By Åshild Næss, Even Hovdhaugen
Vaeakau-Taumako, sometimes called Pileni, is a Polynesian Outlier language spoken within the Reef and Duff Islands within the Solomon Islands' Temotu Province. this can be a space of serious linguistic range and long-standing language touch which has had far-reaching results at the linguistic state of affairs.
Historically, audio system of Vaeakau-Taumako have been shipbuilders and navigators who made exchange voyages during the region, bringing them into consistent touch with audio system of the Reefs-Santa Cruz, Utupua and Vanikoro languages. The latter languages are just distantly with regards to Vaeakau-Taumako, making up an just recently pointed out first-order subgroup of Oceanic. Polynesian audio system first arrived within the quarter a few 700-1000 years in the past from the center Polynesian components to the east. whereas at the present time so much intra-group communique happens in Solomon Islands Pijin, frequently the location used to be certainly one of vast multilingualism, and this has left profound lines within the grammar of Vaeakau-Taumako, which indicates a couple of structural houses now not identified from different Polynesian languages.
A Grammar of Vaeakau-Taumako is the main entire grammar of any Polynesian Outlier thus far, and the 1st full-length grammar of any language of Temotu Province. in response to large fieldwork, it truly is dependent as a reference grammar facing all features of language constitution, from phonology to discourse association, and together with a variety of glossed texts. it is going to be of curiosity to typologists, Oceanic linguists, and researchers drawn to language touch.
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Additional info for A Grammar of Vaeakau-Taumako
4. 3, Vaeakau-Taumako shows a considerable amount of alternation in the vowels found in given lexical or morphological items. Some of these vowel alternations are phonetically conditioned; in some cases the differences are dialectal, while in other cases there appears to be free variation, without any obvious phonological conditioning. 1. a - o This is a sporadic alternation where the a-forms are basic, except in kataha kotaha, where both forms are current and the o-form is considered to be the basic one.
Reversely, Aiwoo speakers readily claim to be able to speak Vaeakau-Taurnako, but tend to speak it at a fairly basic level, with just enough proficiency to get by in casual conversation. It might be suggested that bilingualism is a particularly sensitive issue in the Outer Reef Islands, perhaps connected to their marginalized position as the smaller, poorer and less powerful group in the Reefs area. However, if Ivens' comments have some substance, this attitude may go back to the times when the trade network was still in operation, when the Polynesians, far from being marginalized, were a driving force in the economic system of the entire area.
Previous work Very little previous research has been done on the Vaeakau-Taurnako language, and information about earlier states of the language is scarce. The first European to remark on the Polynesian character of the language was the Melanesian Mission's Bishop Patteson, during a visit to Nukapu in 1857. The English amateur linguist Sidney H. Ray published a series of articles in the Journal of the Polynesian Society 1919-1921 on "Polynesian Languages of the Santa Cruz Archipelago.. , including a sketch of Pileni (V aeakauTaurnako) grammar (Ray 1920), a collection of Pileni texts (Ray 1921a), and a vocabulary of the Pileni language (Ray 1921b).