Mota language

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Native to Vanuatu
Region Mota island
Native speakers
750  (2012)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 mtt
Glottolog mota1237[2]

Mota is an Oceanic language spoken by about 750 people on Mota island, in the Banks Islands of Vanuatu.[3]


During the period 1840-1940, Mota was used as a missionary lingua franca throughout areas of Oceania included in the Melanesian Mission, an Anglican missionary agency. Mota was used on Norfolk Island, in religious education; on other islands with different vernacular languages, it served as the language of liturgical prayers, hymns, and some other religious purposes.

Robert Henry Codrington compiled the first dictionary of Mota (1896), and worked with George Sarawia and others to produce a large number of early publications in this language.


Mota has 5 phonemic vowels, /i e a o u/.[4]


  1. ^ François (2012): 88).
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Mota". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Linguistic map of north Vanuatu, showing range of Mota.
  4. ^ François (2005:445, 460).


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