Lakon [lakɔn] is an Oceanic language, spoken on the west coast of Gaua island in Vanuatu.
The language name Lakon [lakɔn] refers originally to the area where it is spoken ‒ namely Lakona Bay, corresponding to the west coast of Gaua. The alternative name Lakona [lakona] is from the Mota language. These names are derived from a Proto-Torres-Banks form *laᵑgona, of unknown meaning.
Lakon had four dialects, named Qatareu (Qätärew [k͡pʷætærɛw]), Vure (Vurē [βurɪ]), Toglatareu, and Togla.
Lakon has 16 phonemic vowels. These include 8 short /i ɪ ɛ æ a ɔ ʊ u/ and 8 long vowels /iː ɪː ɛː æː aː ɔː ʊː uː/.
|Near-close||i ⟨i⟩ ∙ iː ⟨ii⟩||u ⟨u⟩ ∙ uː ⟨uu⟩|
|Close-mid||ɪ ⟨ē⟩ ∙ ɪː ⟨ēē⟩||ʊ ⟨ō⟩ ∙ ʊː ⟨ōō⟩|
|Open-mid||ɛ ⟨e⟩ ∙ ɛː ⟨ee⟩||ɔ ⟨o⟩ ∙ ɔː ⟨oo⟩|
|Near-open||æ ⟨ä⟩ ∙ æː ⟨ää⟩|
|Open||a ⟨a⟩ ∙ aː ⟨aa⟩|
Historically, the phonemicisation of vowel length originates in the compensatory lengthening of short vowels when the alveolar trill /r/ was lost syllable-finally.
The system of personal pronouns in Lakon contrasts clusivity, and distinguishes four numbers (singular, dual, trial, plural).
Spatial reference in Lakon is based on a system of geocentric (absolute) directionals, which is typical of Oceanic languages.