Ethnologue: Areas: Pacific

Palau

14,800 (1995). Republic of Belau. Formerly part of U. S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. 200 islands. Literacy rate 85%. Also includes Chinese, Japanese, and various other Asian and Pacific populations. Information mainly from Byron W. Bender 1996, Kenneth L. Rehg 1996, James Ellis 1996. Data accuracy estimate: A. The number of languages listed for Palau is 4.

ENGLISH [ENG] 322,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Indo-European, Germanic, West, North Sea, English. National language. Bible 1535-1989. NT 1525-1985. Bible portions 1530-1987.

PALAUAN (BELAUAN, PALAU) [PLU] 15,000 in both countries (1991 UBS). Palau Islands and Guam, west Carolines. Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Western Malayo-Polynesian, Palauan. Little dialect variation. Active language use. Dictionary. Grammar. National language. Typology: SVO. Agriculturalists: taro, cassava; fishermen; government employees; merchants. NT 1964, in press (1996). Bible portions 1942-1985.

SONSOROL (SONSOROLESE) [SOV] 600 (1981 Wurm and Hattori). Approximately 60 on the outer islands: Sonsoral 29, Pulo Anna 25, Merir 5. The number of outer islanders resident on the main island of Palau is unclear from the 1990 census. Pulo Anna, Merir, Helen, and Sonsorol islands. Some on Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands. Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Micronesian, Micronesian Proper, Ponapeic-Trukic, Trukic. Dialects: SONSOROLESE, PULO ANNA. There are significant linguistic differences between the Tobian variety and Sonsorolese; similar to or greater than differences between, e.g., Puluwat and Namonuito. 69% lexical similarity with Ulithi. 50% intelligibility with Woleaian, and less with the rest of the Trukic continuum. Grammars. Survey needed.

TOBIAN (TOBI, HATOBOHEI) [TOX] 22 or more (1995 J. Ellis SIL). Tobi (Hatobohei) Island. Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Micronesian, Micronesian Proper, Ponapeic-Trukic, Trukic. There are significant linguistic differences between Tobian and Sonsorolese, although they are often treated as one language. Survey needed.


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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
Copyright © 1996, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc. All rights reserved.

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