Ngadha language

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Not to be confused with Nga:da language.
Native to Indonesia
Region Flores
Native speakers
ca. 65,000  (1994–1995)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
nxg – Ngad'a
nea – Eastern Ngad'a

Ngadha (also known as Ngada or Ngad'a) is an Austronesian language, one of six languages spoken in the central stretch of the Indonesian island of Flores.[2] From west to east these languages are: Ngadha, Nage, Keo, Ende, Lio, and Palu'e. These languages form the proposed Central Flores group of the Sumba–Flores languages, according to Blust (2009).[3]

Ngadha is the only language reported to have a retroflex implosive /ᶑ /.[4]

Ngadha is "bizarre" because it has no prefixes nor suffixes at all.[5] This "strangely streamlined language" is thought by linguist John McWhorter to have originated when "little people" were "subjugated" into the Austronesian population.[5] McWhorter (2006) speculates this rare linguistic transformation would have occurred to the ancestor of Ngadha and the related Keo and Rongga languages.[5] Nonetheless, in basic vocabulary, such as body parts, numbers, and action verbs, Ngadha has kept 94 out of a list of 247 lexical items of the Proto-Malayo-Polynesian language.[6]


  1. ^ Ngad'a at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Eastern Ngad'a at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Rongga Documentation Project, Australian National University.
  3. ^ Robert Blust, 2009. "Is there a Bima-Sumba subgroup?" In Oceanic Linguistics
  4. ^ Djawanai, Stephanus. (1977). A description of the basic phonology of Nga'da and the treatment of borrowings. NUSA linguistic studies in Indonesian and languages in Indonesia, 5, 10-18.
  5. ^ a b c John McWhorter, What We Believe but Cannot Prove, pp. 68-70 (ed. Ian McEwan) (Harper 2006).
  6. ^ "Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database, Language: Ngadha". Retrieved July 18, 2012. 

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