Mai Brat language

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Mai Brat
Region Papua
Native speakers
(25,000 cited 1987)[2]
West Papuan ?
  • West–Central Bird's Head
    • Mai Brat
  • Ayamaru
  • Karon Dori
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
ayz – Mai Brat (= Ajamaru)
kgw – Karon Dori[1]
Glottolog maib1239[3]

Mai Brat (Maybrat) is a Papuan language spoken by the Ayamaru and Karon Dori peoples of the Maybrat Regency on the Bird's Head Peninsula of New Guinea. Ayamaru dialect is spoken in the many villages around the Ayamaru Lakes. It is only distantly related to other languages, sharing 10% of its vocabulary with its nearest neighbors (apart from the very similar Karon Dori), though it may be part of the West Papuan family.

Variant spellings of the language include Majbrat, Mey Brat, and Brat. Other names include Atinjo and Maite.

Mai Brat is fairly isolating, with subject–verb–object and noun–adjective word order. It is a highly contextual language, tense of verbs being inferred from context alone.


Below are the consonant and vowel sounds:

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar
Plosive p t k
Nasal m n
Fricative f s x
Trill r
Approximant w y /j/
Vowel sounds
a: [a] [ɑ]
e: [e] [ɛ]
i: [i] [ɪ]
o: [o] [ɔ], [ʌ], [ɒ]
u: [u] [y]

Allophones of /p t k m f x r/ are /b tʰ ɡ ŋ ɸ ɣ ɾ/. [t] and [k] are pronounced unreleased as word-finals as [t̚] and [k̚].

There is an optional central sound, ə [ə] within words.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Hammarström (2015) Ethnologue 16/17/18th editions: a comprehensive review: online appendices
  2. ^ Mai Brat (= Ajamaru) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Karon Dori[1] at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Mai Brat". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.