Native toIndonesia
RegionMuara Tami District [id], Jayapura Regency
Native speakers
700 (1999)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3skv

Skou (Sekol, Sekou, Sko, Skouw, Skow, Sukou), or Tumawo (Te Mawo), is a Papuan language of Indonesia.


Skou is spoken in three villages of Muara Tami District [id], Jayapura Regency. The villages are:[2]



The Skou consonants are:[3]

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n
Plosive voiceless p t k
voiced b ɟ~ɡʲ
Fricative f h
Liquid lateral l
rhotic r
Semivowel w j


Vowels can be nasalized, except for /ɨ/ and /u/.[3]

Front Central Back
oral nasal oral nasal oral nasal
Close i ĩ ɨ u
Mid e ə ə̃ o õ
Open a ã


Skou contrasts three different tones in monosyllables: high, low and falling, which can be combined with nasality for a six-way contrast.[2]

Pitch Oral Nasal
high [˥] ta



low [˨] ta



falling [˥˩] ta



Tone in Skou is affiliated with each word, rather than with each syllable.

In addition to lexical differences in tone, tone has grammatical functions. [2]

For instance, tense in Skou is differentiated by tone.

non-past tense forms
[ni hu]

falling-falling 'I sew'

[ni ha]

falling-high 'I stand'

[ni hũ]

falling-low 'I drink'

past tense forms
[ni hu]

falling-low 'I sewed'

[ni ha]

falling-low 'I stood'

[ni hũ]


'I drank'


Skou differentiates three types of pronouns: free pronouns, genitive pronouns and dative pronouns. [2]

Free Pronouns Genitive Pronouns Dative Pronouns
1SG [ni˥˩] [ni˥˩] [nɛ˨]
1PL [nɛ˨] [nɛ˥˩] [nɛ˨]
2SG [mɛ˥˩] [mɛ˥˩] [mɛ˨]
2PL [ɛ˨] [ɛ˥˩] [ɛ˨]
3SG.NF [kɛ˨] [kɛ˥] [kɛ˨]
3SG.F [pɛ˨] [pɛ˥˩] [pɛ˨]
3PL [tɛ˨] [tɛ˥˩] [tɛ˨]


  1. ^ Skou at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c d Donohue, Mark. 2004. A Grammar of the Skou language of New Guinea. Singapore: National University of Singapore. Available at [1].
  3. ^ a b Foley, William A. (2018). "The Languages of the Sepik-Ramu Basin and Environs". In Palmer, Bill (ed.). The Languages and Linguistics of the New Guinea Area: A Comprehensive Guide. The World of Linguistics. Vol. 4. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 197–432. ISBN 978-3-11-028642-7.