Ethnologue: Areas: Pacific

Micronesia

118,000 (1995). Literacy rate 85%. Federated States of Micronesia, Formerly part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. It is referred to in this publication as 'Micronesia'. It includes the states of Yap, Chuuk (Truk), Pohnpei (Ponape), and Kosrae (Kusaie). 607 islands, 300 square miles of land, spread over 1 million square miles of ocean. Also includes Japanese, Chinese. Information mainly from Bender in Sebeok 1971; Wurm and Hattori 1981; James Ellis SIL 1993, 1996; Byron W. Bender 1996; Kenneth L. Rehg 1996. Data accuracy estimate: A2. Christian. The number of languages listed for Micronesia is 17.

CHUUK (TRUK, TRUKESE, RUK) [TRU] 38,341 (1989 census); 45,000 including second language speakers (1991 UBS) \M1 UC. Chuuk Lagoon, Caroline Islands, some on Ponape. Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Micronesian, Micronesian Proper, Ponapeic-Trukic, Trukic. Dialects: EAST LAGOON, FAYICHUCK. Mortlockese has 80% to 85% lexical similarity with Chuuk, 81% with Puluwat, 79% with Satawal, 78% with Carolinian, 75% with Woleaian, 67% with Ulithi. Active language use. Dictionary. Grammar. National language. Island. Agriculturalists, copra production. Bible 1989, in press (1996). NT 1957-1984. Bible portions 1892-1962.

ENGLISH [ENG] 3,540 first language speakers in Micronesia; foreign born (1970 census); 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.

KAPINGAMARANGI [KPG] 3,000 (1995 SIL); including 1,500 on Kapingamarangi and 1,500 in Porakiet village on Ponape. Kapingamarangi and Ponape islands, Caroline Islands. Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Central Pacific, East Fijian-Polynesian, Polynesian, Nuclear, Samoic-Outlier, Ellicean. 55% lexical similarity with Nukuoro, 54% with Rarotongan, 53% with Samoan, 51% with Paumotu, 50% with Tahitian. Active language use. There is intermarriage with Nukuoro people. Dictionary. Typology: SVO, VSO. Agriculturalists: taro, breadfruit, banana, coconut, pandanus; fishermen; livestock: pigs, poultry; woodcarvers.

KOSRAEAN (KUSAIE, KOSRAE) [KSI] 6,900 in Micronesia (1993 Johnstone). Kusaie Island, Caroline Islands. Also in Nauru, possibly Marshall Islands and Ponape. Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Micronesian, Micronesian Proper, Kusaiean. Dialects: LELU-TAFUNSAK, MALEN-UTWE. Dialects are inherently intelligible to each other's speakers. 26% lexical similarity with Ponapean. Active language use. Dictionary. Grammar. National language. Bible 1928. Bible portions 1863-1876. Work in progress.

MOKILESE (MOKIL, MWOKILESE, MWOAKILOA) [MNO] 1,050 (1979 Bender). Fewer than 500 on Mokil Atoll. Mokil (Mwoakiloa) Atoll, east of Carolines. Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Micronesian, Micronesian Proper, Ponapeic-Trukic, Ponapeic. 79% lexical similarity with Pingelap, 75% with Ponapean. Active language use. Ponapean is used as a second language. Dictionary. Grammar. Survey needed.

MORTLOCKESE (MORTLOCK, NOMOI) [MRL] 5,904 (1989 census), including 1,692 in Upper Mortlock, 1,757 in Mid Mortlock, 2,455 in Lower Mortlock, about 1,000 elsewhere. Mortlock Islands, 70 miles southeast of Truk, Caroline Islands. A large group of Lower Mortlock speakers are on Ponape Island. Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Micronesian, Micronesian Proper, Ponapeic-Trukic, Trukic. Dialects: UPPER MORTLOCK, MID MORTLOCK, LOWER MORTLOCK. 80% to 85% lexical similarity with Chuuk, 83% with Puluwat, 82% with Satawal, 81% with Carolinian, 78% with Woleaian, 72% with Ulithi. 75% intelligibility of Pulapese, 18% of Satawal, 8% of Woleaian. Active language use. NT 1883. Bible portions 1880-1882.

NAMONUITO (NOMON WEITE) [NMT] 944 (1989 census). Magur, Ono, Onari, Piserarh, Ulul islands, Carolines. Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Micronesian, Micronesian Proper, Ponapeic-Trukic, Trukic. Very active language use.

NGATIK MEN'S CREOLE (NGATIKESE MEN'S LANGUAGE, NGATIKESE) [NGM] 700 including 500 on atoll (1983 Poyer), 200 on Ponape. Ngatik (Sapuahfik) Atoll, east of the Caroline Islands. Creole, English based, Pacific. A creolized language from the Sapuahfik dialect of Ponapean and English whose genesis is the direct result of a massacre in 1837 of adult males on Ngatik by British traders. Spoken by adult males who are also native bilinguals of the Sapuahfik dialect of Ponapean. It is understood by the women and children. Agriculturalists: coconut; fishermen; pig raisers.

