Mangareva or Mangarevan (locally Magareva, IPA: [maŋareva]) is a Polynesian language spoken by about 600 people in the Gambier Islands of French Polynesia (especially the largest island Mangareva) and on the islands of Tahiti and Moorea, located 1,650 kilometres (1,030 mi) to the North-West of the Gambier Islands, where Mangarevians have emigrated over time.
|Native to||French Polynesia|
|Region||Gambier Islands, Mangareva Island|
|Ethnicity||1,340 (2011 census?)|
|600 (2011 census)|
At the 2017 census, only 24.8% of the population age 15 and older in the Gambier Islands still reported that Mangarevan was the language they spoke the most at home (down from 38.6% at the 2007 census), while 62.6% reported French as the main languages spoken at home (up from 52.3% at the 2007 census), 4.9% reported Tahitian (down from 6.4% in 2007), and 4.6% reported some Chinese dialects (predominantly Hakka) (up from 3.5% in 2007). On the islands of Tahiti and Moorea, the number of people age 15 and older who reported that the language they spoke the most at home was Mangarevan rose from 50 at the 2007 census to 53 at the 2017 census.
Speakers have some bilingualism in Tahitian, in which there is a 60% lexical similarity, and usually with French, as well. It is a member of the Marquesic subgroup, and as such is closely related to Hawaiian and Marquesan.
According to the Endangered Languages Project, Mangarevan is considered endangered with less than 900 speakers out of an ethnic population of 1,491 . The larger portion of the population in the Gambier Islands speak French.
Mangarevan primarily shares commonalities with Rarotongan, New Zealand Māori, Marquesan and Tahitian. The linguistic similarity with the New Zealand Māori can be traced back to the 1834 arrival of a New Zealand man who acted as a translator for French missionaries. Cultural traits shared between the Mangarevan and Māori, like the story of Māui, can all be traced back to the New Zealand man's arrival as communication was clear due to linguistic similarities.
The first explorers to document the people, traditions, and language of the Gambiers were the French who eventually annexed the islands in 1881. Similar to many Polynesian languages, Mangareva's written language differentiates from spoken language because it was transcribed by Europeans. French missionaries reportedly found it difficult to pronounce or recognize the glottal stop of Mangarevan; they chose to represent it in writing using the letter h. Colonial and missionary influences from the past and in the present day have been large contributors to the attrition of language.
Sounds and phonologyEdit
|A a||E e||G g||H h / ’||I i||K k||M m|
|N n||O o||P p||R r||T t||U u||V v|
Mangareva's phonology has been identified as a Marquesic derivative from Proto-Eastern Polynesian (PEP) and Proto-Central Eastern (PCE).
For example, a PEP doublet like fafine (ʻwoman’) becomes ʻaʻine in Mangarevan. Furthermore, a modern Mangarevan (MGV) doublet is veʻine (ʻmarried woman’ or ʻwife’).
Since the vocabulary of the Mangarevan language was gathered half a century before English and French dialects and influences, the language is considered "pure" because of the lack of adopted foreign words. Many of the words found in Mangarevan are, however, influenced by other Polynesian languages since the time period of Mangareva's settlement paralleled the wayfaring period of other Polynesian cultures. The transformation of the Gambier Islands to a Catholic religion was the only new implementation to the native vocabulary as a new religious vocabulary had to be constructed in order to encompass new concepts.
Comparison with other Polynesian languagesEdit
One difference between Mangarevan and Marquesan, is that the consonant *r became a glottal stop in Marquesan: for example, "candlenut" is rama in Mangarevan, but ʻama in Marquesan. As far as this phoneme is concerned, Mangarevan is conservative (just like Tahitian or Pa'umotu), whereas Marquesan is innovative.
The Gambier Islands were also probably located on the settlement routes towards Rapa Nui further East. Southern Austral migration from Rapa Nui to Mangareva in the 1300s characterized one of the final acts of Early Polynesian expansion. Therefore, the language of Rapa Nui shares a lot of vocabulary with Mangarevan.
Mangarevan mythology also includes common deities and gods found across the Polynesian triangle. For instance, in Mangareva, "Tu" was the most important god whereas in New Zealand and Hawai'i, the god Kū was a deity of war. Similarities amongst the Polynesian triangle also includes the goddess Haumea who is responsible for Creation, and the demi-god Māui who fished up the islands.
- Mangareva language at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
- Mangareva at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
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- "Mangareva". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
- Institut Statistique de Polynésie Française (ISPF). "Recensement 2017 – Données détaillées Langues". Retrieved 2019-04-07.
- Manuireva, Ena (2014). "Mangarevan - A Shifting Language" (PDF). Retrieved 29 September 2018.
- "Did you know Mangareva is endangered?". Endangered Languages. Retrieved 2018-10-03.
- Fischer, Steven R. (2001-06-01). "Mangarevan Doublets: Preliminary Evidence for Proto-Southeastern Polynesian". Oceanic Linguistics. 40 (1): 112–124. doi:10.1353/ol.2001.0005. ISSN 1527-9421.
- See François & Charpentier (2015), pp.101-110, 119-120.
- "Mangareva language, alphabet and pronunciation". www.omniglot.com. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
- See p.93 of François & Charpentier (2015).
- "48. Mangareva Dictionary, Gambier Islands". The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. 30: 39–40. 1900. doi:10.2307/2842683. JSTOR 2842683.
- Bright, James W.; Skeat, Walter W. (1888). "Principles of English Etymology". The American Journal of Philology. 9 (2): 221. doi:10.2307/287575. ISSN 0002-9475. JSTOR 287575.
- Trudgill, Peter (2004-01-20). "Linguistic and social typology: The Austronesian migrations and phoneme inventories". Linguistic Typology. 8 (3): 305–320. doi:10.1515/lity.2004.8.3.305.
- Kirch, Patrick V.; Conte, Éric; Sharp, Warren; Nickelsen, Cordelia (July 2010). "The Onemea Site (Taravai Island, Mangareva) and the human colonization of Southeastern Polynesia". Archaeology in Oceania. 45 (2): 66–79. doi:10.1002/j.1834-4453.2010.tb00081.x. ISSN 0728-4896.
- Charpentier, Jean-Michel; François, Alexandre (2015). Atlas Linguistique de Polynésie Française — Linguistic Atlas of French Polynesia (in French and English). Mouton de Gruyter & Université de la Polynésie Française. ISBN 978-3-11-026035-9.
- A Dictionary of Mangareva (or Gambier Islands), E. Tregear, 1899 - see on Google books