Ngkolmpu Kanum, or Ngkontar, is part of a dialect chain in the Yam family spoken by the Kanum people of New Guinea. The Ngkâlmpw (Ngkontar) and moribund Bädi varieties have limited mutual intelligibility may be considered distinct languages.
Languages spoken by the Kanum have variously been referred to as Ngkâlmpw Kanum, Enkelembu, Kenume, and Knwne. Carroll describes three varieties forming a dialect chain. Ngkolmpu is divided into Ngkontar and the moribund variety Baedi (Bädi).
Ngkolmpu Kanum has 15 consonant phonemes (plus two marginal phonemes) at three points of articulation: bilabial, coronal, and velar. Prenasalized voiceless stops and fricatives contrast with voiceless and nasal realizations, which is typologically unusual. The orthography is enclosed in angle brackets.
|Nasal||m ⟨m⟩||n ⟨n⟩|
|Plosive||voiceless||p ⟨p⟩||t ⟨t⟩||k ⟨k⟩|
|prenasal||ᵐp ⟨mp⟩||ⁿt ⟨nt⟩||ᵑk ⟨ngk⟩|
|voiced||b ⟨b⟩||(ɡ) ⟨g⟩|
|Glide||w ⟨w⟩||j ⟨y⟩|
The Ngkolmpu (Ngkâlmpw) Kanum variety is notable for its complex verbal inflection and tendency to distribute grammatical features throughout an utterance, referred to as distributed exponence.