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|Native to||Papua New Guinea|
|Region||Sandaun Province, Telefomin District.|
|Lowercase||a||aa||e||e||i||ii||o||o||u||ui||b, p||d, g||f||k, g||kw||l||m||n||ng||s||t||w||y|
Single ⟨e⟩ and ⟨o⟩ represent both their single and long vowels, since they rarely contrast.
/b/ is written ⟨p⟩ pre-consonantally and word-finally.
Single /k/ is written ⟨g⟩ intervocalically, and /kk/ is written ⟨k⟩ intervocalically.
/kd/ and /ŋd/ are written ⟨kg⟩ and ⟨ngg⟩ (since they're pronounced [ɡ] and [ŋɡ] respectively).
Initial /ɡ/ (in loan words) is also written with ⟨g⟩, e.g. Got 'God'.
|Plosive||(p) b||t̪ d̪||k kʷ (ɡ)||(ʔ)|
/ʔ/ and /h/ only appear in a few particles and some exclamations. /p/ and /ɡ/ only appear in a few loans.
|Close||i iː||u uː|
|Mid||e eː||o oː|
There are two contrastive phonemic tones in Telefol, high and low. For example, ùlín 'club' vs. úlìn 'planted'.
/e/ and /eː/, /o/ and /oː/, are nearly in complementary distribution. Also, single /e/ and /o/ don't occur in one-syllable words or in terminal syllables.
Vowel length only contrasts in initial syllables. However, in initial syllables single /u/ and /o/, and /i/ and /e/, don't contrast.
Syllable structure is (C)V(ː)(C).
/l/ does not occur word-initially.
/ŋ/ is allowed in medial, but not word-initial, onsets.
Telefol is a subject–object–verb language.
Telefol uses a base-27 counting system. This is mapped onto the body by counting each of the following: the left pinky to the left thumb (1-5); the wrist, lower arm, elbow, upper arm, and shoulder (6-10); the side of the neck, ear, and left eye (11-13); the nose (14); and similarly on the right side in reverse order, from the right eye to the right pinky (15-27).
Telefol has dyadic kinship terms (terms referring to the relationship two or more people have to each other), which are present in less than 10 languages and not prevalent in Papua New Guinea. However, they are a salient feature of the Ok languages. Related terms are found in Oksapmin, Mian, and Tifal.
- Telefol at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Telefol". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Golub, Alex (2007). "Ironies of Organization: Landowners, Land Registration, and Papua New Guinea's Mining and Petroleum Industry". Human Organization.
- Telefol Organised Phonology Data, p. 1.
- Telefol Organized Phonology Data, p. 3.
- "Phonotactic restrictions across prosodic domains" (PDF)., p. 2.
- "Aspectual stem distinctions in the Mian verb" (PDF)., p. 1.
- Foley 1986, p. 146.
- Telefol counting
- The Oksapmin Kinship System, retrieved May 21, 2009.
- Telefol Organised Phonology Data. [Manuscript] http://www.sil.org/pacific/png/abstract.asp?id=333
- Healey, Alan. 1964. Telefol phonology. Linguistic Circle of Canberra Publications B, 3. Canberra: Australian National University. 53
- Healey, Alan. 1974. "A problem of Telefol verb classification." In Richard Loving (ed.), Studies in languages of the Ok family, 167-75. Workpapers in Papua New Guinea Languages, 7. Ukarumpa: Summer Institute of Linguistics. * Telefol Organised Phonology Data. [Manuscript] http://www.sil.org/pacific/png/abstract.asp?id=333
- Foley, William A. (1986). The Papuan Languages of New Guinea. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-28621-2. OCLC 13004531.