|Native to||New Caledonia|
|Region||East coast between Poindimié and Ponérihouen and inland valleys|
|7,300 (2009 census)|
The palatal stops could be considered affricates because they occur with a heavily fricated release. The lateral and tap do not occur word initially except in a few loan words, and the prefix /ɾɜ/ they.
Because nasal stops are always followed by nasal vowels, whereas prenasalized stops are always followed by oral vowels, it might be argued that nasal and prenasalized stops are allophonic. This would reduce the Paicî consonant inventory to 13.
Paicî has a symmetrical system of 10 oral vowels, all found both long and short without significant difference in quality, and seven nasal vowels, some of which may also be long and short. Because sequences of two short vowels may carry two tones, but long vowels are restricted to carrying a single tone, these do appear to be phonemically long vowels rather than sequences.
Like its neighbour Cèmuhî, Paicî is one of the few Austronesian languages which have developed contrastive tone, involving three registers: high, mid, low. Additionally, there are vowels with no inherent tone, whose tone is determined by their environment. Words commonly have the same tone on all vowels, so tone may belong to the word rather than the syllable.
- Gordon, Ian; Maddieson (Dec 1996). "The phonetics of Paici". UCLA Working Papers in Phonetics 93.
- Rivierre, Jean-Claude (1974). "Tons et segments du discours en langue paicî (Nouvelle-Calédonie)". Bulletin de la Société de Linguistique de Paris 69 (1): 325–340.
- Rivierre, Jean-Claude. 1983. Dictionnaire paicî - français, suivi d'un lexique français - paicî. Paris : Société d'Etudes linguistiques et anthropologiques de France, 1983. 375p.
- Alphabet and pronunciation at Omniglot
- Information on Paicî, with a list of references and a recorded text (website of LACITO-CNRS)