Rennellese
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
Rennell and Bellona Islands

Language codes
REN (POLLI); MNV (ISO 639-3); MNV (Grimes 1996: Ethnologue); REN (Biggs 1971)

Alternate language names
Rennell, Rennellese-Bellonese

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
Munggava (Mugava, Mugaba, Rennellese, Rennell), Mungiki (Mugiki, Muniki, Bellonese, Bellona)

Rennellese speaking population
1,945 (1976 census); 1,945 total.

Status of language
Not listed as endangered in the UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger (2009).

Alphabet
A, E, I, O, U, ', NG, NNG, H, K, L, M, N, P, S, T, V (Biggs 1971:480, Stanley 1989) - may be incomplete/incorrect. Stanley (1989) mentions the village name "Lavanngu" including an L, while Biggs (1971) lists no L for the Rennellese language. The people of Bellona pronounce Rennellese NNG (prenasalized velar stop) as NG (velar nasal), and Rennellese S as H (the latter only in some words); V is pronounced bilabially on both islands (Biggs 1971). G seems to be used for NG sometimes (see "Dialect names" above).

Word order typology
SVO, VSO

Remarks
Speakers are thought to be descendants of people from Wallis and Futuna (Stanley 1989:650) - probably Futuna. Melanesian influences on the Rennellese language have been clearly demonstrated (Elbert 1965).

Data last updated
28 April 2010




SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY - RENNELLESE

ELBERT, SAMUEL H.
1962. Phonemic expansion in Rennellese (in: Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol 71, p 25-31). Wellington. Polynesian Society

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

ELBERT, SAMUEL H.
1975. Dictionary of the language of Rennell and Bellona - part 1 (Rennellese-English). Copenhagen. National Museam of Denmark

ELBERT, SAMUEL H.
1981. Dictionary of the language of Rennell and Bellona - part 2 (English-Rennellese)

ELBERT, SAMUEL H.
1988. Echo of a culture: a grammar of Rennell and Bellona

ELBERT, SAMUEL H./MONBERG, TORBEN (EDITORS).
1965. From the two canoes: oral traditions of Rennell and Bellona Islands. Honolulu. University of Hawai'i Press

MINK ROSSEN, JANE.
1987. Songs of Bellona Island (Na taungua o Muniki)

MONBERG, TORBEN.
1976. Ungrammatical love on Bellona (Mungiki) (in: Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol 85, pp 243-255). Wellington. The Polynesian Society

[TRAD.].
1942-1987. Portions of the Bible



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