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Tanema language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from ISO 639:tnx)
Native toSolomon Islands
Native speakers
1 (2012)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3tnx
Tanema is classified as Critically Endangered by the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger

Tanema (Tetawo, Tetau) is a nearly extinct language of the island of Vanikoro, in the easternmost province of the Solomon Islands.


Map of Vanikoro I., showing the historical territories of the three tribes of Lovono, Tanema and Teanu.[2]

As of 2012, Tanema is only spoken by one speaker, Lainol Nalo.[1][3] Like its neighbour Lovono, it has been replaced by Teanu, the main language of Vanikoro.

The late Emele Mamuli was a prolific storyteller who could speak fluently the three languages of Vanikoro: Teanu, Lovono and Tanema.[4] She was one of the last speakers of Tanema.

The language


Some information on the languages of Vanikoro, including Tanema, can be found in François (2009) for the grammar, and François (2021) for the lexicon.[5]




  • François, Alexandre (2009), "The languages of Vanikoro: Three lexicons and one grammar" (PDF), in Evans, Bethwyn (ed.), Discovering history through language: Papers in honour of Malcolm Ross, Pacific Linguistics 605, Canberra: Australian National University, pp. 103–126
  • —— (2021). Online Teanu–English dictionary, with lexical data in Lovono and Tanema. Paris, CNRS.
  • —— (2022). "Presentation of the Tanema language, and audio archive". Pangloss Collection. Paris: CNRS. Retrieved 26 September 2022.