Structure dataset 24: Norf'k

This language is described more fully in survey chapter 24.

Norf’k is spoken by about 800 speakers, mainly residents of Norfolk Island with a growing diaspora in Sydney and Brisbane (Australia). Norf’k is not a standardized language and there is a great deal of variation. Family differences play an important part and, although the island occupies fewer than 40 square kilometres there are some regional differences between Cascade, Steels Point and Anson Bay varieties.

The principal differences, however, are determined by the proximity of the language to English. Speakers of the older generation (50+) grew up in a stable diglossic situation. For most speakers under 50 the domains and functions of English and Norf’k are no longer clearly separated and traditional Broad Norf’k is increasingly replaced by a more anglicized Norf’k. Many of the youngest generation do not acquire Norf’k at home but through formal teaching at the school or deliberate relearning in later life. Some speakers employ an instant Norf’k by adding a small number of Norf’k words, vowel pronunciations and idiomatic expressions to their English. The examples in the APiCS dataset (default lect) were obtained from conservative older speakers wherever possible.

No. Feature Value Details Source
No. Feature Value Details Source


Pulmonic Consonants
Place → Labial Coronal Dorsal Laryngeal
↓ Manner Bilabial Labio­dental Linguo­labial Dental Alveolar Palato-
Retroflex Alveolo-
Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal
/ Epiglottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Stop p b t  d  k kʼʷ g ʔ
Sibilant affricate t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
Non-sibilant affricate
Sibilant fricative s z ʃ
Non-sibilant fricative f v θ ð h
Approximant l j
Flap or tap
Trill r
Lateral affricate
Lateral fricative
Lateral approximant
Lateral flap


Front Near-front Central Near-back Back Close Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open ihigh front unrounded vowel long high front unrounded vowel uhigh back rounded vowel long high back rounded vowel ɪlowered high front unrounded vowel ʊlowered high back rounded vowel ehigher mid front unrounded vowel long higher mid front unrounded vowel ohigher mid back rounded vowel əmid central unrounded vowel ɛlower mid front unrounded vowel ɛːlong lower mid front unrounded vowel ɔlower mid back rounded vowel æraised low front unrounded vowel alow central unrounded vowel long low central unrounded vowel

Special segments

Other segments
 w  voiced labial-velar glide


       Exists (as a major allophone)
       Exists only as a minor allophone
       Exists only in loanwords
No. Feature Value Details Source