Kwomtari language

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Kwomtari
Native to Papua New Guinea
Native speakers
600  (1998)[1]
Kwomtari
  • Kwomtari–Nai
    • Kwomtari
Language codes
ISO 639-3 kwo
Glottolog nucl1593[2]

Kwomtari is the eponymous language of the Kwomtari family of Papua New Guinea. It is spoken in six villages in Amanab District, Sandaun Province.

Spencer (2008) is a short grammar of Kwomtari. The language has an AOV constituent order and nominative–accusative alignment. Both subjects and objects are marked suffixally on the verb. Verbs are inflected for status (mood) rather than for tense or aspect.[3]

Sound System[edit]

Consonant phonemes of Kwontari[4]
  Bilabial Alveolar Retroflex Velar
Stop p b t k ɡ
Nasal m n
Fricative ɸ s
Trill r
Lateral ɭ

The phoneme /ɸ/ is realized as a voiced bilabial fricative [β] intervocalically and voiceless bilabial fricative [ɸ] elsewhere. The realization of the phoneme /ɭ / is in free variation between a voiced retroflex lateral [ɭ ] and a voiced retroflex stop [ɖ ].

Vowel phonemes of Kwontari[5]
  Front Central Back
Close i u
Lowered Close
Mid ə
Open-Mid ɛ ɔ
Open a

The unusual vowel phonemes /i̞/ and /u̞/ are of intermediate height between cardinal [i]/[u] and [e]/[o] respectively but without the centralization present in [ɪ] and [ʊ]. They have also been attested in Weri, a Goilalan language of south-east Papua, and certain Dani dialects.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kwomtari at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Nuclear Kwomtari". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Spencer, Katharine (2008). "Kwomtari grammar essentials". In Murray Honsberger, Carol Honsberger and Ian Tupper. Kwomtari phonology and grammar essentials. Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea: SIL-PNG Academic Publications. pp. 53–180. ISBN 9980-0-3426-2. 
  4. ^ Drew, Julia (1998). "Kwontari Phonology Essentials". In Murray Honsberger, Carol Honsberger and Ian Tupper. Kwomtari phonology and grammar essentials. Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea: SIL-PNG Academic Publications. ISBN 9980-0-3426-2.
  5. ^ Drew (1998).
  6. ^ Foley (1986:54)