Penrhyn language

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Mangarongaro, Penrhynese, Tongareva
Native toCook Islands
RegionPenrhyn Island, Northern Cook Islands
Native speakers
200 (2011 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3pnh

The Penrhyn language is a Cook Islands Maori dialectal variant[2] belonging to the Polynesian language family spoken by about 200 people on Penrhyn Island and other islands in Northern Cook Islands.[3] It is considered to be an endangered language as many of its users are shifting to Cook Islands Māori and English.



A, E, H, I, K, M, N, Ng, O, P, R, T, U, V[4]

Long vowels are written with a macron.


Labial Alveolar Velar Glottal
nasal m n ŋ<ng>
stop p t k
fricative (f) v s h
Approximant l<r>

Tongareva is one of the few Cook Islands languages without a glottal stop [ʔ]. There is allophonic voicing of stops present. [f] is present in loanwords from languages like Rakahanga-Manihiki language.[5]



  1. ^ Penrhyn at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ "Te Reo Maori Act" (2003)
  3. ^ "Penrhyn". Ethnologue. Retrieved 7 March 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "Penrhyn (Tongareva)". Dictionary of Cook Islands Languages. Suva: The University of the South Pacific. 2016.