|Native to||French Polynesia|
|68,260, 37% of ethnic population (2007 census)|
Tahitian (autonym Reo Tahiti, part of Reo Māꞌohi, languages of French Polynesia)is a Polynesian language, spoken mainly on the Society Islands in French Polynesia. It belongs to the Eastern Polynesian group.
As Tahitian had no written tradition before the arrival of the Western colonists, the spoken language was first transcribed by missionaries of the London Missionary Society in the early 19th century.
Tahitian is the most prominent of the indigenous Polynesian languages spoken in French Polynesia (reo māꞌohi).The latter also include:
When Europeans first arrived in Tahiti at the end of the 18th century, there was no writing system and Tahitian was only a spoken language. In 1797, Protestant missionaries arrived in Tahiti on a British ship called Duff, captained by James Wilson. Among the missionaries was Henry Nott (1774–1844) who learned the Tahitian language and worked with Pōmare II, a Tahitian king, to translate the English Bible into Tahitian. A system of five vowels and nine consonants was adopted for the Tahitian Bible, which would become the key text by which many Polynesians would learn to read and write.
Tahitian features a very small number of phonemes: five vowels and nine consonants, not counting the lengthened vowels and diphthongs. Notably, the consonant inventory lacks any sort of dorsal consonants.
Next follows a table with all phonemes in more detail.
|a||ꞌā||/a/, /aː~ɑː/||a: opera, ā: father|
|e||ꞌē||/e/, /eː/||e: late, ē: same but longer|
|f||fā||/f/||friend||becomes bilabial [ɸ] after o and u|
|h||hē||/h/||house||becomes [ʃ] (as in English shoe) after i and before o or u|
|i||ꞌī||/i/, /iː/||as in machine||may become diphthong ai in some words like rahi|
|o||ꞌō||/o~ɔ/, /oː/||o: nought, ō: same but longer|
|p||pī||/p/||sponge (not aspirated)|
|r||rō||/r/||-||alveolar trill, may also be heard as a flap [ɾ]|
|t||tī||/t/||stand (not aspirated)|
|u||ꞌū||/u/, /uː/||u: foot, ū: moo||strong lip rounding|
|v||vī||/v/||vine||becomes bilabial ([β]) after o and u|
|ꞌ||ꞌeta||/ʔ/||uh-oh||glottal stop beginning each syllable|
The glottal stop or ꞌeta is a genuine consonant. This is typical of Polynesian languages (compare to the Hawaiian ʻokina and others). Glottal stops used to be seldom written in practice, but are now commonly written, though often as straight apostrophes, ꞌ, instead of the curly apostrophes used in Hawaiian. Alphabetical word ordering in dictionaries used to ignore the existence of glottals. However, academics and scholars now publish text content with due use of glottal stops.
Tahitian makes a phonemic distinction between long and short vowels; long vowels are marked with macron or tārava.
For example, pāto, meaning "to pick, to pluck" and pato, "to break out", are distinguished solely by their vowel length. However, macrons are seldom written among older people because Tahitian writing was never taught at school until one or two decades ago.
Finally there is a toro ꞌaꞌï, a trema put on the i, but only used in ïa when used as a reflexive pronoun. It does not indicate a different pronunciation. Usage of this diacritic was promoted by academics but has now virtually disappeared, mostly due to the fact that there is no difference in the quality of the vowel when the trema is used and when the macron is used.
Although the use of ꞌeta and tārava is equal to the usage of such symbols in other Polynesian languages, it is promoted by the Académie tahitienne and adopted by the territorial government. There are at least a dozen other ways of applying accents. Some methods are historical and no longer used. This can make usage unclear. See list. At this moment l'Académie tahitienne seems to have not made a final decision yet whether the ꞌeta should appear as a small normal curly comma (ʼ) or a small inverted curly comma (ʻ). (Compare ʻokina.) The straight apostrophe (Unicode U+0027) being the default apostrophe displayed when striking the apostrophe key on a usual French AZERTY keyboard, it has become natural for writers to use the straight apostrophe for glottal stops, though to avoid the complications caused by substituting punctuation marks for letters in digital documents, the saltillo (ꞌ) may be used.
Tahitian syllables are entirely open, as is usual in Polynesian languages. In its morphology, Tahitian relies on the use of "helper words" (such as prepositions, articles, and particles) to encode grammatical relationships, rather than on inflection, as would be typical of European languages. It is a very analytic language, except when it comes to the personal pronouns, which have separate forms for singular, plural and dual numbers.
