Unua language

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  (Redirected from ISO 639:onu)
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Native toVanuatu
Native speakers
750 (1999)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3onu

Unua, or Onua, is an Oceanic language spoken in south-east Malekula, Vanuatu. It is said to be a dialect of the same language, Unua-Pangkumu, as Rerep (Pangkumu).[2]


The following table lists the contrastive consonant sounds of Unua. There are 16 consonant phonemes for younger Unua speakers and an additional three contrastive velarized labial consonants for older speakers, shown below in parentheses.

Consonant Phonemes of Unua

Bilabial Labiovelar Dental/alveolar Alveopalatal Velar
Voiceless plosives p (pʷ) t k
Voiced plosives mb (mbw) nd ɳg
Fricatives β (βʷ) s ɣ
Nasals m n
Rhotic/Trills mʙ ɾ,r
Laterals l

The following table lists the contrastive vowel sounds of Unua. Younger speakers have five vowel phonemes and older speakers have an additional three, shown in parentheses.

Vowel Phonemes of Unua

Front Central Back
High i (ʉ) u
Mid e (ø) (ɵ) o
Low a


Unua has SVO ordering.


  1. ^ Unua at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Pearce, Elizabeth (2015). A Grammar of Unua. Boston/Berlin/Munich: De Gruyter Mouton. ISBN 978-1-61451-765-8.