RegionMilne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea
Native speakers
(6,800 cited 1981)[1]
L2 speakers: 14,000[2] (no date)[3]
Language codes
ISO 639-3swp

Suau, also known as Iou, is an Oceanic language spoken in the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea. It is spoken by 6,800 people and a further 14,000 as a lingua franca.


Consonant sounds
Labial Alveolar Velar Glottal
Plosive voiceless p t k ʔ
voiced b d g
Nasal m n
Fricative (f) s h
Lateral l
Glide w j
Vowel sounds
Front Central Back
High i u
Mid e o
Low a


  1. ^ Suau at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ 14,000 as a lingua franca; perhaps this is the total number
  3. ^ Suau language at Ethnologue (10th ed., 1984). Note: Data may come from the 9th edition (1978).
  4. ^ Cooper, Russell E. (1975). Coastal Suau: A preliminary study of internal relationships. Canberra: Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University. p. 273.
  5. ^ Ezard, Bryan; Lithgow, David. Suau Organised Phonology Data. SIL.