Kaki Ae
RegionNew Guinea
Ethnicity660 ethnic population (2015)[1]
Native speakers
630 (2015)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3tbd
ELPKaki Ae
Kaki Ae is classified as Vulnerable by the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger

Kaki Ae, or Tate, is a language with about 500 speakers, half the ethnic population, near Kerema, in Papua New Guinea. It was previously known by the foreign designation Raeta Tati.


Kaki Ae has been proposed to be related to the Eleman languages, but the connections appear to be loans.[2] Søren Wichmann (2013)[3] tentatively considers it to be a separate, independent group. Pawley and Hammarström (2018) treat Kaki Ae as a language isolate due to low cognacy rates with Eleman, and consider the few similarities shared with Eleman to be due to borrowed loanwords.[4]


Kaki Ae is spoken in Auri, Kupiano, Kupla (7°59′26″S 145°47′27″E / 7.990545°S 145.790882°E / -7.990545; 145.790882 (Kupola Settlement)), Lou (8°00′58″S 145°48′48″E / 8.015988°S 145.813268°E / -8.015988; 145.813268 (Lou)), Ovorio (7°59′14″S 145°48′34″E / 7.987255°S 145.809446°E / -7.987255; 145.809446 (Ovorio)), and Uriri (7°58′42″S 145°47′41″E / 7.978345°S 145.794638°E / -7.978345; 145.794638 (Uriri)) villages in Central Kerema Rural LLG, Gulf Province.[1][5]


The Kaki Ae pronouns are:

sg pl
1 nao nu'u
2 ao ofe
3 era era-he


Labial Alveolar Velar Glottal
Plosive p k ʔ
Nasal m n
Fricative f v s h
Approximant w l

Kaki Ae has no distinction between /t/ and /k/. (The forms kaki and tate of the name both derive from the rather pejorative Toaripi name for the people, Tati.)

Front Central Back
High i ĩ u ũ
Mid e o õ
Low a ã


The following basic vocabulary words are from Brown (1973),[7] as cited in the Trans-New Guinea database:[8]

gloss Kaki Ae
head aro
hair uʔumo
ear oʔi
eye ere
nose noʔi
tooth huʔu
tongue anara
leg fera
louse saruta
dog evera
bird mini
egg mini umu
blood ivare
bone uki
breast ame
tree oproro
man aru
woman aʔu
sun lare
moon fuiya
water haime
fire aiyeʔi
stone ere
name iru
eat muake
one okiao
two uʔungka

Further reading


  1. ^ a b c Kaki Ae at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forke, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2020). "Kaki Ae". Glottolog 4.3.
  3. ^ Wichmann, Søren. 2013. A classification of Papuan languages. In: Hammarström, Harald and Wilco van den Heuvel (eds.), History, contact and classification of Papuan languages (Language and Linguistics in Melanesia, Special Issue 2012), 313-386. Port Moresby: Linguistic Society of Papua New Guinea.
  4. ^ Pawley, Andrew; Hammarström, Harald (2018). "The Trans New Guinea family". In Palmer, Bill (ed.). The Languages and Linguistics of the New Guinea Area: A Comprehensive Guide. The World of Linguistics. Vol. 4. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 21–196. ISBN 978-3-11-028642-7.
  5. ^ United Nations in Papua New Guinea (2018). "Papua New Guinea Village Coordinates Lookup". Humanitarian Data Exchange. 1.31.9.
  6. ^ a b Clifton, John M. (1997). "The Kaki Ae language" (PDF). Pacific Linguistics (D-89). Wurm, S. A. (editor): 3–66. doi:10.15144/PL-D89.3.
  7. ^ Brown, H.A. (Ed.) (2015). "Chapter 8: The Eleman Language Family". doi:10.15144/PL-C26.279. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ Greenhill, Simon (2016). "TransNewGuinea.org - database of the languages of New Guinea". Retrieved 2020-11-05.