Mek Nalca, Hmanggona
Native toHighland Papua Indonesia
Native speakers
16,000 (2013)[1]
Trans–New Guinea
  • Mek
    • Northern
      • Nalca
Language codes
ISO 639-3nlc

Nalca (Naltya, Naltje) is a Papuan language spoken in Yahukimo Regency, Highland Papua, Indonesia. Alternative names are Hmanggona, Hmonono, Kimnyal (Kimyal). The latter is most often used for Korupun-Sela. Indonesian Kemendikbud classified Nalca as Mek Nalca, while Kimyal is used for Korupun-Sela.[2]


The Nalca language was an unwritten language until missionaries from the USA entered the area in the early 1960s. A literacy program was developed, and many people in the Nalca language group learned to read. Roger Doriot from the USA learned the language and completed the translation of the New Testament of the Bible in 2000.


Nalca belongs to the Eastern branch of the Mek languages, which is a family of closely related languages belonging to the larger grouping of Trans-New Guinea languages.

Geographic distribution

The Nalca language is spoken by about 16,000 people in the eastern highlands of West Papua.[2]



Nalca has 15 phonemic consonants:[3]

Consonant phonemes
  Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Laryngeal
Plosive b d     ɡ ʔ  
Fricative   w s           h  
Nasal   m   n       ŋ    
Tap or flap       ɾ            
Approximant           j        


Nalca has five phonemic vowels:[3]

Monophthong phonemes
  Front Central Back
Close i   u
Close-mid e   o
Open-mid ɛ   ɔ
Open   a  



Nalca is a generally isolating language, but exhibits an elaborate system of agglutination in verb formation.


The usual word order of Nalca is subject-object-verb (SOV).


  1. ^ Nalca at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b "Bahasa Kimyal". Retrieved 2 March 2023.
  3. ^ a b Rule et al. 1972.
  • Rule, W. M.; Rule, J. E.; Cutting, R. (1972). Hmanggona Language of the Naltja Area. Irian Barat (A member of the Goliath Family of languages, previously called Kimjal by Mr S. Sadlier). Naltja; Statement of the Alphabet & Grammar.