|ELP||Mono (Solomon Islands)|
Mono, or Alu, is an Oceanic language of Solomon Islands reported in 1999 to be spoken by 660 people on Treasury Island (Mono proper), 2,270 on Shortland Island (Alu dialect), and 14 on Fauro Island.
Mono-Alu language has been studied extensively by Joel L. Fagan, a researcher for the Department of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies at Australian National University. Their publication, "A Grammatical Analysis of Mono-Alu (Bougainville Straits, Solomon Islands)," is one of the first and only translations and analysis of Mono-Alu language.
Joel L. Fagan identified the Mono-Alu language as having twenty eight phonemes. They are made up of nine diphthongs, and five vowels and fourteen consonants that make up the alphabet.
The Alu Alphabet
- The Alu alphabet has 19 letters: A B D E F G H I K L M N O P R S T U V.
- Of these letters: D was seldom used instead of R for euphony sake; but it has to be used now for the new foreign words or names introduced in the language spoken. H generally (not always) is or can be replaced by F.
1. Pronunciation of Vowels
'a' is usually pronounced as in "flat"
a sometimes pronounced as in "fast"
'e' is always pronounced as in "ten"
'i' is always pronounced as in "tin"
'o' is always pronounced as in "not"
'u' is always pronounced as in "put"
2. Pronunciation of Diphthongs
'ai' is pronounced "aye" - e.g. "Galeai".
sometimes the letters are pronounced separately
'ei' has no equivalent sound in English.
'oi' is pronounced "oy" - e.g. "ba-oi" (shark).
sometimes the letters are pronounced separately. - e.g. "o-i-sa" (echo).
'ui' used as a diphthong - e.g. "sui-o" (swallow)
used separately - e.g. "ku-i" (baby) with the exception
3.Pronunciation of Consonants
'g' is always pronounced as in "Glas", "giddy". No reason to use in Alu 'q' as is done elsewhere. Here also, the words are fully written as they are pronounced - e.g. "ang (instead of 'ag'), "ing", "ong", "ung". When, exceptionally, the 'n' is after 'g' as in "gnora", owing to the nasal pronunciation, the accentuated 'n' can be used as in Choiseul.
'ng' is pronounced as in English with the exception of "uhg", the sound of 'u' being always the Latin one.
"ang" is pronounced as in "gang"
"ing" is pronounced as in "ring"
"eng" is pronounced as in "length"
"ong"is pronounced as in" wrong"
The other Consonants have the same sound in English."
|Plosive||p, b||t, d||k, g|
The number system of Mono-Alu language is very similar to other Austronesian languages. For example, Mono-Alu shares the numbers two (elua) and five (lima) with the Hawaiian Polynesian language. A number for zero was available in the language, but it was under the same use as the word 'nothing.' Joel L. Fagan identified numbers from one to ten-thousand in Mono-Alu.
|Kala (or elea)||one|
|Lafulu rohona elea||eleven|
|Lafulu rohona elua||twelve|
|Lafulu rohona episa||thirteen|
|Lafulu rohona efati||fourteen|
|Lafulu rohona lima||fifteen|
|Lafulu rohona onomo||sixteen|
|Lafulu rohona hitu||seventeen|
|Lafulu rohona alu||eighteen|
|Lafulu rohona ulia||nineteen|
|Elua lafulu (or Tanaoge)||twenty|
|Episa lafulu (or Pisafulu)||thirty|
|Efati lafulu (or Fatiafulu)||forty|
|Lima lafulu (or limafulu)||fifty|
|Ulia lafulu (or Siafulu)||ninety|
Mono-Alu also made use of Ordinal Numbers. However, only 'first' (famma) is an actual word, where every other number upward is a grammatical construct.
Mono-Alu language, like many other Austronesian languages, uses two separate pronounce for the first-person plural. One is inclusive, including the listener; and the other is exclusive, not including the listener. There are also no third-person pronouns available in the language. Joel L. Fagan translated Pronouns and their possessives.
|1p (ex)||mani||-ami||-mang, -ma||samang/sama|
The Mono-Alu language gets very specific for adverbs and other verb affixes. Verbs can be altered with a prefix, infix, and a suffix.
|ang||relative prefix, alternate forms an, ai, a'nta||fa||infix denoting completion||ai||there, away|
|fa||causative prefix, fa becomes f before a, alternate form ha||fang||one another (reciprocal infix), alternate form fan||ma||hither, thither, alternate form ama|
|ta||infix or prefix showing action or state.||fero||elsewhere, to somewhere else|
|isa||together, at the same time, alternate sa|
|male||again (also occurs independently)|
|mea||makes a plural|
|meka||till tired,for a very long time, alternate form meko|
|a||place where or whither, alternate form ang occurs after a|
|ng||added to the first of two names gives the meaning 'and', alternate form m|
|ua||denotes addition, 'and', 'with'|
|-a||of, especially before -ang, alternate forms an, ang, aan|
|-ata||often found after verbs and other words, alternate forms eta, ita, ota, uta|
|ga||particle, most often after the first word in a sentence, untranslatable; so, therefore at the beginning of a sentence, also used with pronoun forms to emphasise them: gafa, gami, gai, gaina, gang etc.|
|-nana||equivalent to copula, alternate form nina|
|-titi||strengthens the idea of repetition or duration|
Mono-Alu grammar also follows rules of gender.
Gender of Nouns
There are to ways of indicating differences of Gender:
(a) by different words:
- e.g. Tiong : man - Betafa : woman
Fanua : men - Talaiva : women
Lalaafa : Headman - Mamaefa : Headwoman
Tua-na : his grandfather - Tete-na : his grandmother
Kanega : old man (husband) - Magota : old woman (wife)
(b) by using an ord indicative of sex:
- e.g. Kui manuale : baby(male) - Kui batafa : baby (female)
Boo sule : boar - Boo tuaru : sow
("Sule" and "Tuaru" are used for animals only)
In other cases, there is no distinction between masculine, feminine and neuter."
Some exceptions within the rules of Mono-Alu have been discovered.
"Two adverbs of place, instead of being written with a double consonant, are written with one only accentuated.
- e.g. 'Nai (instead of NNai) - "here"
'Nao (instead of NNao) - "there"
Instead of the aspirate 'H', the letter 'F' can be used:
(a) in verbs preceded by the causative "Ha" (or "Fa")
- e.g. "Fasoku" (or "Hasoku") - "let come"
(b) in verbs preceded by the prefix "Han" (or "Fan") meaning reciprocity or duality
- e.g. "Fanua" (or "Hanua") - "mon"
"Mafa" (or "Maha") - "I, no" "
There is no word for 'the' in the language.
There is no definite article in Alu.
There is no indefinite Article as "a, an", it is replaced by the indefinite number; - "elea" (one)."
- Mono at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- A Short grammar of the Alu language.
- Fagan, Joel (1986). A Grammatical Analysis of Mono-Alu (Bougainville Straits, Solomon Islands). Canberra, Australia: The Australian National University. doi:10.15144/PL-B96. hdl:1885/145402. ISBN 0-85883-339-5.
- Lincoln, Forster, Peter, Hilary (2001). Letters written in Mono-Alu language of Western District, Solomon Islands to Hilary Forster of N.Z. ; Mono-Alu word list by Hilary Forster of N.Z. and a teacher from Shortland Islands, Solomon Islands. Shortlands, Solomon Islands.
- Stolz, Thomas (1996). Some Instruments Are Really Good Companions - Some Are Not. On Syncretism and the Typology of Instrumentals and Comitatives. pp. Theoretical Linguistics 23. 113–200.