bracken, Kalsarap Namaf, Ralph Regenvanu, and William Wayane for support during initial fieldwork. Jean Claude Rivierre kindly provided the wordlist he produced in 1965 with Maxime Carlot. In addition to those already named, in 2015–2018 the following helped with checking the dictionary at workshops in Erakor: Kalonuk Albert; Elisa Alphonse; Johnny Alphonse; Alice Andrew; Linuk Apisai; Fanny Atuary; Maturine Carlot-Tary; Lionel Emil; Touran Emile; Kaar Albert Erikan; Maureen Isabelle George-Nikahi; Tookoune George; Ernest Joseph; Gino Joseph; Jackob Joseph; Joel Joseph; Michael Joseph; Elder Louis Peras Josephe; Silas Kalfabun; Kalkot Kalfapun; Malau Kalkot; Timteo Kalmet; Abet Kalokis; Asael Wayane Kalopong; PS Arron Kalopong; Samsen Kalopong; Tarimar Kalopong; Norman Kalotiti; Carol Kalpram; Kaltapu Kaltack; Remy Kaltack; Rosemary Taun Kaltack; Toufau Kaltack; Nicole Kaltak; Timothy Kaltak; Gray Kaltapau; Rita Kaltapau; Glenda Lalier; Leimau Malas; Marik Maal; Kaltang Martin; Yokopet Ngui; Lina Kaloros Smitson; Leitang Sope; Malini Sope; and Marie Zacharie.

Thanks to: John Lynch for comments on the final draft; Margaret Bowman for copy-editing; Megan Ellis for design and layout; Chandra Jayasuriya for producing the maps. Ross Clark and Murray Garde kindly acted as reviewers of the final manuscript. Jack Kallon proofread the near-final version and made some valuable corrections.

The group ‘Dictionary ni Nafsan’ on Facebook has also been very responsive in answering questions about meanings of words.

This dictionary was initially stored in Toolbox software ( and then transferred to Fieldworks Language Explorer (, both products of the Summer Institute of Linguistics whom I thank for making this software freely available.

This work was done while I was employed at the University of Melbourne and was assisted by Australian Research Council grants QEII DP0984419, Future Fellowship FT140100214, and the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language CE140100041.

Nick Thieberger

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