Abun language

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North Bird's Head
Native to Papua
Region Bird's Head Peninsula
Native speakers
3,000 (1995)[1]
West Papuan
  • West–Central Bird's Head
    • Abun
  • Abun Tat (Karon Pantai)
  • Abun Ji (Madik)
  • Abun Je
Language codes
ISO 639-3 kgr
Glottolog abun1252[2]

Abun, also known as Yimbun, A Nden, Manif, or Karon, is a West Papuan language of New Guinea. It is not closely related to any other language, and though Ross (2005) assigned it to the West Papuan family, based on similarities in pronouns,[3] Ethnologue and Glottolog list it as a language isolate.[1][2]

Abun used to have three lexical tones, but only two are distinguished now as minimal pairs and even these are found in limited vocabulary. Therefore Abun is said to be losing its tonality due to linguistic change.[4]


  1. ^ a b Abun at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ a b Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Abun". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^
    • Ross, Malcolm (2005). "Pronouns as a preliminary diagnostic for grouping Papuan languages". In Andrew Pawley; Robert Attenborough; Robin Hide; Jack Golson. Papuan pasts: cultural, linguistic and biological histories of Papuan-speaking peoples. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. pp. 15–66. ISBN 0858835622. OCLC 67292782. 
  4. ^ Muysken, Pieter. From Linguistic Areas to Areal Linguistics. John Benjamins Publishing Company. p. 134. ISBN 9789027231000. 

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