Rotuman

Authored by: Hans Schmidt

The Oceanic Languages

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

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

10.4324/9780203820384.ch45

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Abstract

The Rotuman language is spoken by the 2500 inhabitants of Rotuma and by about 5000 Rotumans who have left the island to live in Fiji and abroad. There are no dialect differences in Rotuman. Rotuman is an isolate within the Central Pacific linkage, its closest relatives being the Fijian languages. As a result of contact, the Rotuman lexicon contains a very large number of Polynesian loanwords (Biggs 1965). This sketch is based largely on Churchward (1940), with supplementary material drawn from the author's own fieldwork and from Hocart (1919), Milner (1971), Besnier (1987), Blevins (1994) and Geraghty (1995).

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