Languages

Äiwoo

Fact corner

  • Language: Äiwoo
  • Alternate names: Naaude, Aïwo, Gnivo, Nivo, Nifilole, Lomlom, Reef Islands, Reefs
  • SIL-code: Ethnologue:nfl
  • Language family: East-Papuan, Reef Islands-Santa Cruz
  • Number of speakers: 8,400
  • Script: Latin script

Introduction

Äiwoo is a language spoken in the Reef Islands and Nendö (St. Cruz Island), both part of the Temotu Province in the Eastern Solomon Islands. Äiwoo is the largest of the Reef-St. Cruz languages with approximately 8000 native speakers, mainly in the Ngawa district and the island Ngäsinue in the Reef Islands, but also in some villages of Nendö, like Kala Bay, recently established communities in the capital, Honiara, like White River, and some settlements in Vanikoro.

The verb

Äiwoo has a very complex verb structure. Two or three verb stems can be combined within the same verb complex, as well as various grammatical and lexical affixes and clitics. Subjects are cross-referenced on intransitive verbs by prefixes, while subjects and objects are marked on transitive verbs by suffixes. Generally verb stems in Äiwoo do not have lexically distinct singular and plural forms, though there are exceptions, like eolo ‘be big sg.’ and eolââ ‘be big pl.’.

Sample

Äiwoo has a complex system of marking tense, aspect and mood. The prefixes i- marks perfective and ki- or ku- marks imperfective aspect.

Buki-engei-e-no
book-DEMPFV-write-1MIN.S

‘I wrote this book.’

Lei-ki-eakebuk
DEIC1MIN.S-IPFV-writeDEICbook

‘I am writing a book.’

Abbreviations:

  • 1 1st person
  • MIN minimal number
  • S subject
  • DEIC deictic clitic
  • IPFV imperfect aspect
  • PFV perfect aspect

External links

  • Syntactic and semantic aspects of some verbs of motion and location in Äiwoo(approve sites)

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