Western Fijian
Native toFiji
Regionwestern half of Viti Levu, Yasawa Islands and Mamanuca Islands
Native speakers
(57,000 cited 1977)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3wyy
Glottologwest2519

Western Fijian, also known as Wayan[2]: 212  is an Oceanic language spoken in Fiji by about 57,000 people.

It is distinct from Eastern Fijian (also known as Bauan or Standard Fijian), though it is not taught in schools. Colonial linguists considered Eastern Fijian to be superior, and thus marginalized Western Fijian.[citation needed]

Phonology

Western Fijian consonant phonemes[3][2]
Labial Dental/
Alveolar
Palatal Velar Glottal
plain lab.
Nasal m n ŋ ŋʷ
Plosive voiced/pren. ᵐb ⁿd ⁿdʒ ᵑɡ ᵑɡʷ
voiceless t k (ʔ)
Fricative voiced β ð
voiceless s h
Trill r ⁿr
Approximant w l j

/mː/ is heard in the Wayan dialect.[2]: 212 

Western Fijian vowel phonemes[2]
Front Central Back
High i u
Mid e o
Low a

Most Fijian languages have a unique prenasalized alveolar trill, transcribed here as ⟨ⁿr⟩. Western Fijian in particular, is unique among Fijian languages for having labialized velar consonants. All vowels come in long and short forms, and so does the bilabial nasal (/m/).[2]: 212 

References

  1. ^ Western Fijian at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c d e Blust, R. A; Pacific Linguistics, Australian National University (2009). The Austronesian languages. ISBN 978-0858836020.
  3. ^ Geraghty, Paul (2002). Nadrogā. In John Lynch and Malcolm Ross and Terry Crowley (eds.), The Oceanic Languages: Richmond: Curzon. pp. 833–847.