Lovono
Alavana
Native toSolomon Islands
RegionVanikoro
Native speakers
4 (2012)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3vnk
Glottologvano1237
ELPVano

Lovono (Vano, Alavano, Alavana) is a nearly extinct language of the island of Vanikoro in the easternmost province of the Solomon Islands. As of 2012, it is only spoken by four speakers;[1] it has been replaced by the island’s dominant language, Teanu.

Name

Map of Vanikoro I., showing the historical territories of the three tribes of Lovono, Tanema and Teanu.[2]
Map of Vanikoro I., showing the historical territories of the three tribes of Lovono, Tanema and Teanu.[2]

The language name makes reference to an ancient village in the northwest of the island Banie.[3] In the language Lovono, which was once the dominant one in that area, the village was called Alavana. In Teanu, which is now the only language spoken by the modern population, the same village is called Lovono. This language shift is reflected in the people’s preference to use the Teanu form (i.e. Lovono) both for the village name and for the ancient language that used to be associated with it.

The same village – and hence the language – has been also spelled Whanou or Vano in the scientific literature, possibly reflecting an older pronunciation of the word.

The language

Some information on the languages of Vanikoro, including Lovono, can be found in François (2009) for the grammar, and François (2020) for the lexicon.

Notes

References