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Rapa Nui language resources

Rapa Nui is spoken on a daily basis in: Chile Rapa Nui--> --> --> -->

Additional background on Rapa Nui

The Rapa Nui language (also Rapanui) is an Eastern Polynesian language spoken on Easter Island. It forms its own subgroup within that classification: this means that Rapa Nui on one hand and Central Eastern Polynesian (the Marquesic languages, Rapan and the Tahitic languages) on the other comprise the whole of Eastern Polynesian.

Within Eastern Polynesian, it is closest to Marquesan morphologically, although its phonology has more in common with that of New Zealand Maori, if only because both languages are relatively conservative in retaining consonants lost in other Eastern Polynesian languages. It is spoken by the Rapa Nui, the inhabitants of Easter Island. A Tahitian man brought by Captain James Cook was said to be able to communicate with the locals.

Rapa Nui has the distinction of being the only language in Oceania to have been committed to writing prior to the arrival of Christian missionaries in the 17th century, albeit some (including Jared Diamond) believe the idea of writing to have spread there earlier through European contact. The unique (to date undeciphered) script is called Rongorongo (Rongo-rongo).

Rapa Nui

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All data is derived from UNESCO.


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