Names of lunar months etc in Oceanic languages

Malcolm Ross Malcolm.Ross at
Tue Jul 10 07:00:29 UTC 2001

I am in the midst of trying to reconstruct what I can of the calendar
used by Proto Oceanic speakers. In some parts of the Pacific, there
was/is a traditional system of naming the lunar months, and I have
collected together a number of such systems.

I have combed the dictionaries of Sa'a, Arosi, Anejom, Marshallese,
Puluwat, Carolinian, Tongan and Hawaiian, as well as Capell on
Sonsorol, and am aware of the early listings of Micronesian names by
Kubary and Christian. Any information about other such systems in
Oceanic languages, or in addition to what is given in these sources
would be very gratefully received (I am particularly interested in
the meanings of the names given to the months).

I am also seeking to understand how the phases of the moon were
reckoned and named in the past, and the relationship between systems
that name(d) all thirty days of a cycle and those that name(d) fewer
phases. Again, any pointers would be gratefully received.

Malcolm Ross
Dr Malcolm D. Ross
Senior Fellow
Department of Linguistics
Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies
Australian National University

More information about the An-lang mailing list