Kapingamarangi
Language facts sheet by Niklas Jonsson
©1997-1999 POLLI & Niklas Jonsson

A bibliography of works refered to in this file may be found in the Polynesian Literature List.


Country/territory where spoken
Federated States of Micronesia

Geographical region
Kapingamarangi Island (politically a part of Ponape State in the Federated States of Micronesia) in the Caroline Islands Group.

Language codes
KAP (POLLI); KPG (Grimes 1996: Ethnologue); KAP (Biggs 1971)

Genetic affiliation
Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Central Pacific, Eastern Fiji-Polynesian, Polynesian, Nuclear Polynesian, Samoic- Outlier, Ellicean

Kapingamarangi speaking population
1,300 (Bender 1979), including 700 on Kapingamarangi and several hundred in Porakiet village on Ponape; 1,300 total.

Subsistence type
Agriculturalists: taro, breadfruit, banana, coconut, pandanus; fishermen; livestock: pigs, poultry; woodcarvers

Alphabet
A, E, I, O, U, NG, H, K, L, M, N, P, R, T, W (Biggs 1971:480) - may be incomplete/incorrect. Also KH, NH, TH? - see Chung (1978:15-20). Loss of an unstressed vowel between identical consonants may occur (Biggs 1971:482).

Word order typology
SVO, VSO

Remarks
55% lexical similarity with Nukuoro, 54% with Rarotongan, 53% with Samoan, 51% with Tuamotuan, 50% with Tahitian. Active language use. There is intermarriage with people from Nukuoro.

Data last updated
16 December 1998



SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY - KAPINGAMARANGI

ELBERT, SAMUEL H.
1950. Grammar and comparative study of the language of Kapingamarangi: texts and wordlists

EMORY, KENNETH P.
1965 (reprinted 1985). Kapingamarangi: social and religious life of a Polynesian atoll (in: Bernice P. Bishop Museum Bulletin, no 228). Honolulu. Bernice P. Bishop Museum

LEACH, B.F./WARD, G.
1981. Archaeology on Kapingamarangi atoll



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