Niuafo’ou

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A language of Tonga

Autonym
Niuafo’ou
Population

1,000, all users. L1 users: 500 (2015 S. Tuilautala). L2 users: 500 (2015 S. Tuilautala). Ethnic population: 1,500 (2011 census). 523 on Niuafo’ou (2010), many elsewhere.

Location

’Eua and Tongatapu divisions; Ongo Niua division: Niuafo’ou island.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened).

Dialects

Probably a dialect of East Uvean [wls] (Wallisian).

Typology

VSO; prepositions; dual number; 5 articles (ordinary and emotional specific/non-specific and quantitative), definiteness also marked by stress accent; 12 consonants and 5 vowels; stress on penultimate syllable; inclusive/exclusive pronouns, including singulars.

Language Use

Used in private when no Tongans present. Not used in church. Some young people, all adults. Used by all ages on Niuafo’ou and ’Eua islands. Only the older people speak it on Niuafo’ouin Vava’u, Tongatapu and Ha’apai Islands (2019 S. Tuilautala). All also use Tongan [ton].

Language Development

Grammar.

Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Christian.

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