Gela language

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Native toCentral Solomon Islands
RegionBig Nggela, Small Nggela, Sandfly and Buenavista Islands
Native speakers
12,000 (1999)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3nlg
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Gela is a Southeast Solomonic language spoken in three dialects on four islands in the central Solomon Islands. Each of the dialects is very similar, differing mainly on a small number of phonological points.




Gela has the following consonant phonemes:

Labial Alveolar Velar
Nasal m n ŋ
Stop p b t d k g
Fricative v s z ɣ
Approximant w l j
Trill r

NOTE: The Gela dominant Voiced is "h" not "z". "Z" is found in Savosavo language speakers (and Bugotu and part of Guadalcanal) who also speak Gela - primarily due to their use of the Church of Melanesia Common Prayer Books and Hymns (written in Gela in the 1940s).


Gela uses /i, e, a, o, u/ with no contrastive vowel length.


Stress generally occurs on each word's penultimate syllable.

Sample Vocabulary[edit]


  1. keha (keha or sakai, not keza)
  2. rua
  3. tolu
  4. vati
  5. lima
  6. ono
  7. vitu
  8. alu
  9. hiua (not hiwa)
  10. hangavulu
  11. hangavulu sakai
  12. hangavulu rua
  13. hangavulu tolu
  14. hangavulu vati
  15. hangavulu lima
  16. hangavulu ono
  17. hangavulu vitu
  18. hangavulu alu
  19. hangavulu hiua
  20. rua hangavulu
  21. rua hangavulu sakai
  22. rua hangavulu rua
  23. rua hangavulu tolu
  24. rua hangavulu vati
  25. rua hangavulu lima
  26. rua hangavulu ono
  27. rua hangavulu vitu
  28. rua hangavulu alu
  29. rua hangavulu hiua
  30. tolu hangavulu
  31. tolu hangavulu sakai
  32. tolu hangavulu rua
  33. tolu hangavulu tolu
  34. tolu hangavulu vati
  35. tolu hangavulu lima
  36. tolu hangavulu ono
  37. tolu hangavulu vitu
  38. tolu hangavulu alu
  39. tolu hangavulu hiua
  40. vati hangavulu
  41. vati hangavulu sakai
  42. vati hangavulu rua
  43. vati hangavulu tolu
  44. vati hangavulu vati

You may now recognized the pattern of number counting above.


  1. ^ Gela at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Gela". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

External links[edit]