RegionMaré Island, New Caledonia
Native speakers
8,700 (2009 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3nen
Nengone is not endangered according to the classification system of the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger

Nengone is a language of the Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia.


The phonological inventory of consonants is atypically large for an Oceanic language. Many sounds which are allophones in other sub-families are distinct phonemes in the Nengone language:[2]

Consonant sounds
Labial Dental Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive voiceless p t ʈ k ʔ
voiced b d ɖ ɡ
Affricate voiceless t͡ʃ
voiced d͡ʒ
Fricative voiceless (f) θ s ʃ (x) h
voiced z ɣ
Nasal voiceless ŋ̊
voiced m n ɲ ŋ
Rhotic r
Approximant voiceless
voiced w ɭ j

Phonemes in parentheses only occur in words borrowed from other languages.[2]

Vowel sounds
Front Back
High i u
Mid e o
ɛ ɔ
Low a



  1. ^ Nengone at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Tryon, Darrell T. Nengone grammar. B-6, x + 101 pages. Pacific Linguistics, The Australian National University, 1967. doi:10.15144/PL-B6