Mangarongaro, Penrhynese, Tongareva
Native toCook Islands
RegionPenrhyn Island, Northern Cook Islands
Native speakers
200 (2011 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3pnh

The Penrhyn language is a Cook Islands Maori dialectal variant[2] belonging to the Polynesian language family spoken by about 200 people on Penrhyn Island and other islands in the Northern Cook Islands.[3] It is considered to be an endangered language as many of its users are shifting to Cook Islands Māori and English.


Main article: Cook Islands Maori § Writing system and pronunciation


A, E, H, I, K, M, N, Ng, O, P, R, T, U, V[4][failed verification]

Long vowels are written with a macron.


Consonants in Penrhyn
Labial Alveolar Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ ⟨ng⟩
Stop p t k
Fricative (f) v s h
Liquid l ⟨r⟩

Tongareva is one of the few Cook Islands languages without a glottal stop [ʔ]. There is allophonic voicing of stops present. [f] is present in loanwords from languages like Rakahanga-Manihiki language.[5][failed verification]


Main article: Cook Islands Maori § Grammar


  1. ^ Penrhyn at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Te Reo Maori Act 2003 – via
  3. ^ "Penrhyn". Ethnologue. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  4. ^ "Penrhyn Dictionary - Dictionary of Cook Islands Languages".
  5. ^ "Penrhyn (Tongareva)". Dictionary of Cook Islands Languages. Suva: The University of the South Pacific.