New Caledonian languages

New Caledonian

New Caledonia
Linguistic classification Austronesian
Glottolog newc1243 [1]

The thirty New Caledonian languages form a branch of the Southern Oceanic languages. Their speakers are known as Kanaks. One language is extinct, one is critically endangered, 4 are severely endangered, 5 are endangered, and another 5 are vulnerable to extinction.

Typology [ edit ]

The Cèmuhî, Paicî, Drubea, Numèè, and Kwenyii languages are tonal.[2]

Other than phonemically contrastive tone, typological features in New Caledonian languages that are typically unusual for Oceanic languages include nasalized vowels, very large vowel inventories, retroflex consonants, and voiceless nasals.[3]

Languages [ edit ]

Populations of the native languages of New Caledonia. Grey, green, and red are the languages of the New Caledonian branch.

The languages of the northern VohKoné area (*) are often discussed as a unit.

List of New Caledonian languages [ edit ]

Language Alternative Spelling Speakers Commune(s) Province Customary Area Dialects
1 Nyâlayu language Yalâyu 1522 Ouégoa, Belep, Pouébo North Province Hoot Ma Waap Pooc/Haat (Belep) ; Puma/Paak/Ovac (Arama, Balade)
2 Kumak language Fwa Kumak 1100 (2009) Koumac, Poum North Province Hoot ma Waap Nêlêmwâ (Nénéma tribe), Nixumwak
3 Caac language - 890 Pouébo North Province Hoot Ma Waap Cawac (variant spoken at Conception in Le Mont-Dore since 1865)
4 Yuanga language Yûâga 1992 Kaala-Gomen, Ouégoa North Province Hoot Ma Waap -
5 Jawe language - 729 Hienghène, Pouébo North Province Hoot Ma Waap -
6 Nemi language Nèmi 768 Hienghène North Province Hoot Ma Waap Ouanga, Ouélis, Kavatch
7 Fwâi language - 1131 Hienghène North Province Hoot Ma Waap -
8 Pije language - 161 Hienghène North Province Hoot Ma Waap Tha (Tiendanite)
9 Pwaamei language - 219 Voh North Province Hoot Ma Waap Naakâ (Temala, Voh); Dhaak/Yaak (Fatenaoue)
10 Pwapwâ language - 16 Voh North Province Hoot Ma Waap -
11 Voh-Koné dialects - 878 Voh, Koné North Province Hoot Ma Waap Bwatoo (Oudjo, Népou, Baco and once spoken on Koniène Island), Haeke, Haveke, Hmwaeke, Havele, Vamale (Haute Tipindje), Waamwang
12 Cèmuhî language Camuki 2051 Touho, Koné, and Poindimié North Province Paici Camuki -
13 Paicî language Paici 5498 Poindimié, Ponérihouen, Koné, Poya North Province Paici-Camuki -
14 Ajië language A'jië 4044 Houaïlou, Ponérihouen, Poya, Kouaoua North Province Ajië-Aro -
15 Arhâ language - 35 Poya North Province Ajië-Aro -
16 Arhö language Arö 62 Poya North Province Ajië-Aro -
17 Orowe language Abwébwé 587 Bourail South Province Ajië-Aro -
18 Neku language Néku 221 Bourail Moindou South Province Ajië-Aro -
19 Sîchë Zîchë, Sîshëë 4 (extinct since April 2006) Bourail, Moindou South Province Ajië-Aro Sometimes considered a dialect of Ajië
20 Tîrî language Tirî 264 La Foa, Sarraméa South Province Xaracuu Tîrî, Mea
21 Xaracuu language Xaracuu 3784 Canala, La Foa, Bouloupari South Province Xaracuu -
22 Xârâgurè language - 566 Thio, New Caledonia South Province Xaracuu Language close to Xârâcùù
23 Ndrumbea language Drubea 946 Païta, Dumbéa, Nouméa, Yaté South Province Djubéa-Kaponé -
24 Numèè language Numee/Kapone 1814 Yaté, Mont-Dore, Isle of Pines (New Caledonia) South Province Djubéa-Kaponé Xêrê (Yaté), Wêê (île Ouen), kwênyii (Isle of Pines (New Caledonia))
25 Nengone language - 6377 Maré Island, Tiga Loyalty Islands Nengone Iwateno (ceremonial/chiefly language)
26 Drehu language - 11338 Lifou Island Loyalty Islands Drehu Miny (ceremonial/chiefly language)
27 Iaai language - 1562 Ouvéa Island Loyalty Islands Iaai -
28 West Uvean language Fagauvea 1107 Ouvéa Island Loyalty Islands Iaai

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "New Caledonian". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Rivierre, Jean-Claude. 1993. Tonogenesis in New Caledonia. In Edmondson and Gregerson: Tonality in Austronesian languages, 155–173. Oceanic Linguistics Special Publication 24.
  3. ^ Blust, Robert (2013). The Austronesian languages (revised edition). A-PL 008. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. ISBN 9781922185075.
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