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Rakahanga-Manihiki language

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Title: Rakahanga-Manihiki language  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Rakahanga, Manihiki, Niuatoputapu language, Nukumanu language, Bible translations into Oceanic languages
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Rakahanga-Manihiki language

Native to Cook Islands
Region Rakahanga and Manihiki islands
Native speakers
2,800  (ca. 2011)[1]
Official status
Official language in
Cook Islands
Regulated by Kopapa Reo
Language codes
ISO 639-3 rkh
Glottolog raka1237[2]

Rakahanga-Manihiki is a Cook Islands Maori dialectal variant[3] belonging to the Polynesian languages family, spoken by about 2500 people on Rakahanga and Manihiki Islands (part of the Cook Islands) and another 2500 in other countries, mostly New Zealand and Australia. Wurm and Hattori consider Rakahanga-Manihiki as a distinct language with "limited intelligibility with Rarotongan"[4] (i.e. the Cook Islands Maori dialectal variant of Rarotonga). According to the New Zealand Maori anthropologist Te Rangi Hīroa who spent few days on Rakahanga in the years 1920, "the language is a pleasing dialect and has closer affinities with [New Zealand] Maori than with the dialects of Tongareva, Tahiti, and the Cook Islands"[5]


  1. ^ Rakahanga-Manihiki at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Rakahanga-Manihiki". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ "Reo Maori Act" (2003)
  4. ^ Wurm and Hattori,"atlas of Pacific area" (1981), the only source of the SIL and ISO 639-3 codification
  5. ^ "Ethnology of Manihiki and Rakahanga", Bernice P. Bishop Museum, 1932. This book was the source of Wurm and Hattori Atlas

Indicative bibliography

  • Manihikian Traditional Narratives: In English and Manihikian: Stories of the Cook Islands (Na fakahiti o Manihiki). Papatoetoe, New Zealand: Te Ropu Kahurangi.1988
  • E au tuatua ta'ito no Manihiki, Kauraka Kauraka, IPS, USP, Suva. 1987.
  • "No te kapuaanga o te enua nei ko Manihiki (the origin of the island of Manihiki)", in JPS, 24 (1915), p. 140-144.

External links

  • Te Reo Maori Act (2003)
  • ",Bernice P. Bishop Museum, 1932 (Chapter dealing with Rakahanga Manihiki "language" and its writing system at the beginning of the twentieth century.Ethnology of Manihiki and Rakahanga

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