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Sonsorolese language

Sonsorolese language

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Encyclopedia
The Sonsorolese language is a Micronesian language
Micronesian languages
The family of Micronesian languages is a branch of the Oceanic languages. It consists of twenty languages, the nineteen Micronesian Proper languages and Nauruan...

 spoken in Palau
Palau
Palau , officially the Republic of Palau , is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, east of the Philippines and south of Tokyo. In 1978, after three decades as being part of the United Nations trusteeship, Palau chose independence instead of becoming part of the Federated States of Micronesia, a...

, originally on the islands composing the state of Sonsorol
Sonsorol
Sonsorol is one of the sixteen states of Palau. The administrative center is Dongosaru on Sonsorol island. The inhabitants speak Sonsorolese, a local Trukic language, and Palauan....

, but nowadays mostly by immigrants in the rest of the country. It is very close to Tobian
Tobian language
Tobian is the language of Tobi, one of the Southwest Islands of Palau, and the main island of Hatohobei state...

.

Geographic distribution

  • Northern Mariana Islands
    Northern Mariana Islands
    The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands , is a commonwealth in political union with the United States, occupying a strategic region of the western Pacific Ocean. It consists of 15 islands about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines...

    : unknown (immigrant language)
  • Palau
    Palau
    Palau , officially the Republic of Palau , is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, east of the Philippines and south of Tokyo. In 1978, after three decades as being part of the United Nations trusteeship, Palau chose independence instead of becoming part of the Federated States of Micronesia, a...

    : 600 speakers
    • Sonsorol
      Sonsorol
      Sonsorol is one of the sixteen states of Palau. The administrative center is Dongosaru on Sonsorol island. The inhabitants speak Sonsorolese, a local Trukic language, and Palauan....

      : 60 speakers
      • Merir
        Merir
        Merir or Melieli is a small outlying island of the Palau group, in the western Pacific Ocean. The island measures 0.90 km² and was home to five people in 2000. The main village is in the north-west of the island and has a radio station....

        : 5 speakers
      • Pulo Anna: 25 speakers
      • Sonsorol
        Sonsorol
        Sonsorol is one of the sixteen states of Palau. The administrative center is Dongosaru on Sonsorol island. The inhabitants speak Sonsorolese, a local Trukic language, and Palauan....

        : 29 speakers
    • Rest of the country: 540 speakers
  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

    : 1 speaker (immigrant language)

Orthography and pronunciation


Sonsorolese is usually a spoken language
Spoken language
Spoken language is a form of human communication in which words derived from a large vocabulary together with a diverse variety of names are uttered through or with the mouth. All words are made up from a limited set of vowels and consonants. The spoken words they make are stringed into...

, but is occasionally written to the writer's preference. Many of the sounds are like that in Tobian
Tobian language
Tobian is the language of Tobi, one of the Southwest Islands of Palau, and the main island of Hatohobei state...

 and Woleaian. A couple of dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

s include the pronunciation of d, which is common at the beginning of words and similar to [ð]; r is pronounced as in Spanish, as opposed to English; also, l is always pronounced with tongue touching the back roof of the mouth and sounds something like a combination of the [ɡ] and [l] sounds. For that reason, some Sonsorolese prefer to spell their l's as ⟨ɡl⟩. As in Woleaian, silent vowels are usually found at the end of Sonsorolese words. For example, in Dongosaro, the native name for Sonsorol
Sonsorol
Sonsorol is one of the sixteen states of Palau. The administrative center is Dongosaru on Sonsorol island. The inhabitants speak Sonsorolese, a local Trukic language, and Palauan....

island, the final -o is silent.

Examples

  • what?: meta?
  • dangerous: ehamatahutohu
  • cold: fou
  • I don't speak Sonsorolese: itei hae ramari Dongosaro