Mailu language

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Native to Papua New Guinea
Region Central Province
Native speakers
8,500 (2000 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 mgu
Glottolog mail1248[2]

Mailu, or Magi, is a Papuan language of Papua New Guinea.

Magi is a non-Austronesian language spoken by upwards of 6000 people living on the islands of Mailu, Laluoru, Loupomu and Eunuoro and along the south coast between Cape Rodney and mid-Orangerie Bay of the Central Province of Papua New Guinea. It is often referred to as 'Mailu' as one of the major villages speaking this language is the village of that name on Mailu Island. It is related to the other languages of the Mailuan family (Ma, Laua, Morawa, Neme'a, Domu and Bauwaki whose speakers live or lived inland of this area). Ma and Laua are now extinct. Magi speakers have for a long time had close contacts and (probably extensive) integration with Austronesian speakers, with the result that there has been a significant adoption of Austronesian vocabulary (around 30–40%, particularly Magori, Gadaisu, Suau, Ouma, Yoba and Bina, of which the last three are now extinct). Magi itself is divided into two main groups of dialects: the eastern (Maisi/Varo) dialects, and the western (Island) dialects.


  1. ^ Mailu at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Mailu". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.