Mota language

Last updated
Mota
Native to Vanuatu
Region Mota island
Native speakers
750 (2012) [1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 mtt
Glottolog mota1237
ELP Mota

Mota is an Oceanic language spoken by about 750 people on Mota Island, in the Banks Islands of Vanuatu. [2]

Contents

History

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. [3] 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. [3]

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.

Phonology

Mota has 5 phonemic vowels, /i e a o u/. [4]

  Front Back
Close iu
Close-mid eo
Open a

Notes

  1. François (2012): 88).
  2. Linguistic map of north Vanuatu, showing range of Mota.
  3. 1 2 Transcribed by the Right Reverend Dr. Terry Brown (2007). "ELIZABETH COLENSO: Her work for the Melanesian Mission; by her eldest granddaughter Francis Edith Swabey 1956" . Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  4. François (2005 :445, 460).

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References