A language of Solomon Islands

Alternate Names
Buma, Puma

800 (2012 A. François).


Temotu province: Vanikolo island, Emua, Lale, Lavaka, and Puma villages.

Language Maps
Language Status

7 (Shifting).


SVO; prepositions; noun head initial; dual number; no articles; 20 consonants and 10 vowels; stress on penultimate syllable; inclusive/exclusive pronouns; verb serialization.

Language Use

Shifting to Pijin [pis] (Wurm 2007). Also use Pijin [pis].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L1: 30%–60%. Literacy rate in L2: 25%–50%. Dictionary.


Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Previously 3 tribal districts corresponded to 3 languages: Tanema [tnx] south, Lovono [vnk] northwest, Teanu [tnx] northeast. Tanema population now dispersed on the island for more than a century and blended with Melanesian population, while most of south coast settled by Polynesians.

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