Today, macronized vowels and ꞌeta are also available for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. People can download and install mobile applications to realize the macron on vowels as well as the ꞌeta.
Like many Austronesian languages, Tahitian has separate words for inclusive and exclusive we, and distinguishes singular, dual, and plural.
Typologically, Tahitian word order is VSO (verb–subject–object), which is typical of Polynesian languages. Some examples of word order fromare:
[*e mea marō te haꞌari – "Are thing dry the coconut", "The coconuts are dry"] [*e taꞌata pūai ꞌoia – "Is man strong he", "He is a strong man"]
The article te is the definite article and means the. In conversation it is also used as an indefinite article for a or an. p.9:
The plural of the definite article te is te mau.
Also, te may also be used to indicate a plural;
The indefinite article is e
The article e also introduces an indefinite common noun.
In contrast, te hōꞌē means a certain.
The article ꞌo is used with proper nouns and pronouns and implies it is.
Verbal aspect and modality are important parts of Tahitian grammar, and are indicated with markers preceding and/or following the invariant verb. Important examples are:
|’Ia ora na||hello, greetings|
|haere mai, maeva, mānava||welcome|
|māuruuru roa||thank you very much|
|e aha te huru?||how are you?|
|maita’i roa||very good|
|e ua||it's raining|
|ua to’eto’e||it's cold|
|ua here au ia ’oe||I love you|
|’ōrapa maha roa||rectangle|
In many parts of Polynesia the name of an important leader was (and sometimes still is) considered sacred ( tapu ) and was therefore accorded appropriate respect ( mana ). In order to avoid offense, all words resembling such a name were suppressed and replaced by another term of related meaning until the personage died. If, however, the leader should happen to live to a very great age this temporary substitution could become permanent.
In the rest of Polynesia tū means to stand, but in Tahitian it became tiꞌa, because the word was included in the name of king Tū-nui-ꞌēꞌa-i-te-atua. Likewise fetū (star) has become in Tahiti fetiꞌa and aratū (pillar) became aratiꞌa. Although nui (big) still occurs in some compounds, like Tahiti-nui, the usual word is rahi (which is a common word in Polynesian languages for 'large'). The term ꞌēꞌa fell in disuse, replaced by purūmu or porōmu. Currently ꞌēꞌa means 'path' while purūmu means 'road'.
Tū also had a nickname, Pō-mare (literally means 'night coughing'), under which his dynasty has become best known. By consequence pō (night) became ruꞌi (currently only used in the Bible, pō having become the word commonly in use once again), but mare (literally cough) has irreversibly been replaced by hota.
Other examples include;
Some of the old words are still used on the Leewards.
A macron is a diacritical mark: it is a straight bar (¯) placed above a letter, usually a vowel. Its name derives from Ancient Greek μακρόν (makrón) "long", since it was originally used to mark long or heavy syllables in Greco-Roman metrics. It now more often marks a long vowel. In the International Phonetic Alphabet, the macron is used to indicate a mid-tone; the sign for a long vowel is instead a modified triangular colon ⟨ː⟩.
Māori, also known as te reo, is an Eastern Polynesian language spoken by the Māori people, the indigenous population of New Zealand. Closely related to Cook Islands Māori, Tuamotuan, and Tahitian, it gained recognition as one of New Zealand's official languages in 1987. The number of speakers of the language has declined sharply since 1945, but a Māori language revitalisation effort slowed the decline, and the language has experienced a revival, particularly since about 2015.
Tahiti is the largest island of the Windward group of the Society Islands in French Polynesia, located in the central part of the Pacific Ocean. Divided into two parts, Tahiti Nui and Tahiti Iti, the island was formed from volcanic activity; it is high and mountainous with surrounding coral reefs. Its population is 133,627 inhabitants (2020), making it the most populous island of French Polynesia and accounting for 68.7% of its total population.
The Polynesian languages form a language family spoken in geographical Polynesia and on a patchwork of outliers from south central Micronesia to small islands off the northeast of the larger islands of the southeast Solomon Islands and sprinkled through Vanuatu. Linguistic taxonomists classify them as a subgroup of the much larger and more varied Austronesian family, belonging to the Oceanic branch of that family. Polynesians share many unique cultural traits that resulted from only about 1000 years of common development, including common linguistic development, in the Tonga and Samoa area through most of the first millennium BC.
In Polynesian mythology, Hawaiki is the original home of the Polynesians, before dispersal across Polynesia. It also features as the underworld in many Māori stories.
Samoan is the language of the Samoan Islands, comprising Samoa and the United States territory of American Samoa. It is an official language, alongside English, in both jurisdictions.
