The Touo language is spoken over the southern part of Rendova Island, located in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands.

Native toSolomon Islands
Regionsouthern Rendova Island, Western Province
Native speakers
1,900 (1999 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3tqu


Touo belongs to the Central Solomons group of the Papuan languages. All the surrounding languages to Touo belong to the Oceanic subgroup of the Austronesian language family.


The Touo language is sometimes called the Baniata (Mbaniata) or Lokuru language, after the largest two villages where the language is spoken.[3] The word Touo comes from the ethnonym that Touo speakers use to refer to themselves.



Touo consonants are:[4]:869

bilabial labiodental alveolar velar glottal
voiceless stop (p) t (k)
voiced stop b d ɡ <q>
voiceless fricative f s h
voiced fricative v z
approximant ɰ <g>
nasal m n ŋ
lateral/rhotic l


Touo vowels have phonemically contrastive tense/lax vowels. Some minimal pairs showing the tense/lax vowel phonemic distinction in Touo:[4]

e road oven
avo garden a̰vo four
ua who? ṵa eat
isi small ḭsi sleep


Word order in Touo is SOV.[4]

Touo has four genders.[4]

  • masculine
  • feminine
  • neuter I (generic)
  • neuter II (certain trees)

Only in certain paradigms of the singular number can neuter I and II be distinguished.

Touo distinguishes four numbers.[4]

  • singular
  • dual
  • enumerated (i.e., numerically specified; can be used for both few or many numbers)
  • non-enumerated (i.e., not numerically specified; used for numbers greater than three)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Touo at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Touo". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Tryon, D. T.; Hackman, B. D. (1983). Solomon Islands languages: an internal classification. Pacific Linguistics Series C - No. 72. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. doi:10.15144/PL-C72. hdl:1885/145227. ISBN 978-0-85883-292-3.
  4. ^ a b c d e Stebbins, Tonya; Evans, Bethwyn; Terrill, Angela (2018). "The Papuan languages of Island Melanesia". In Palmer, Bill (ed.). The Languages and Linguistics of the New Guinea Area: A Comprehensive Guide. The World of Linguistics. 4. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 775–894. ISBN 978-3-11-028642-7.
  • Paradisec has two collections of Arthur Cappell's materials (AC1, AC2) that include Touo language materials.


  • Dunn, Michael (2005). "Vernacular Literacy in the Touo Language of the Solomon Islands". Current Issues in Language Planning. 6 (2): 239–250. doi:10.1080/14664200508668283.
  • Terrill, Angela; Dunn, Michael (2003). "Orthographic design in the Solomon Islands: The social, historical, and linguistic situation of Touo (Baniata)". Written Language & Literacy. 6 (2): 177–192. doi:10.1075/wll.6.2.03ter.

Coordinates: 8°35′S 157°18′E / 8.58°S 157.30°E / -8.58; 157.30