North Efate
RegionEfate, Vanuatu
Native speakers
9,500 (2001)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3llp
North Efate is not endangered according to the classification system of the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger
A Nakanamanga, or North Efate, speaker.

North Efate, also known as Nakanamanga or Nguna, is an Oceanic language spoken on the northern area of Efate in Vanuatu, as well as on a number of islands off the northern coast – including Nguna, and parts of Tongoa, Emae and Epi.

The population of speakers is recorded to be 9,500.[2] This makes Nakanamanga one of the largest languages of Vanuatu, an archipelago known for having the world's highest linguistic density.[3]


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The consonant and vowels sounds of North Efate (Nguna).[4]

Consonant sounds
Labial Dental Velar
Plosive plain p k
implosive ɓʷ
Fricative v s
Nasal plain m n ŋ
prenasal ᵑm
Liquid l r
Semivowel w
Vowel sounds
Front Central Back
High i u
Mid e o
Low a

Subdialects of North Efate include:[5]

Typology follows Subject Object Verb order as is observed in Nguna[2]



  1. ^ North Efate at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b "Efate, North". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  3. ^ François, Alexandre; Franjieh, Michael; Lacrampe, Sébastien; Schnell, Stefan (2015), "The exceptional linguistic density of Vanuatu", in François, Alexandre; Lacrampe, Sébastien; Franjieh, Michael; Schnell, Stefan (eds.), The Languages of Vanuatu: Unity and Diversity, Studies in the Languages of Island Melanesia, Canberra: Asia Pacific Linguistics Open Access, pp. 1–21, ISBN 9781922185235
  4. ^ Schütz, Albert J. (1969). Nguna Grammar. Oceanic Linguistics Special Publications.
  5. ^ "Glottolog 3.3 - North Efate". Retrieved 2018-11-13.