NUKUORO (NUKORO, NUGUOR) [NKR] 860 (1993 Johnstone); including 125 on Ponape. Nukuoro Island, Caroline Islands. Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Central Pacific, East Fijian-Polynesian, Polynesian, Nuclear, Samoic-Outlier, Ellicean. 55% lexical similarity with Kapingamarangi. Active language use. Many older speakers are bilingual in Ponapean. Typology: SVO, VSO. Fishermen (net, spear, rod); agriculturalists: taro; copra production; animal husbandry. NT 1986. Bible portions 1921-1949.

PÁÁFANG [PFA] 1,318 (1989 census). Hall Islands (Nomwin, Fananu, Marilo, Ruo), Carolines. Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Micronesian, Micronesian Proper, Ponapeic-Trukic, Trukic. Active language use. Indications of convergence with Chuukese. Survey needed.

PINGELAPESE (PINGELAP, PINGILAPESE) [PIF] 500 on Pingelap, about 2,000 on Ponape, 150 in Hawaii, a few on the USA mainland, and a few on Guam; 3,000 in all countries (1991 K. Rehg). Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Micronesian, Micronesian Proper, Ponapeic-Trukic, Ponapeic. 81% lexical similarity with Ponapean, 79% with Mokilese. Active language use. Speakers use Ponapean as second language. Survey needed.

PONAPEAN (POHNPEIAN) [PNF] 27,700 (1993 Johnstone) including 24,000 on Ponape, 3,425 on outer islands, 275 elsewhere. Ponape Island, Caroline Islands. Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Micronesian, Micronesian Proper, Ponapeic-Trukic, Ponapeic. Dialects: KITI, PONAPEAN, SAPWUAHFIK. 81% lexical similarity with Pingalap, 75% with Mokilese, 36% with Chuuk. Active language use. Dictionary. Grammar. National language. Bible 1994. NT 1887-1977. Bible portions 1862-1935.

PULUWATESE (PULUWAT) [PUW] 1,364 (1989 census). Puluwat, Pulap, Pulusuk islands, Carolines. Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Micronesian, Micronesian Proper, Ponapeic-Trukic, Trukic. Dialects: PULUWATESE, PULAPESE, PULUSUKESE. 88% lexical similarity with Satawal and Carolinian, 83% with Mortlock, 82% with Woleaian, 81% with Chuuk, 72% with Ulithi. 64% intelligibility of Satawal, 40% of Woleaian, 21% of Ulithi. Active language use. Speakers have limited bilingualism in English. Pulap speakers may need separate literature. Dictionary.

SATAWALESE [STW] 458 (1987 Yap census). Satawal Island, Carolines. Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Micronesian, Micronesian Proper, Ponapeic-Trukic, Trukic. 95% lexical similarity with Carolinian, 88% with Woleaian and Puluwat, 82% with Mortlockese, 79% with Chuuk, 77% with Ulithi. 60% intelligibility of Ulithi and Woleaian. Active language use.

ULITHIAN [ULI] 3,000 (1987 UBS). Ulithi, Ngulu, Sorol, Fais islands, eastern Caroline Islands. Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Micronesian, Micronesian Proper, Ponapeic-Trukic, Trukic. 74% to 80% lexical similarity with Woleaian, 85% intelligibility. 77% lexical similarity with Satawalese, 57% intelligibility. 74% lexical similarity with Carolinian, 72% with Puluwatese and Mortlockese, 68% with Chuuk. Very low intelligibility of Pulapese and Chuuk. Semi-official status. Active language use. Grammar. Christian, traditional religion. NT 1995.

WOLEAIAN [WOE] 1,631 (1987 Yap census). Woleai (Wottagai, Falalus, Sulywap, Falalap, Tagailap, Paliau, Mariang), Eauripik, Faraulep, Elato, Lamotrek, Ifaluk islands, eastern Caroline Islands. 5 dispersed island groups, Yap State. Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Micronesian, Micronesian Proper, Ponapeic-Trukic, Trukic. Dialects: WOLEAIAN, LAMOTREK. 88% lexical similarity with Satawalese and Carolinian, 82% with Puluwatese, 80% with Ulithian, 78% with Mortlockese, 75% with Chuuk. 84% intelligibility of Satawalese, 81% of Ulithian, 50% of Sonsorol, very low of Pulapese and Chuuk. Active language use. Speakers have limited bilingualism in English. Lamotrek speakers desire their own literature. Dictionary. Grammar.

YAPESE [YPS] 6,592 (1987 Yap census). Yap Island, 10 islands, Caroline Islands. Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Western Malayo-Polynesian, Yapese. Active language use. Dictionary. Grammar. National language. Typology: VSO. Mangrove swamps, coconut groves. Mountain, plateau, coral reef, volcanic. Agriculturalists: yam, banana, betel nut, breadfruit, Tahitian chestnut, mango, papaya, cassava, sweet potato, sugarcane, turmeric, pigs, chicken; fishermen. Altitude: 15 to 590 feet. Traditional religion, Christian. NT 1973.


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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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