|Native to||Papua New Guinea|
|from 1,400 (2000 census)|
to 3,500 (2007)
Mian is an Ok language spoken in the Telefomin district of the Sandaun province in Papua New Guinea by the Mian people. It has some 3,500 speakers spread across two dialects: West Mian (a.k.a. Suganga), with approximately 1,000 speakers in around Yapsiei, and East Mian, with approximately 2,500 speakers in and around Timeilmin, Temsakmin, Sokamin, Gubil, Fiak and Hotmin.
Phonologically, Mian is very similar to other Papuan languages in the size of its phoneme inventory, but it nevertheless has some peculiarities, such as its contrast between a plain [a] and a pharyngealized [aˤ]. It is also a tonal language.
|Close||i /i/||u /u/|
Mian also has four diphthongs:
|Ending with /i/||Ending with /u/|
|ai /a͡i/||au /a͡u/|
|ei /ɛ͡i/||ou /o͡u/|
/ɛ/ is realized as [ə] in word-initial low-tone syllables, [ɛ] elsewhere.
/a/ is realized as [ɐ] in unaccented syllables, [ə] in word-initial low-tone syllables beginning with a consonant, [a] elsewhere.
/o/ is realized as [ɔ] in word-initial low-tone syllables and in syllables ending in a voiceless plosive or [ŋ], [o] elsewhere.
/u/ is realized as [ʊ] in word-initial low-tone syllables, [u] elsewhere.
Mian has 16 consonants:
|Plosive||Voiceless||t /t/||k /k/||kw /kʷ/|
|Voiced||b /b/||d /d/||g /ɡ/||gw /ɡʷ/|
|Nasal||m /m/||n /n/||ng /ŋ/|
|Fricative||f /f/||s /s/||h /h/|
|Approximant||l /l/||y /j/||w /w/|
/b/ is realized as [ᵐb] word-initially, [pʰ] or [p̚] syllable-finally, [b] elsewhere.
- Examples: banǒn [ᵐbànǒn] lower arm, mǎab [mǎˤːp̚] frog, teběl [tʰɛ̀bɛ̌l] ant
/t/ is realized as [tʰ] before vowels, [tʰ] or [t̚] syllable-finally.
- Examples: tam [tʰàm] temple, mát [mát̚] gall bladder
/k/ is realized as [kʰ] before vowels, [kʰ] or [k̚] syllable-finally, sometimes [x] between vowels, [qʰ] before [aˤ].
- Examples: kemin [kʰèmìn] to do, manggěk [màŋgɛ̌k̚] bee, okok [òxòk̚] work, kaawá [qʰàˤwá] steel axe
/ɡ/ is realized as [ᵑɡ] word-initially, [ɡ] elsewhere.
- Examples: gát [ᵑɡát̚] mole, manggěk [màŋɡɛ̌k̚] bee
/ɡʷ/ is realized as [ᵑɡʷ] word-initially, [ɡʷ] elsewhere.
- Examples: gwaán [ᵑɡʷàán] spider, gwalgwal [ᵑɡʷàlɡʷàl] twins
Mian has five tonemes:
|Low||am [àm] house|
|High||án [án] arrow|
|Low-High||ǎam [ǎˤːm] Pandanus species|
|High-Low||hâs [hâs] hat|
|Low-High-Low||aam [àˤːm̂] older sister|
The tones of Mian are very complex, as they are subject to various phonological processes, and furthermore, they can be used for indicating various grammatical aspects, especially in connection with verbs, where the tones are crucial for understanding.
- dolâbībe [dòlábíbè] I wrote
- dolâbibe [dòlábìbè] I am writing
Large objects in Mianmin are feminine, while small objects are masculine.
- ‘small/one taro’
- ‘large taro/large quantity of taro’
- Mian at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
Suganga at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Fedden, Olcher Sebastian (2007). A Grammar of Mian, a Papuan Language of New Guinea (PhD thesis). University of Melbourne. hdl:11343/39327.
- Endangered Languages Project data for Suganga.
- Foley, William A. (2018). "The morphosyntactic typology of Papuan languages". In Palmer, Bill (ed.). The Languages and Linguistics of the New Guinea Area: A Comprehensive Guide. The World of Linguistics. 4. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 895–938. ISBN 978-3-11-028642-7.