Marshallese language


Marshallese language
Marshallese
Kajin M̧ajeļ or Kajin Majõl
Spoken in  Marshall Islands
 Nauru
Native speakers unknown (43,900 cited 1979)
Language family
Austronesian
Official status
Regulated by No official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-1 mh
ISO 639-2 mah
ISO 639-3 mah

The Marshallese language (Marshallese: Kajin M̧ajeļ, or in older orthography Kajin Majõl, pronounced /katʲɨnʲ mˠaɦˠtʲɜlˠ/ or [kɑ͡æʑin m̴ɑʕʑɛ͡ʌɫ]) is a Malayo-Polynesian language of the Marshall Islands, and the principal language of the country. There are two major dialects: Rālik (western) and Ratak (eastern).

Contents

Phonology

Orthography

Vocabulary

Some samples of Marshallese vocabulary.

  • aaet: /ɦˠɦˠaɦʲɘtˠ/ or [ʕʕɑ͡æe̯e͡ɤt̴].[1]
"Yes."[2]
  • aelōn̄: /ɦˠaɦʲɘlʲɘŋ/ or [ʕɑ͡æe̯ele͡ɤŋ].[3]
Atoll or island, and is the Marshallese word for land in general.
  • Amedka: /ɦˠamʲɜrʲkaɦˠ/ or [ʕɑ͡æmɛr̟ɛ͡ʌɡɑʕ].[4]
The United States; America. Former administrator of the Marshall Islands through the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
  • ej et am̧ mour: /ɦʲɜtʲ ɦʲɘtˠ ɦˠamˠ mʲɘɦˠʷɨrˠ/ or [ɛ̯ɛt͡ɕ e̯e͡ɤt̴ ʕɑ͡æm me͡owu͡ɯr̴].[5]
"How are you?"[2] Literally "how is your life doing?"
  • em̧m̧an: /ɦʲɜmˠmˠanʲ/ or [ɛ̯ɛ͡ʌm̴m̴ɑ͡æn].[6]
"(It) is good."[2]
  • enana: /ɦʲɜnʲaɦˠnʲaɦˠ/ or [ɛ̯ɛnæ͡ɑʕnæ͡ɑʕ].[7]
"(It) is bad."[2]
Means hello, goodbye and love,[2] similarly to Hawaiian aloha. Also an expression of sympathy. Its literal (though outdated) meaning is "You are a rainbow."
  • irooj: /ɦʲɨrˠɘɦˠʷɘtʲ/ or [ji͡ɯr̴ɤ͡oo̯o͡et͡ɕ].[9]
Iroij, the various paramount chieftains of Marshallese culture.
  • jaab: /tʲaɦˠapˠ/ or [t͡ɕæ͡ɑʕɑp̴].[10]
"No."[2]
  • Jāmne: /tʲamʲnʲɜɦʲ/ or [t͡ɕæmænɛɛ̯].[11]
"Germany." Former colonial power in the Marshall Islands, administered as part of German New Guinea.
  • Jepaan: /tʲɜpʲaɦˠanʲ/ or [t͡ɕɛbæ͡ɑʕɑ͡æn]. Also Nibbon̄: /nʲɨpˠpˠɜŋʷ/ or [ni͡ɯp̴̚p̴ʌ͡ɔŋʷ].[12]
"Japan." Former colonial power in the Marshall Islands. Many Marshallese people today have Japanese ancestry from Japanese settlement in Micronesia during the South Pacific Mandate.
  • Jipein: /tʲɨpʲɘɦʲɨnʲ/ or [t͡ɕibejin].[13]
"Spain." Former colonial power in the Marshall Islands, administered as part of the Spanish East Indies, themselves administered as part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain.
  • kom̧m̧ool tata: /kʷɜmˠmˠɜɦˠʷɜlʲ tˠaɦˠtˠaɦˠ/ or [kʷɔ͡ʌm̴m̴ʌ͡ɔɔ̯ɔ͡ɛl t̴ɑʕd̴ɑʕ].[14]
"Thank you very much."[2] Kom̦m̦ool alone means "thank you".
  • kōn jouj: /kɘnʲ tʲɘɦˠʷɨtʲ/ or [kɤ͡en t͡ɕe͡owu͡it͡ɕ].[15]
"You're welcome."[2] Literally "for kindness".
"Christian." The majority religion of the Marshall Islands.

