Tongan language

Tongan
lea faka-Tonga
Native toTonga;
significant immigrant community in New Zealand and the United States
Native speakers
96,000 in Tonga (1998)[1]
73,000 elsewhere (no date), primarily in NZ, US, and Australia[2]
Latin-based
Official status
Official language in
 Tonga
Language codes
ISO 639-1to
ISO 639-2ton
ISO 639-3ton
Glottologtong1325[3]
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Tongan ən/[4] (lea fakatonga) is an Austronesian language of the Polynesian branch spoken in Tonga. It has around 180,000 speakers[5] and is a national language of Tonga. It is a VSO (verb–subject–object) language.

Related languages

Tongan is one of the multiple languages in the Polynesian branch of the Austronesian languages, along with Hawaiian, Maori, Samoan and Tahitian, for example. Together with Niuean, it forms the Tongic subgroup of Polynesian.

Tongan is unusual among Polynesian languages in that it has a so-called definitive accent. As with all Polynesian languages, Tongan has adapted the phonological system of proto-Polynesian.

  1. Tongan has retained the original proto-Polynesian *h, but has merged it with the original *s as /h/. (The /s/ found in modern Tongan derives from *t before high front vowels). Most Polynesian languages have lost the original proto-Polynesian glottal stop /q/; however, it has been retained in Tongan and a few other languages including Rapa Nui.[6]
  2. In proto-Polynesian, *r and *l were distinct phonemes, but in most Polynesian languages they have merged, represented orthographically as r in most East Polynesian languages, and as l in most West Polynesian languages. However, the distinction can be reconstructed because Tongan kept the *l but lost the *r.[7]
Polynesian sound correspondences
Phoneme Proto-Polynesian Tongan Niuean Sāmoan Rapa Nui Tahitian Māori Cook Is. Māori Hawaiian English
/ŋ/ *taŋata tangata tagata tagata tangata taʻata tangata tangata kanaka person
/s/ *sina hina hina sina hina hinahina hina ʻina hina grey-haired
/h/ *kanahe kanahe kanahe ʻanae ʻanae kanae kanae ʻanae mullet (fish)
/ti/ *tiale siale tiale tiale tiare tiare tīare tiare kiele gardenia
/k/ *waka vaka vaka vaʻa vaka vaʻa waka vaka waʻa canoe
/f/ *fafine fefine fifine fafine vahine vahine wahine vaʻine wahine woman
/ʔ/ *matuqa[8] matuʻa matua matua matuʻa metua matua metua, matua makua parent
/r/ *rua ua ua lua rua rua[9] rua rua 'elua two
/l/ *tolu tolu tolu tolu toru toru toru toru 'ekolu three
Other Languages
Afrikaans: Tongaans
العربية: لغة تونغية
asturianu: Idioma tonganu
azərbaycanca: Tonqa dili
Bân-lâm-gú: Tonga-gí
български: Тонгански език
brezhoneg: Tongaeg
català: Tongalès
čeština: Tongánština
eesti: Tonga keel
español: Idioma tongano
Esperanto: Tongana lingvo
euskara: Tongera
Fiji Hindi: Tongan language
français: Tongien
한국어: 통가어
hrvatski: Tonganski jezik
Bahasa Indonesia: Bahasa Tonga
interlingua: Lingua tongan
íslenska: Tongíska
italiano: Lingua tongana
Basa Jawa: Basa Tonga
Kiswahili: Kitonga (Tonga)
latviešu: Tongiešu valoda
magyar: Tongai nyelv
македонски: Тонгански јазик
Bahasa Melayu: Bahasa Tonga
монгол: Тонга хэл
Dorerin Naoero: Dorerit Tonga
Nederlands: Tongaans
Norfuk / Pitkern: Tongan
norsk: Tongansk
norsk nynorsk: Tongansk
پنجابی: ٹونگا بولی
Piemontèis: Lenga Tongan
português: Língua tonganesa
Runa Simi: Tonga simi
Gagana Samoa: Gagana fa'a Tonga
slovenčina: Tongčina (Tonga)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Tonganski jezik
svenska: Tonganska
Tagalog: Wikang Tongan
lea faka-Tonga: Lea fakatonga
українська: Тонганська мова
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: تونگاچە
Tiếng Việt: Tiếng Tonga
walon: Tongwès
粵語: 湯加話
中文: 湯加語