Suau language

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(Redirected from ISO 639:swp)
RegionMilne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea
Native speakers
7,810 (2000 census)[1]
L2 speakers: 13,000 (2021)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3swp

Suau, also known as Iou, is an Oceanic language spoken in the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea. It is spoken by 6,800 people and a further 14,000 as a lingua franca.


Consonant sounds
Labial Alveolar Velar Glottal
Plosive voiceless p t k ʔ
voiced b d g
Nasal m n
Fricative (f) s h
Lateral l
Glide w j
  • Some village dialects also include a fricative sound [f].[2]
  • /l/ can also be heard as a flap [ɾ] in free variation.
  • /w/ may also rarely be pronounced as [v, β] among speakers.[3]
Vowel sounds
Front Central Back
High i u
Mid e o
Low a

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Suau at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
  2. ^ Cooper, Russell E. (1975). Coastal Suau: A preliminary study of internal relationships. Canberra: Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University. p. 273.
  3. ^ Ezard, Bryan; Lithgow, David. Suau Organised Phonology Data. SIL.