Anuta language

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Coordinates: 11°37′S 169°51′E / 11.61°S 169.85°E / -11.61; 169.85

Anuta
Native toSolomon Islands
RegionAnuta Island
Native speakers
270 (1999)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3aud
Glottologanut1237[2]

The Anuta language (or Anutan, locally te taranga paka-Anuta) is a Polynesian Outlier language from the island of Anuta in the Solomon Islands. It is closely related to the Tikopia language of the neighboring island of Tikopia, and it bears significant cultural influence from the island. The two languages have a high degree of mutual intelligibility, although Anutans can understand Tikopians better than the reverse.[3]:6

Anuta is generally regarded as Nuclear Polynesian language, although it bears considerable Tongic influence.[citation needed]

In 1977, Richard Feinberg published a two-volume dictionary and basic grammar of the language.

Phonology[edit]

Anuta has an extremely small consonant inventory. This is as a result of several phoneme mergers such as /f/ with /p/ and /s/ with /t/.[3]:8 Vowels have a short and long form.[3]:12

  • fafine → papine (women, female)
  • vasa → vata (open sea, ocean)
  • lahi → rai (big) [4]

The allophonic variation is one of the Tikopian influences.[4]

Consonants[3]:8
Labial Alveolar Velar
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive p t ~ s k
Fricative v ~ w
Liquid l ~ ɾ

The length of a vowel makes a difference in phonetics in Polynesian languages. [5]

  • matua (husband) vs. maatua (elderly person) vs. maatuaa (parent)
  • tangata (man) vs. taangata (men) vs. tangaata (brother-in-law)

In other times, long vowels are to emphasis. [5]

  • maatea (great, extreme) → maaatea
Vowels[3]:12
Front Central Back
High i u
Mid e o
Low a

The stress in Anutan normally falls on the first syllable.[4]

Morphology[edit]

Anuta shows many morphological similarities with Futunic languages and are related to Polynesian morphology. [4]

Grammar[edit]

Anuta follows the word order SVO.[4] PAV (patient-verb-agent) ergative constructions are also common.

Anuta distinguishes personal pronouns into 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person and single, dual, and plural.[3] Dual and plural 1st person are separated into exclusive and inclusive categories which depends on the words placement in the sentence.

2nd person pronouns should always be attached with either the particles ko, e, mo, or te.

When the pronoun is standing alone, usually in a response of a question, it is attached with the particle ko. [3]

"Mea ko ai?" ("who is it?")

"Ko au" ("it is I")

Personal Pronouns[3]
Singular Dual Plural
1st Person au

kau

Exclusive Inclusive Exclusive Inclusive
maaua

ma

taaua

ta

matou

matou

tatou

tou

2nd Person koe

ke

korua

koru

kotou

kotou

3rd Person ia

ei

na

naaua

na

natou

natou

Similar to personal pronouns, possessive pronouns are divided into 1st, 2nd and 3rd person, single, dual and plural. Dual and plural also being separated into exclusive and inclusive. However, whether the object is singular or plural will change the singular from of the pronouns. [3]

Possessive Pronouns[3]
Singular Dual Plural
1st Person Singular Object toku

taku

Exclusive Inclusive Exclusive Inclusive
ma

o maaua

ta

o taaua

matou

o matou

tatou

o tatou

Plural Object oku

aku

ma

o maaua

ta

o taaua

matou

o matou

tatou

o tatou

2nd Person Singular Object tou

tau

koru

o korua

kotou

o kotou

Plural Object ou

au

(k)oru

o korua

kotou

o kotou

3rd Person Singular Object tona

tana

na

na

o naaua

natou

o natou

Plural Object ona

ana

na

o naaua

natou

o natou

Two ways of possessive construction. One, the possessive pronoun is directly attached to the object or two, directly attached to the dual or plural forms.

In singular possessive pronouns, when the object changes from singular to plural the /t/ drops.[3]

  • "Toku taina" ("my brother) → "Oku taina" ("my brothers")
  • "Tou topi" ("your garden") → "Ou topi" ("your gardens")

Verbs[edit]

Any of the verbs in Anutan can be used as a noun by attaching "te".

Tense markers:

  • infinitive = ke
  • future = ka
  • present = e
  • past indicative = ne
  • perfect = ku

These tense markers may be attached to verbs without personal pronouns. [3] Usually placed between the noun and the verb.

If time is unimportant in the context of the sentence, tense markers will be dropped.

Numerals[edit]

Numbers in Anuta are usually with tense markers. [3]

Anutan use decimal counting systems. Tens use the same unit term "pua" making twenty "pua rua", thirty "pua toru" and so forth. After tens, the number indicated in the tens are marked with "maa" meaning "and". Eleven would be "puangapuru maa tai" meaning "ten and one". The same goes for twenty's, thirty's, etc. [3]

If the object of counting are humans the word "toko" will be placed in front of the number if it is enumerated. [3]

  • Te tangata e tai = One man
  • Nga tangata e toko rua = two men

Counting fish would be marked with "mata" but is limited to ten or more. [3]

  • Te ika e matagapuru = Ten fish
  • Te ika e mata nima maa iva = Fifty-nine fish
Anuta English
tai one
rua two
toru three
pa four
nima five
ono six
pitu seven
varu eight
iva nine
puangapuru ten
puangapuru maa tai eleven
puangapuru maa rua twelve
pura rua twenty
pua toru thirty
(e) pua te rau hundred
(e) ape/te ape e tai one thousand
(e) mano/te mano e tai

Resources[edit]

A 200-word word list is available at the Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database.[6]

References[edit]

  • Feinberg, Richard. 1977. The Anutan Language Reconsidered: Lexicon and Grammar of a Polynesian Outlier. Two Volumes. HRAFlex Books. New Haven: Human Relations Area Files Press.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Anuta at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Anuta". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Feinberg, Richard (1977). The Anutan Language Reconsidered: Lexicon and Grammar of a Polynesian Outlier, Volume 1. Human Relations Area Files. p. 139.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Anutan language, alphabet and pronunciation". www.omniglot.com. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  5. ^ a b Feinberg, Richard. (1998). Oral traditions of Anuta : a Polynesian outlier in the Solomon Islands. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 1429404337. OCLC 252596862.
  6. ^ Biggs, Bruce; Clark, Ross. "Anuta". Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database. Simon Greenhill, Robert Blust & Russell Gray. Retrieved 8 August 2008.