The Marquesan picture language

The only word that exists for any domestic animal in the Marquesan language is the word for pig. Goats are generally referred to as ‘pigs with teeth on their head.’ The Marquesas Islands are located in the Pacific. They are also fondly known as ‘the land of men’. The islands are the most remote islands in the world as well as the largest group of islands. They consist of a group of 12 islands, out of which 6 are inhabited and the other 6 are rocky and uninhabited.

Marquesan is prone to the use of symbolic picture languages to describe various things. Most invisible or intangible objects are often named after tangible objects. For instance, the word for love or emotion is intestines and liver. Iron wood tree is used to describe someone manly or heroic. The word used to describe life is either voice or breathe. A month is referred to as moon and a day is referred to as sun. The idea behind the picture language is to come up with concrete words for abstract objects. The Marquesan language is deemed to be the ancestor of the Polynesian language. Hawaiian and Tahitian are dialects of ancient Marquesan. Marquesan is categorized as a Proto Central Eastern Polynesian language. People who speak languages that fall under this category are culturally and physically related as they migrated to the Pacific from western Polynesia.

There are different speech variations in the language depending on the geographical location of the islands. The variations are not so great and speakers can understand each other. However, there are major variations in the language spoken in the northern and southern dialects, leading to the development of 2 main dialects. The southern and northern dialects. Hawaiian and Marquesan have some similar words that are not found in other Polynesian languages. One of the major challenges of writing the language is whether to include the glottal break or not. While some writers omit it, others use it. The major challenge of the glottal break is that it is not as pronounced in Marquesan as it is in other languages. Approximately 3,400 people speak the language.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.