Mota is an Oceanic language spoken by about 750 people on Mota island, in the Banks Islands of Vanuatu.
During the period 1840-1940, Mota was used as a missionary lingua franca throughout areas of Oceania included in the Melanesian Mission, an Anglican missionary agency. Mota was used on Norfolk Island, in religious education; on other islands with different vernacular languages, it served as the language of liturgical prayers, hymns, and some other religious purposes. Elizabeth Fairburn Colenso translated religious material into the language.
Robert Henry Codrington compiled the first dictionary of Mota (1896), and worked with George Sarawia and others to produce a large number of early publications in this language.
Mota has 5 phonemic vowels, /i e a o u/.
- Codrington, Robert H.; Palmer, Jim (1896), A Dictionary of the Language of Mota, Sugarloaf Island, Banks' Islands, with a short grammar and index, London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge
- François, Alexandre (2005), "Unraveling the history of the vowels of seventeen northern Vanuatu languages" (PDF), Oceanic Linguistics, 44 (2): 443–504, doi:10.1353/ol.2005.0034
- François, Alexandre (2012), "The dynamics of linguistic diversity: Egalitarian multilingualism and power imbalance among northern Vanuatu languages", International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 214: 85–110, doi:10.1515/ijsl-2012-0022