ep warwar anun dat
Native toPapua New Guinea
RegionNew Ireland Province
Native speakers
2,100 (2000 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3sjr

Siar, also known as Lak, Lamassa, or Likkilikki, is an Austronesian language spoken in New Ireland Province in the southern island point of Papua New Guinea. Lak is in the Patpatar-Tolai sub-group, which then falls under the New Ireland-Tolai group in the Western Oceanic language, a sub-group within the Austronesian family.[2] The Siar people keep themselves sustained and nourished by fishing and gardening.[3] The native people call their language ep warwar anun dat, which means 'our language'.[4]


Siar-Lak contains fifteen consonants, and five vowels, which does not include the mid-high vowel pronunciations of /é/ and /ó/.

Consonant phonemes[3]
Bilabial Dental-
Palatal Velar
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive voiceless p t k
voiced b d g
Fricative ɸ s
Lateral l
Trill r
Glide w j
Vowel phonemes
Front Central Back
High i u
Mid e o
Low a

The vowel /ẹ/ can be thought to be pronounced in between the high vowel /I/ and the mid vowel /E/, as well as /ọ/ being in between the high vowel /U/ and the mid vowel /O/, according to the native people in Papua New Guinea.[3] can be written as é, and can also be written as . Knowing which vowel is used when writing is critical, as two words that are similar can have completely different meanings. For example, rowoi means to 'carry in arms', while rówói means 'to fly'. Also, toh has a meaning of 'to be able', while tóh means 'sugarcane'.[3]

Stress and phonotactics

Stress is placed on the last syllable in each word. Examples of words broken down into syllables and translated include:

Siar-Lak English 'sneeze'
ar.ngas 'mountain peak'
far.bón 'praise'
fet.rar 'young woman'

Syllable structures

Siar Lak contains four different types of syllable patterns in their word vocabulary, which include V(vowel), VC(vowel consonant), CV(consonant vowel), and CVC(consonant vowel consonant). Some examples include:

Siar Lak English
V u 'you' 'to plant'
a.i.nói 'to fill'
VC ep 'article'
ar.ngas 'mountain'
la.un 'to live'
CV ma 'now'
kó.bót 'morning'
ka.bu.suk 'my nose'
la.tu 'tomorrow'
CVC póp 'puddle'
gósgós 'to dance' 'great'
ka.kau 'to crawl'


Numerical system

Numbers 1–10
Siar English
i tik One
i ru Two
i tól Three
i at Four
i lim Five
i won Six
i is Seven
i wol Eight
i siwok Nine
sanguli or i tik ep bónót Ten


Numbers 10–100
Siar English
i tik ep bónót Ten
i ru ru bónót Twenty
i tól ep bónót Thirty
i at ep bónót Forty
i lim ep bónót Fifty
i won ep bónót Sixty
i is ep bónót Seventy
i wol ep bónót Eighty
i siwok ep bónót Ninety
i tik ep mar One hundred


Orthography is the way words are written, using the appropriate letters from a specific language while following usage rules. If the consonant phoneme /φ/ is used at the beginning of a word, that word starts with an f, but if it is found at the end of a word, it is then replaced with the letter h. An example of this is ep φun, which makes the phrase ep fun, meaning 'banana (plant)', but when it is found at the end of a word, as in ep yaφ, it becomes ep yah, meaning 'fire'.[3]


Independent pronouns[3]
Singular Dual Trial/Paucal Plural
1st person exclusive ya(u)/ a mara(u) mató~matól mét
inclusive dara(u) datól dat
2nd person u aura(u) amtól amat
3rd person Personal i dira(u) diat dit
Impersonal di
Inanimate, mass in

Example sentence:

















Yau, a rak al an ka-sai an Kokopo.

1S 1S want 1S.POT at DIR-west at Kokopo

'As for me, I want to go to Kokopo.'[3] Unknown glossing abbreviation(s) (help);

Verb phrases

Two types of verb phrases include intransitive and transitive verbs. An intransitive verb is used when there is no direct object, while a transitive verb is used when there is a direct object action taking place. An intransitive verb for 'eat' would be angan, while a transitive verb for 'eat' would be yan.


  1. ^ Siar at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Lean 1991
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Rowe 2005
  4. ^ "Siar language and alphabet".