Chuukese language

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Native to Federated States of Micronesia
Region Chuuk
Native speakers
51,000 (2000 census)[1]
Official status
Official language in
Federated States of Micronesia
Language codes
ISO 639-2 chk
ISO 639-3 chk
Glottolog chuu1238[2]

Chuukese /ˈkz/, also rendered Trukese /trʌˈkz/,[3] is a Trukic language of the Austronesian language family spoken primarily on the islands of Chuuk in the Caroline Islands in Micronesia. There are communities of speakers on Pohnpei and Guam as well. Estimates show that there are about 45,900 speakers in Micronesia.[1]


Chuukese has the unusual feature of permitting word-initial geminate (double) consonants. The common ancestor of Western Micronesian languages is believed to have had this feature, but most of its modern descendants have lost it.[4]

Truk and Chuuk are a difference in orthography, and both older tr and current ch transcribe the sound [].

Chuukese consonants
Bilabial Labial Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar
Stop plain/labialized p pʷ(~ɸʷ) t k
long/labialized pː pːʷ
Fricative plain f s
Nasal plain/labialized m mʷ n ŋ
long/labialized mː mːʷ ŋː
Trill/Tap r~ɾ
Approximant w j

In Chuuk, /mmw/, /mm/, /nng/ are frequently denasalized, often being confused from voiced allophones /pw/, /p/, /k/. /pw/ sometimes sounds like a fricative. /j/ sound varies within speeches.[5]

Chuukese vowels
Front Central Back
High i ɨ u
Mid e ə o
Low a ɐ ɒ


  1. ^ a b Chuukese at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Chuukese". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student's Handbook, Edinburgh
  4. ^ "Reflexes of initial gemination in Western Micronesian languages" (PDF). University of California, Los Angeles. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 25, 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2005. 
  5. ^ "Portland State University Multicultural Topics in Communications Sciences & Disorders | Chuukese". Portland State University. Retrieved 2017-07-20. 

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