Tabaru language

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Native toIndonesia
Native speakers
(15,000 cited 1991)[1]
West Papuan
Language codes
ISO 639-3tby

Tabaru is a North Halmahera language of Indonesia.



Tabaru has a simple five vowel system: a, e, i, o, u.[3]


Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Plosive voiceless p t c k
voiced b d ɟ ɡ
Fricative f s h
Semivowel j w
Lateral l
Trill r

Syllable structure and stress[edit]

On the surface level, Tabaru only allows syllables of the type (C)V. Words with an underlying final consonant add an echo vowel: ngówaka (/ngowak/) ′child′, ókere (/oker/) ′drink′, sárimi (/sarim/) ′paddle′, ódomo (/odom/) ′eat′, pálusu (/palus/) ′answer′. The echo vowel is dropped when a suffix is added: woísene (/woisen/) ′hear′, but woisenoka (/woisen/ + /oka/) ′heard′. Stress regularly falls on the penultimate syllable, but shifts to the antepenultimate when the word takes an echo vowel.


  1. ^ Tabaru at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Tabaru". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Fortgens, J. (1928). Grammatikale aanteekeningen van het Tabaroesch, Tabaroesche volksverhalen en raadsels. Bijdragen Tot De Taal-, Land- En Volkenkunde Van Nederlandsch-Indië, 84(2/3), 300-544.