Tongan is an Austronesian language of the Polynesian branch spoken in Tonga. It has around 187,000 speakers and is a national language of Tonga. It is a VSO (verb–subject–object) language.
Papeete is the capital city of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of the French Republic in the Pacific Ocean. The commune of Papeete is located on the island of Tahiti, in the administrative subdivision of the Windward Islands, of which Papeete is the administrative capital. The French High Commissioner also resides in Papeete.
The ʻokina, also called by several other names, is a unicameral consonant letter used within the Latin script to mark the phonemic glottal stop, in many Polynesian languages.
Marquesan is a collection of East-Central Polynesian dialects, of the Marquesic group, spoken in the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia. They are usually classified into two groups, North Marquesan and South Marquesan, roughly along geographic lines.
Rapa Nui or Rapanui, also known as Pascuan or Pascuense, is an Eastern Polynesian language of the Austronesian language family. It is spoken on the island of Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island.
Rapa is the language of Rapa, in the Austral Islands of French Polynesia. It is an East Central Polynesian language, along with the Marquesic and Tahitic languages. There are three versions on the Rapa language currently being spoken: Old Rapa, Reo Rapa and New Rapa. Old Rapa has been mostly replaced by Reo Rapa, a mix of the more commonly spoken Tahitian and Old Rapa. New Rapa is commonly spoken by middle-aged and younger speakers. Rapa is a critically endangered language, and there are only around 300 speakers of Reo Rapa, with only 15% of them able to speak Old Rapa.
Cook Islands Māori is an Eastern Polynesian language that is the official language of the Cook Islands. Cook Islands Māori is closely related to New Zealand Māori, but is a distinct language in its own right. Cook Islands Māori is simply called Māori when there is no need to disambiguate it from New Zealand Māori, but it is also known as Māori Kūki 'Āirani, or, controversially, Rarotongan. Many Cook Islanders also call it Te reo Ipukarea, literally "the language of the Ancestral Homeland".
Tuamotuan, Paʻumotu or Paumotu is a Polynesian language spoken by 4,000 people in the Tuamotu archipelago, with an additional 2,000 speakers in Tahiti.
Faaa is a commune in the suburbs of Papeete in French Polynesia, an overseas country of France in the Pacific Ocean. Faaa is located on the island of Tahiti, in the administrative subdivision of the Windward Islands, themselves part of the Society Islands. At the 2017 census Faaa had a population of 29,506, making it the most populous commune on Tahiti and in French Polynesia. Faaa has many mountains inland that can reach 1,500 m (5,000 ft). Mount Marau is an extinct volcano in the inland limits and can be seen from nearby Moorea. The area of Faaa is 9 m (30 ft) above mean sea level on average.
Mangareva or Mangarevan is a Polynesian language spoken by about 600 people in the Gambier Islands of French Polynesia 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.
Rakahanga-Manihiki is a Cook Islands Maori dialectal variant belonging to the Polynesian language family, spoken by about 2500 people on Rakahanga and Manihiki Islands and another 2500 in other countries, mostly New Zealand and Australia. Wurm and Hattori consider Rakahanga-Manihiki as a distinct language with "limited intelligibility with Rarotongan". According to the New Zealand Maori anthropologist Te Rangi Hīroa who spent a few days on Rakahanga in the years 1920, "the language is a pleasing dialect and has closer affinities with [New Zealand] Maori than with the dialects of Tongareva, Tahiti, and the Cook Islands"
This page list topics related to French Polynesia.
The Tahitians, are a Polynesian ethnic group native to Tahiti and thirteen other Society Islands in French Polynesia, as well as the modern population of these lands of multiracial, primarily Polynesian-French, ancestry. The Tahitians are one of the largest indigenous Polynesian ethnic groups, behind the Māori, Samoans and Hawaiians.
Nuguria fead (Nukuria) was a Polynesian language, spoken by approximately 550 people on Nuguria in the eastern islands of Papua New Guinea. The language was taught in primary schools in Nuguria and was used for daily communications between adults and children. Nuguria is one of the eighteen small islands to the east of Papua New Guinea, which are known as the Polynesian Outliers. The Nukuria language has been concluded to be closely related to other nearby languages such as Nukumanu, Takuu, Nukuoro, and Luangiua. Research on the Nuguria Atoll and the language itself is scarce; past research demonstrated that this language was at risk of potential endangerment. The language was only then classified as at risk of endangerment because it was still used between generations and was passed on to the children. However, recent research indicates that Nukuria is now most likely an extinct language.
|Tahitian edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|