Yamdena language

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Native toIndonesia
RegionMaluku Islands
Native speakers
(25,000 cited 1991)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3jmd

Yamdena is an Austronesian language of Yamdena and surrounding islands in the Maluku Islands in Indonesia.



Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar
Plosive voiceless p t k
voiced b d
prenasal ᵐp ⁿd
Fricative f s
Nasal m n ŋ
Rhotic r
Lateral l
Approximant w j
  • Stops /b, t/ can very rarely be realized as coarticulated sounds [ɡ͡b, k͡t] by some speakers.
  • /m/ can be heard as voiceless [m̥] in free variation when before initial voiceless stops, or after voiceless stops.
  • /ŋ/ is heard as labialized [ŋʷ] when occurring before liquids, or in word-final position.
  • /r/ can be heard as [ɺ] in free variation intervocalically, and as [ɾ] when before voiceless consonants.
  • /d, ⁿd/ when occurring before /i/ can also be heard as palatal stops [ɟ, ᶮɟ].


Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open a
  • Vowels /a, o/ can be heard as [ə] within unstressed syllables.
  • /i/ can be heard as [ɪ] word-finally, after vowels.
  • /o/ can be heard as [ɔ] when before /r/.[2]


  1. ^ Yamdena at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Mettler, Heidi & Anton (1990). Yamdena phonology. Workpapers in Indonesian Languages and Cultures 8: Pattimura University. pp. 29–79.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)