Iatmül language

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Native to Papua New Guinea
Region Sepik River basin
Ethnicity Iatmul people
Native speakers
8,400  (2003)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 ian
Glottolog iatm1242[2]

Iatmül is perhaps the best known of the Ndu languages[3] of Sepik River region of northern Papua New Guinea.

Most Iatmul speakers, however, do not refer to their language or even themselves by the term Iatmul. Instead, they call their language Gepma Kwudi (pronounced Ngepma Kwundi). Gepma is the Iatmul word for "village"; kwudi means "speech".

Recently, Gerd Jendraschek wrote an extensive grammar of the Iatmul language as a postdoctoral thesis.[4]

For the sociocultural features of the people who speak the Iatmül language, see Iatmul people.

Sound system[edit]

Consonant Phonemes of Iatmül
  Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar
Stop Voiceless p t   k
Prenasalized ᵐb ⁿd ᵑɡ
Fricative v s
Nasal m n ɲ
Liquid w l j  
Vowel Phonemes of Iatmül
Front Central Back
High [i] [ɨ] [u]
Mid [e] [ə] [o]
Low   [a]  


  1. ^ Iatmül at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Iatmul". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Folely, William (1986) The Papuan Languages of New Guinea. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-28621-2.
  4. ^ Jendraschek, Gerd (2012) A Grammar of Iatmul. University of Regensburg. Published online at Academia.edu