Talk:Rapa Nui language

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Language of rongo rongo[edit]

Hi. I reverted edition telling

"It is speculated, that the unique (to date undeciphered) Easter Island script called Rongorongo is written in the Rapa Nui language."

because there is no another possible language. If rongo rongo aren't an Rapa nui scripture, they should be an system of scripture. The only inhabitants of Easter Island until 18th century were Polinesians, speakers of Rapa nui language. And is told by missionaires[?] that rongo rongo were used by natives. Bye. --Lin linao 00:22, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

With rongorongo, there are several problems:
  • There is no certainty that the scripture in rongorongo tablets is language.
  • There is no certainty that the scripture, if it is language, is written in the Rapa Nui language.
  • There is no certainty that anyone would have ever been able to "read" the rongorongo tablets. All accounts of such, even from the 19th century, have been proven to be fraudulant.
Also, please remember that the current Rapa Nui language developed in the 19th and 20th centuries when a lot of additional immigrants came from elsewhere in Polynesia to the Easter island. This, together with the collapse of the island's demographics in the mid-19th century, contributed to the disappearance of the rongorongo understanding. --Drieakko 02:26, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the first point, but I don't do it with second one (and I'd never heard about the third). If rongo rongo it was a scripture, by force must be in [classical] Rapa nui language because the island hadn't another inhabitants. Could be made another redaction? I think that my English is so basic for try it. Thanks. Lin linao 13:02, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
If you have a reference that proves the rongorongo scripture to be written in a specific language, please point that out. The third point is valid: all accounts of anyone having been able to read the tablets are proven to be false. That does not mean that they were not meant to be read originally, there is just no proof of that. --Drieakko 01:08, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
No, I mean that there are two options:
a) Rongo rongo is not a scripture
b) Rongo rongo is a scripture
If b), it was created by inhabitants of Easter Island (the wood of tablets belongs to species founded there). Inhabitant of Easter Island were speakers of a Polynesian language: Rapa nui. So, they can't make rongo rongo in another tongue.
I propose a redaction pointing that. I hope you understand my explanation. Bye. Lin linao 11:45, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I understand your point. But like said, it is only a speculation that makers of rongorongo tablets were speaking a Rapa Nui language, since no speaker of Rapa Nui is known to have been able to read the tablets or being able to write any. Also, attempts to find Rapa Nui language specific structures in the tablets have been completely fruitless. --Drieakko 13:41, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
So, we are almost in agree :). However, Easter Island hadn't another inhabitants than Rapa nui people speakers of Rapa nui language. The only manner of the language of tablets (supposing that is a language, of course) be other than Rapa nui is accept an American origin of Hanau Eepe (Long Ears?) and that is almost impossible accords to genetical studies made on islanders. Bye. Lin linao 19:08, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for the response. But note that also the claim that all Easter Islanders had always spoken a Rapa Nui kind of language is a speculation. --Drieakko 01:08, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Why?. Lin linao 02:14, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Because there is no evidence on that. It can be speculated, but not proven. It would be the same to say that all people in France have always spoken French (and of that we just know it is not the case). --Drieakko 03:01, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Contradictions[edit]

This contradicts

Old Rapa Nui was mostly destroyed in the aftermath of the Peruvian slave deportations in the 1860s. While the majority of the population that was taken to work as slaves in the Peruvian mines died of diseases and bad treatment in the 1860s, hundreds of other Easter Islanders who left for Mangareva in the 1870s and 1880s to work as servants or labourers, adopted the local form of Tahitian-Pidgin, which became the basis for the modern Rapa Nui language when the surviving part of the Mangarevan immigrants returned to their almost deserted home island.[1] quoted material

with this

Father Sebastian Englert,[4] a German missionary living on Easter Island during 1935-1969, published a partial Rapa Nui-Spanish dictionary in his La Tierra de Hotu Matu’a in 1948, trying to save what was left of the old language. Despite the many typographical mistakes, the dictionary is valuable, because it provides a wealth of examples which all appear drawn from a real corpus, part oral traditions and legends, part actual conversations.[5]quoted material

For now I've removed the former from the article. Those two paragraphs contradict each other and make no sense being together. If the first paragraph is true then Sebastian only recorded a hybridized form of Rapa Nui based on Mangarevan. If the second paragraph is true then the first must be false - Rapa Nui maintained their own language under influence from neighbouring Polynesian languages such as Tahitian (which is already verifiable) however the vocabulary, syntax and phonology is largely still Rapa Nui (also verifiable).

I suggest re-writing the first paragraph making it more congruent with the second. Here is my suggestion;

Rapa Nui came under extensive outside influences in the aftermath of the Peruvian slave deportations in the 1860s from neighbouring Polynesian languages such as Tahitian. While the majority of the population that was taken to work as slaves in the Peruvian mines died of diseases and bad treatment in the 1860s, hundreds of other Easter Islanders who left for Mangareva in the 1870s and 1880s to work as servants or labourers, adopted the local form of Tahitian-Pidgin. Fischer argues that this pidgin became the basis for the modern Rapa Nui language when the surviving part of the Rapa Nui immigrants on Mangareva returned to their almost deserted home island.[2] quoted material

However it is far from complete. More information on the influence on vocabulary, phonology and syntax on the language from Tahitian, Spanish and any other language should be placed here. If no one minds, I intend to add it to the page in one weeks time.

121.90.57.12 (talk) 15:19, 17 November 2007 (UTC)


Post-Peruvian enslavement?[edit]

Please inform who were the "peruvian people" involved in this "business" So far as I Know europeans as spanish people were involved but you are talking about peruvian enslavers?? For your info,even in the Pacific war between Peru and Chile, they invaded Peru deliberately and with the help of British capital and according to his history "they liberated" the slaves of the peruvian haciendas, the truth is that they invaded to conquer territory and win the saltpeter for the UK. It's ridiculous how chile tries to be like the UK, recognized slavery and colonizers worlwide. In Peru, we say Chile is a third world country with imperial ambitions and no idea of the meening of honor .sorry for my english, greetings ! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.8.213.19 (talk) 17:01, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Materials on Rapa Nui language[edit]

Easter Island, the Rapanui speech and the peopling of southeast Polynesia (1912)

https://archive.org/details/cu31924029871013

https://archive.org/details/easterislandrapa00churuoft

Easter Island ; the Rapanui speech and the peopling of southeast Polynesia (1912)

https://archive.org/details/easterislandrapa00chur

https://archive.org/details/easterislandrapa00churrich

Te Pito te Henua, known as Rapa Nui : commonly called Easter Island, South Pacific Ocean. Latitude 2710W. (1899)

https://archive.org/details/tepitotehenuakno00cook

Te Pito te Henua; or, Easter Island (1891)

https://archive.org/details/cu31924105726222

https://archive.org/details/tepitotehenuaor00thomgoog

Mis viajes a Pascua (1921)

https://archive.org/details/misviajespascua00este

Rajmaan (talk) 14:58, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Fischer, Steven Riger. Island at the end of the World - The Turbulent History of Easter Island. Reaktion Books Ltd. 2005. ISBN 1-86189-282-9. See page 114.
  2. ^ Fischer, Steven Roger. Island at the end of the World - The Turbulent History of Easter Island. Reaktion Books Ltd. 2005. ISBN 1-86189-282-9. See page 114.