Pileni
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
Solomon Islands

Geographical region
Taumako (Duff) Islands and some of the Reef Islands - all in the Temotu Province.

Language codes
PIL (POLLI); PIV (Grimes 1996: Ethnologue); PIL (Biggs 1971)

Alternate language names
Pilheni

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, Futunic

Dialect names
Taumako, Pileni, Nukapu, Nupani, Aua, Matema
Wurm/Hattori (1981) make a distinction between the Taumako dialect (Eastern Pileni dialect) and the Aua dialect (Western Pileni dialect), the latter probably comprising the variants spoken on Aua, Nupani, Nukapu, Pileni and Matema.

Pileni speaking population
878 (1976); 878 total.

Alphabet
A, E, I, O, U, NG, H, K, L, M, N, P, S, T, V (Biggs 1971) - may be incomplete. The island name "Nifiloli" (Stanley 1989:706) seems to imply that F may be included in the alphabet. Speakers in the Taumako Islands pronounce H like F, and S like H (Biggs 1971).

Remarks
Pileni is spoken on the islands of Nupani, Nukapu, Pileni, Nifiloli and Matema of the Reef Island Group, and in the Taumako (Duff) Islands (and on the island of Aua, of which location I am uncertain - Niklas Jonsson). The Pileni and Taumako dialects differ in significant ways (Grimes 1992). The Taumako and Aua dialects, once phonologically different, may be merging (Biggs 1971). Speakers are thought to be descendants of people from Tuvalu (Stanley 1989:650).

Data last updated
17 December 1998



SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY - PILENI

CAPELL, ARTHUR.
1962. Oceanic linguistics today (includes information about Pileni) (in: Current Anthropology, vol 3, p 371-428)

DAVENPORT, W.
1968. Social organisation notes on the santa Cruz Islands: The Duff Islands (Taumako) (includes information on Pileni kin terms) (in: Baessler-Archiv, Neue Folge, Band 16, pp 137-208)

ELBERT, SAMUEL H.
1965. Phonological expansions in Outlier Polynesian (in: Milner/Henderson (editors). Indo-Pacific linguistic studies - part 1, p 431-42)

RAY, SIDNEY H.
1912-. Polynesian linguistics: past and future (a series of articles running through Journal of the Polynesian Society vol 21-30) (vol 29, p 176-86, include information about Pileni)



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