Chuukese language

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Native toFederated States of Micronesia
Native speakers
51,330 (2000 census)[1]
Official status
Official language in
 Federated States of Micronesia
Language codes
ISO 639-2chk
ISO 639-3chk

Chuukese /ˈkz/, also rendered Trukese /trʌˈkz/,[2] 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, Guam, and the Hawaiian Islands 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.[3]

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

Chuukese consonants
Bilabial Labial Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar
Stop p pʷ t k
Affricate ʈʂ
Fricative plain f s
Nasal plain/labialized m mʷ n ŋ
tense/labialized mː mːʷ ŋː
Trill r
Approximant w l j

Consonants are doubled in Chuuk when they have a voiceless sound. Some consonant combinations are frequently denasalized between vowels when doubled.[4][5]

Chuukese vowels
Front Central Back
High i ɯ u
Mid ɛ ʌ o
Low æ a ɔ


  1. ^ a b Chuukese at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student's Handbook, Edinburgh
  3. ^ "Reflexes of initial gemination in Western Micronesian languages" (PDF). University of California, Los Angeles. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 9, 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2005.
  4. ^ Goodenough, Sugita, Ward H., Hiroshi (1990). Trukese-English Dictionary Pwpwuken Tettenin Fóós: Chuuk-Ingenes.
  5. ^ Yunick, Stanley (2000). Linguistics, TESL, and language planning in Micronesia. Studies in the Linguistic Sciences, Volume 30, Number 1: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. pp. 194–195.CS1 maint: location (link)

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