Hamtai
Hamday
Kapau
Native toPapua New Guinea
RegionMorobe Province, Gulf Province
Native speakers
45,000 (1998)[1]
Trans–New Guinea
Dialects
  • Wenta
  • Howi
  • Pmasa'a
  • Hamtai Proper
  • Kaintiba
Language codes
ISO 639-3hmt
Glottologhamt1247

Hamtai (also called Hamday or Kapau) is the most populous of the Angan languages of Papua New Guinea. It is also known as Kamea, Kapau, and Watut. Dialects are Wenta, Howi, Pmasa’a, Hamtai proper, and Kaintiba.[2] The language was unwritten until 2009.[3]

Phonology

In Hamtai, there are 14 consonants, 7 vowels, and two tones (rising and falling).

Vowels

Table of vowels in Hamtai[4][5]
Front Central Back
Close i
/i/
i
/ɨ/
u
/u/
Close-mid e
/e/
o
/o/
Open-mid ä, aa
/ʌ/
Open a
/a/

Consonants

Table of consonant phonemes in Hamtai[4]
Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m
/m/
n
/n/
ng
/ŋ/
Plosive p
/p/
t
/t/
k
/k/
k̥/q
/q/
'
/ʔ/
Approximant voiced y
/j/
w
/w/
unvoiced wh
//
Fricative voiced v
/v/
unvoiced f
/f/
h
/h/

References

  1. ^ Hamtai at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Hamtai".
  3. ^ "John Allen Chau: Do missionaries help or harm?". BBC News. 28 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b Healy, Alan (1981). The Phonological Complexity of Kapau. Ukarumpa: Summer Institute of Linguistics. p. 95.
  5. ^ Oates, W.; Oates, L. (1968). Kapau pedagogical grammar. Canberra, Australia: The Australian National University. pp. 7–8.