Tahitic languages
The Tahitic languages are a group of Eastern Polynesian languages
Eastern Polynesian languages
The dozen Eastern Polynesian languages are found on Pacific Islands from Hawaii in the north, to New Zealand in the southwest, to Easter Island in the southeast...

 in the Central Eastern branch. (The other members of Central Eastern are Rapan
Rapan language
Rapan is the language of Rapa, in the Austral Islands of French Polynesia. It is classified as an East Central Polynesian language, along with the Marquesic and Tahitic languages....

, spoken on Rapa Island, and the Marquesic languages
Marquesic languages
Marquesic languages are a small but historically important subgroup of Central Eastern Polynesian languages:# Marquesan languages of the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia...


The two most important languages of the group by number of speakers are Tahitian
Tahitian language
Tahitian is an indigenous language spoken mainly in the Society Islands in French Polynesia. It is an Eastern Polynesian language closely related to the other indigenous languages spoken in French Polynesia: Marquesan, Tuamotuan, Mangarevan, and Austral Islands languages...

 and New Zealand Maori
Maori language
Māori or te reo Māori , commonly te reo , is the language of the indigenous population of New Zealand, the Māori. It has the status of an official language in New Zealand...

. Tahitian is the main language of the Society Islands
Society Islands
The Society Islands are a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean. They are politically part of French Polynesia. The archipelago is generally believed to have been named by Captain James Cook in honor of the Royal Society, the sponsor of the first British scientific survey of the islands;...

, and is used as a lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

throughout much of French Polynesia
French Polynesia
French Polynesia is an overseas country of the French Republic . It is made up of several groups of Polynesian islands, the most famous island being Tahiti in the Society Islands group, which is also the most populous island and the seat of the capital of the territory...

, while Maori is spoken by a sizable minority in New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 where it shares official status with English.

Other languages of the group include:
Austral language
Austral is a Polynesian language spoken by about 8000 people on the Austral Islands of French Polynesia. It is being supplanted by Tahitian....

 (or Tubuaian), spoken in the Austral Islands
Austral Islands
The Austral Islands are the southernmost group of islands in French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the South Pacific. Geographically, they consist of two separate archipelagos, namely in the northwest the Tubuai Islands consisting of the Îles Maria, Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai...

Moriori language
Moriori is an extinct Malayo-Polynesian language most closely related to New Zealand Māori. It is the native language of the Moriori, the indigenous people of the Chatham Islands , which are east of New Zealand and under its sovereignty....

, of the Chatham Islands
Chatham Islands
The Chatham Islands are an archipelago and New Zealand territory in the Pacific Ocean consisting of about ten islands within a radius, the largest of which are Chatham Island and Pitt Island. Their name in the indigenous language, Moriori, means Misty Sun...

 of New Zealand
Penrhyn language
The Penrhyn language is a Polynesian language spoken by about 600 people on Penrhyn Island and other islands of the Cook Islands. It is considered to be an endangered language....

 (or Tongarevan), spoken on Penrhyn
Penrhyn Island
Penrhyn is the most remote and largest atoll of the 15 Cook Islands in the south Pacific Ocean.-Geography:...

 (Tongareva) in the northern Cook Islands
Cook Islands
The Cook Islands is a self-governing parliamentary democracy in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand...

Rarotongan, spoken in the southern Cook Islands
Rakahanga-Manihiki language
Rakahanga-Manihiki is a Cook Islands Maori dialectal variant belonging to the Polynesian languages family, spoken by about 2500 people on Rakahanga and Manihiki Islands and another 2500 in other countries, mostly New Zealand and Australia...

, spoken on Rakahanga
Rakahanga, part of the Cook Islands in the central-southern Pacific Ocean, is one of the most unspoiled places on earth. The atoll is 1,248 kilometres from the Cook Islands capital, Rarotonga and lies 1,111 kilometres from the equator...

 and Manihiki
Manihiki is an island in the Cook Islands known as the Island of Pearls. It is a triangular atoll north of Rarotonga.- History :Polynesians are believed to have lived on Manihiki since at least 900 or 1000 AD. Kupe was the first to explore Aotea Roa. Kupe came from Manihiki, also known as...

 in the northern Cook Islands
Tuamotuan language
The Tuamotuan language or Paumotuan is a Tahitic language spoken by about 6700 people in the Tuamotu Islands with an additional 2000 speakers in Tahiti...

, spoken throughout the Tuamotu Archipelago of French Polynesia, with the exception of Puka-Puka
Puka-Puka is a small coral atoll in the north-eastern Tuamotu Archipelago, sometimes included as a member of the Disappointment Islands. This atoll is quite isolated, the nearest land being Fakahina, located 182 km to the southwest....

 and the Disappointment Islands
Disappointment Islands
The Disappointment Islands are a subgroup of the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia. They are located towards the northeast, away from the main Tuamotu group....


External links

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