Cardinal numbers

This includes the cardinal numbers one through ten in the Rālik dialect. Where Ratak forms differ, they are listed in parentheses.

  1. juon
  2. ruo
  3. jilu
  4. emān
  5. ļalem
  6. jiljino
  7. jimjuon
  8. ralitōk (ejino)
  9. ratimjuon (ejilimjuon)
  10. jon̄oul

Text examples

Modern orthography

Here is the Hail Mary in standard Marshallese orthography. Compare with this scanned image to see how it should look with all the diacritics in place.

Io̧kwe eok Maria, kwo lōn̄ kōn
menin jouj;
Irooj ej pād ippam̧.
Kwo jeram̧m̧an iaan kōrā raņ im
ejeram̧m̧an ineen lo̧jiōm̧, Jesus.
O Maria kwojarjar, jinen Anij,
kwōn jar kōn kem rijjerawiwi.
Kiiō im ilo iien
amwōj mej. Amen.

Older orthography

Here is the Lord's Prayer as given in the 1982 Marshallese Bible, which uses the older orthography (most commonly used today).

Jememuij iljõñ:
En kwojarjar im utiej etam;
En itok am Ailiñ;
Kimin kõmõnmõn ankilam ilõl einwõt air kõmmõn ilõn.
Letok ñõn kim kijim rainin.
Jolok amuij bwid ibbam,
Einwõt kimij julok bwid ko an ro jet ibbem.
Am melejjoñe kim en jab ellã jen joñan,
Ak kwon kejbarok kim jen Eo Enana.
Bwe am Ailiñ im kajur im aibuijuij indrio, Amen.

External links

Bibliography

  • Bender, Byron W. (1968). Marshallese phonology. Oceanic Linguistics, 7, 16-35.
  • Bender, Byron W. (1969). Spoken Marshallese: an intensive language course with grammatical notes and glossary. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0870220705
  • Bender, Byron W. (1969). Vowel dissimilation in Marshallese. In Working papers in linguistics (No. 11, pp. 88–96). University of Hawaii.
  • Bender, Byron W. (1973). Parallelisms in the morphophonemics of several Micronesian languages. Oceanic Linguistics, 12, 455-477.
  • Choi, John D. (1992). Phonetic underspecification and target interpolation: An acoustic study of Marshallese vowel allophony. UCLA Working Papers in Phonetics (No. 82). [1]
  • Hale, Mark. (2007) Chapter 5 of Historical Linguistics: Theory and Method. Blackwell
  • Hale, Mark. (2000). Marshallese phonology, the phonetics-phonology interface and historical linguistics. The Linguistic Review, 17, 241-257.

Further reading

  • Pagotto, L. (1987). Verb subcategorization and verb derivation in Marshallese: a lexicase analysis.

References

  1. ^ Marshallese-English Dictionary: aaet
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h YouTube - Learn Marshallese
  3. ^ Marshallese-English Dictionary: aelōn̄
  4. ^ Marshallese-English Dictionary: Amedka
  5. ^ Marshallese-English Dictionary: ej et am̦ mour
  6. ^ Marshallese-English Dictionary: em̦m̦an
  7. ^ Marshallese-English Dictionary: enana
  8. ^ Marshallese-English Dictionary: io̦kwe
  9. ^ Marshallese-English Dictionary: irooj
  10. ^ Marshallese-English Dictionary: jaab
  11. ^ Marshallese-English Dictionary: Jāmne
  12. ^ Marshallese-English Dictionary: Jepaan Nibbon̄
  13. ^ Marshallese-English Dictionary: Jipein
  14. ^ Marshallese-English Dictionary: kom̦m̦ool tata
  15. ^ Marshallese-English Dictionary: kōn jouj
  16. ^ Marshallese-English Dictionary: Kūrjin

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