Language facts sheet by Niklas Jonsson
©1997-2001 POLLI & Niklas Jonsson
A bibliography of works refered to in this file may be found in the
Polynesian Literature List.
Country/territory where spoken
Futuna and Aniwa Islands east of Tanna.
FUT (Grimes 1996: Ethnologue);
WFU (Biggs 1971)
Alternate language names
Futuna-Aniwa, West Futuna-Aniwa, Erronan
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-
Futuna (Fotuna), Aniwa (Anewa)
West Futunan speaking population
600 (Wurm/Hattori 1981); 600 total.
Fishermen; agriculturalists: taro, yam, sweet potato, coconut, fig, breadfruit,
banana, native cabbage, sugar cane, chestnut, arrowroot; livestock: pigs,
A, I, U, F, NG, K, M, N, P, R, S, T, V (Biggs 1971) - may be incomplete.
Speakers on Aniwa tend to pronounce F as H before round vowels (Biggs 1971).
Unlike words in most other Polynesian languages West Futunan words and syllables may end in
a consonant sound due to loss of weakly stressed vowel sounds (Biggs 1971). In order to keep
the symmetry in the distribution of phonemes it may be suggested that such
vowels be included in ortography.
There are significant differences between the Futuna and Aniwa dialects.
Data last updated
2 July 2001
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY - WEST FUTUNAN
1931. Some curiosities of Polynesian possessives (includes information about West Futunan) (in: Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol 40, p 141-50)
1958. The culture and language of Futuna and Aniwa, New Hebrides
1960. Anthropology and linguistics of Futuna-Aniwa, New Hebrides (in series: Oceania Linguistic Monographs, no 5)
1984. Futuna-Aniwa dictionary (in series: Pacific linguistics C,
1983. West Futuna-Aniwa: an introduction to a Polynesian outlier language . Berkeley. University of California Press
1894. Four Aniwan Songs (Includes vocabulary) (in: Journal of the
Polynesian Society, vol 3, p 93-7). Wellington. The Polynesian
1894. Aniwan Folklore (includes vocabulary) (in: Journal of the
Polynesian Society, vol 3, p 162-4). Wellington. The Polynesian
1894. A song of Aniwa (includes vocabulary) (in: Journal of the
Polynesian Society, vol 3, p 41-5). Wellington. The Polynesian Society
RAY, SIDNEY H.
1888. Sketch of Aniwa grammar (in: Journal of the Anthropological
Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, vol 17, p 282-9)
1898. New Testament
1869-1923. Portions of the Bible