Melpa language

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Native to Papua New Guinea
Region Mount Hagen District, Western Highlands Province
Native speakers
(130,000 cited 1991)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 med
Glottolog melp1238[2]

Melpa (also written Medlpa) is a Papuan language spoken by about 130,000 people predominantly in Mount Hagen and the surrounding district of Western Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea.

Melpa has a voiceless velar lateral fricative, written as a double-barred el (Ⱡ, ⱡ). It is notable for its binary counting system.

Decimal Medlpa Interpretation
1 tenda "one"
2 ragl "two"
3 ragltika "two-one"
4 tembokak "four"
5 pömp tsi gudl "one past four"
6 pömp ragl gudl "two past four"
7 pömp ragltika gudl "two-one past four"
8 engak "eight"
9 pömp tsi pip "one past eight"
10 pömp ragl pip "two past eight"



Bilabial Lateral Alveolar Palatal Velar
Plosive p dl t~t̪ k
Affricate mb ld̪ nd~nd̪ ŋɡ
Nasal m n~n̪ ŋ
Lateral l ʟ~ʟ̝̊
Trill r
Approximant w j


Short Long
Close ɪ i
Mid e
Open-back ɑ
Central-close ʉ
Back-mid o
Back-close ʊ u



  1. ^ Melpa at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Melpa". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Organised Phonology Data: Melpa (Meldpa) Language [MED] Mt. Hagen – Western Highlands Province (PDF). 1994. 

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