An Austronesian dialect chain spoken in the Tanna island (Vanuatu archipelago) in the South Pacific Ocean. A member of the Malayo-Polynesian group, it comprises several languages: Lenakel (West Tanna), spoken by ca. 12,000 people, Whitesands (East Tanna) (ca. 7,500 people) and North Tanna (ca. 5,000 people), closely related, and Southwest Tanna (ca. 4,500 speakers), Northwest Tanna (ca. 5,000 people), Kwamera (South Tanna) (ca. 3,500 speakers).
The language and culture of the Tanna Island came into notice in the late 19th century, when pioneer missionaries compiled a small body of religious and educational material in Kwmaera. More recent work includes a Kwamera dictionary (Lindstrom, 1986) and dictionaries and grammars of other Tanna languages (Lynch, 1975 and ff.).
|Tanna||TANNA FILM 1(DVD)|