|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.
An exonym or xenonym is an external name for a geographical place, a group of people, an individual person, or a language or dialect. It is a common name used only outside the place, group, or linguistic community in question. An endonym or autonym is an internal name for a geographical place, a group of people, or a language or dialect. It is a common name used only inside the place, group, or linguistic community in question; it is their name for themselves, their homeland, or their language.
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.
The Society Islands are an archipelago located in the South Pacific Ocean. Politically, they are part of French Polynesia, an overseas country of the French Republic. Geographically, they form part of Polynesia.
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.
The London Missionary Society was a predominantly Congregationalist missionary society formed in England in 1795 at the instigation of Welsh Congregationalist minister Dr Edward Williams working with evangelical Anglicans and various nonconformists. It was largely Reformed in outlook, with Congregational missions in Oceania, Africa, and the Americas, although there were also Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists and various other Protestants involved. It now forms part of the Council for World Mission (CWM).
Tahitian is the most prominent of the indigenous Polynesian languages spoken in French Polynesia (reo māꞌohi).The latter also include:
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.
The Marquesas Islands are a group of volcanic islands in French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the southern Pacific Ocean. The Marquesas are located at 9.7812° S, 139.0817° W. The highest point is the peak of Mount Oave on Ua Pou island at 1,230 m (4,035 ft) above sea level.
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.
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.
Europe (Europa) is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Asia to the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.
Duff was a ship launched on the Thames in 1794. In 1796 the London Missionary Society engaged her to take a party of missionaries to the South Pacific. Once she had landed the missionaries she sailed to China and took a cargo back to England for the British East India Company. On this voyage her captain named a variety of South Pacific islands. On her second voyage to deliver missionaries a French privateer captured her off the coast of Brazil on the outward-bound leg of her voyage.
Captain James Wilson (1760–1814), commanded the British ship Duff, which the London Missionary Society contracted in 1797 to convey a team of missionaries to their postings in Tahiti, Tonga, and the Marquesas Islands. During the voyage, Wilson also surveyed numerous islands in the Pacific, including Vanua Balavu, Fulaga and Ogea Levu in Fiji, Mangareva in the Gambier Islands, Pukarua in the Tuamotus, and Satawal, Elato, and Lamotrek, in the Caroline Islands.
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.
A phoneme is a unit of sound that distinguishes one word from another in a particular language.
A diphthong, also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel sounds within the same syllable. Technically, a diphthong is a vowel with two different targets: that is, the tongue moves during the pronunciation of the vowel. In most varieties of English, the phrase no highway cowboys has five distinct diphthongs, one in every syllable.
Dorsal consonants are consonants articulated with the back of the tongue. They include the palatal, velar and, in some cases, alveolo-palatal and uvular consonants. They contrast with coronal consonants, articulated with the flexible front of the tongue, and laryngeal consonants, articulated in the pharyngeal cavity.
Next follows a table with all phonemes in more detail.
|a||ꞌā||/a/, /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||/ɔ/, /oː/||o: nought, ō: same but longer|
|p||pī||/p/||sponge (not aspirated)|
|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. Nowadays 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 (nowadays 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 189,517 inhabitants (2017), making it the most populous island of French Polynesia and accounting for 68.7% of its total population.
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.
Tongan is an Austronesian language of the Polynesian branch spoken in Tonga. It has around 180,000 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 Polynesian Triangle is a region of the Pacific Ocean with three island groups at its corners: Hawaiʻi, Easter Island and New Zealand (Aotearoa). It is often used as a simple way to define Polynesia.
The ʻokina, also called by several other names, is a unicameral consonant letter used within the Latin script to mark the phonemic glottal stop, as it is used in many Polynesian languages.
Taha’a is an island located among the western group, the Leeward Islands, of the Society Islands in French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. The islands of Taha’a and neighboring Raiatea to the immediate south are enclosed by the same coral reef, and they may once have been a single island. At the 2017 census it had a population of 5,234. The island has an area of 90 square kilometres, and reaches a maximum height of 590 metres (1,940 ft). It is also known as the "Vanilla Island" and produces pearls of exceptional quality.
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.
Proto-Polynesian is the hypothetical proto-language from which all the modern Polynesian languages descend. It is a daughter language of the Proto-Austronesian language. Historical linguists have reconstructed the language using the comparative method, in much the same manner as with Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Uralic. This same method has also been used to support the archaeological and ethnographic evidence which indicates that the ancestral homeland of the people who spoke Proto-Polynesian was in the vicinity of Tonga, Samoa, and nearby islands.
Mangareva 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. 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, while 62.6% reported French as the main languages spoken at home, 4.9% reported Tahitian, and 4.6% reported some Chinese dialects. 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.
Austral is an endangered Polynesian language that is spoken by approximately 8,000 people (1987). It is spoken only on the Austral Islands and the Society Islands of French Polynesia. The language is also referred to as Tubuai-Rurutu, Tubuai, Rurutu-Tupuai, or Tupuai. In structure, it is similarly compared to Tahitian.
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"
Havaii is one of a half dozen or so variant spellings of Hawaii that can be found across all three points of Polynesia. Havaii or Hawai'i refers to the ancient name for Raiatea, in what is now known as French Polynesia. Common to all monarchial systems, island names changed by royal order or common assent, according to historic events. Other variants include Savai'i, Avaiki and Hawaiki, with the names attaining a political as well as cultural significance in postcolonial times.
This page list topics related to French Polynesia.
The Tahitians, or Maohis, are a nation and 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.
|Tahitian edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|