Matbat language

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Native to Indonesia
Native speakers
1,000–1,500 (2001)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 xmt
Glottolog matb1237[2]

Matbat is a heavily Papuan-influenced Austronesian language spoken in West Papua on the island of Misool, Raja Ampat islands.[1] Like neighboring Ma'ya, it is one of a handful of Austronesian languages with tone.

Matbat has five lexical tones: high falling ˥˩ 41, high ˦ 3, low rising ˩˨ 12, low level ˩ 1, and low falling ˨˩ 21, which in open syllables has a peaking allophone, ˩˨˩ 121. Most Matbat words are monosyllabic; additional syllables in polysyllabic words are often weak and toneless, though a few words do have two tonic syllables. Examples of some of the longer monomorphemic words are /kamow˩˨/ 'star', /wuy˦te/ 'sea shore', /sapu˥˩luy˩˨/ 'round', /bim˦bom˩˨˩pu/ 'butterfly'.


Phonology of the Matbat language:[3]

Consonant sounds
Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive p b t d k g
Fricative ɸ s h
Nasal m n ŋ
Lateral l
Glide j w
Vowel sounds
Front Central Back
High i u
Mid e o
Low a


  1. ^ a b Remijsen
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Matbat". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Remijsen, A. C. L. (2002). Word-Prosodic Systems of Raja Ampat Languages. 

Further reading[edit]