'Are'are language

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Native toSolomon Islands
Regionsouthern Malaita, Solomon Islands
Native speakers
18,000 (1999)[1]
  • 'Are'are
  • Marau Sound
Language codes
ISO 639-3alu

The 'Are'are language is spoken by the 'Are'are people of the Solomon Islands. It is spoken by about 18,000 people, making it the second-largest Oceanic language in the Solomons after the Kwara'ae (also from Malaita). The literacy rate for 'Are'are is somewhere between 30% and 60%[1] for first language speakers, and 25%–50% for second language learners. There are also translated Bible portions into the language from 1957–2008.[1]

Geographic Distribution[edit]

The language is spoken mainly by the 'Are'are people, on the southern part of Malaita island, as well as nearby South Malaita Island and the eastern shore of Guadalcanal (the Marau Sound, 60 km away), in the Solomon Islands archipelago. The speakers live as hunters and agriculturalists.[1]


The language is divided into two dialects, 'Are'are proper and Marau, spoken at Marau Sound in eastern Guadalcanal. Marau is sometimes counted as a separate language.


A, E, H, I, K, M, N, O, P, R, S, T, U, W, ' .

R is pronounced as a tap /ɾ/ , while ' is pronounced as a glottal stop /ʔ/.

Long vowels are marked with a macron.


The phonology of the 'Are'are language:[3]

Consonant sounds
Labial Alveolar Velar Glottal
Plosive p t k ʔ
Nasal m n
Rhotic ɾ
Fricative s h
Approximant w
Vowel sounds
Front Central Back
High i u
Mid e o
Low a


The language uses a subject–verb–object word order.


  1. ^ a b c d 'Are'are at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "'Are'are". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Naitoro, Kateřina (2013). A Sketch Grammar of 'Are'are: The Sound System and Morpho-syntax. University of Canterbury.

External links[edit]