Vera'a language

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Native to Vanuatu
Region Vanua Lava
Native speakers
500 (2012)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 vra
Glottolog vera1241[2]

Vera’a (or Vatrata) is a language of Vanua Lava Island in Vanuatu.


Vera’a has 7 phonemic vowels, which are all short monophthongs:[3]

  Front Back
Close i u
Near-close ɪ ʊ
Open-mid ɛ ɔ
Open a

Recent history[edit]

According to recently recorded oral local history, Vanua Lava was struck by a major earthquake and landslide in 1945 that devastated gardens and hamlets on its north-west coast, as a result of which the Vera'a community abandoned its previous settlements and resettled to its current main center of residence, the village of Vera'a (Vatrata). Vera'a is located about 4km from the village of Vetuboso, the largest settlement on Vanua Lava that is inhabit mainly by speakers of the closely related language Vurës.

Together with speakers of Vera'a, speakers of the now moribund language Lemerig moved to the village of Vera'a. Lemerig is remembered by many residents of Vera'a, but is no longer used in everyday communication. It is likely that the now de facto loss of the Lemerig language is the result of natural disaster and subsequent resettlement movements.


  1. ^ François (2012): 88).
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Vera'a". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ François (2005:445); François (2011:194).