Rarotongan

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A language of Cook Islands

Alternate Names
Cook Island, Cook Islands Maori, Kuki Airani, Maori, Rarotongan-Mangaian
Population

13,100 in Cook Islands (2011 census), decreasing. 2,035 Aitutaki, 481 Atiu, 573 Mangaia, 307 Mauke, 189 Mitiaro (2011 census). Speaker numbers rapidly decreasing, especially in the diaspora (Wurm 2007). Population total all countries: 39,090.

Location

13 Cook Islands. Also in French Polynesia, New Zealand, United States.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened). Statutory language of national identity (1965, Constitution, Article 35), limited use in higher government domains.

Dialects

Aitutaki, Atiu, Mangaia, Mauke, Mitiaro, Rarotonga. Lexical similarity: 83% with Tuamotuan [pmt], 79% with Hawaiian [haw], 75% with Mangareva [mrv], 73% with Marquesan [mrq].

Language Use

English [eng] preferred by the younger generation (2007).

Language Development
Bible: 1851–1888.
Writing
Latin script.
Other Comments

Christian.