Authored by: John Lynch

The Oceanic Languages

Print publication date:  December  2001
Online publication date:  March  2013

Print ISBN: 9780700711284
eBook ISBN: 9780203820384
Adobe ISBN: 9781136749858


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Iaai is spoken in the central part of the island of Ouvéa in the Loyalty Islands; the northern and southern tips of the island are occupied by speakers of the Polynesian Outlier language Fagauvea (West Uvea). There are about 3000 speakers of the language, although only half of these reside on Ouvéa. There has been considerable contact between speakers of Iaai and Fagauvea (Ozanne-Rivierre 1994), and about one-quarter of Iaai speakers who are resident on Ouvéa are completely bilingual in Fagauvea (Ozanne-Rivierre 1976:29). Iaai, Nengone and Drehu form the Loyalties subgroup of the New Caledonian family. This sketch is based mainly on Ozanne-Rivierre (1976), with some data from Tryon (1968b) and Ozanne-Rivierre (1984).

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