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Motu Language Facts and Information

Information About Motu Language

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Motu speakers in the Phrasebase community
Extinct: no
Family: Malayo-Polynesian
Branch: Melanesian
Continent: Australia
Country: Papua New Guinea
Region: Central Province, in and around Port Moresby, villages along the coast from Manumanu, Galley Reach, to GabaGaba(Kapakapa). HIRI: Central Province, in and around Port Moresby area, also throughout Oro, Central, Gulf, and part of Milne Bay provinces, some in Western Province.
Countries Where Spoken: 14,000 (1981 Wurm and Hattori). HIRI: Interethnic second language speakers: 120,000 (1989 J. Holm). Very few mother tongue speakers (T. Dutton 1992).
Countries Where Official: Papua New Guinea
Native Speakers: 14,000
Speakers Total: 14,000
Phrasebase members who speak Motu at a native level: 0
Phrasebase members who speak Motu at a conversational level: 0
Phrasebase members primary language they are trying to learn is Motu: 0
Phrasebase members secondary language they are trying to learn is Motu: 0
Three Letter Code: MEU
Alternative Names: TRUE MOTU, PURE MOTU
Summary: Government schools in all villages. Dictionary. Bible 1973. HIRI: Linguistically a pidginization of True Motu. Also influenced by English, Tok Pisin, and Polynesian languages. Speakers of Hiri Motu cannot understand Motu. There are phonological and grammatical differences. 90% lexical similarity with Motu. Papuan Hiri Motu is more widespread and considered as the standard. Official language. Dictionary. Literacy rate in first language: Less than 5%. Bible 1994.

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