Native toIndonesia
RegionHighlands of Irian Jaya
Native speakers
(30,000 cited 1988–1999)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3Variously:
yli – Anggurk Yali
nlk – Ninia Yali
yac – Pass Valley Yali

Yali (Yaly, Jalè, Jaly) is a Papuan language of Indonesian New Guinea. The Yali people live east of the Baliem Valley, in the Western Highlands.

Dialectical differentiation is great enough that Ethnologue assigns separate codes to three varieties:

However, almost nothing is known of this language. Not even the pronouns were attested for Ross (2005) to base a classification on.

Siegfried Zoellner, a German missionary, has between 1960 and 1973 translated the bible into the Yali language.


The phonology of the Yali language:[2]

Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n
Plosive plain b d k ɡ
prenasal ᵐb ⁿd ᵑɡ
implosive ɗ
Fricative f s h
Lateral l
Semivowel w j

A /ɡ/ sound at the end of words is pronounced /ʁ/.

Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Low a

Basic words and phrases

The following is a list of basic words and phrases in the Yali language:


Personal pronouns of the Yali language

Free pronouns
Singular Plural
1st person an nir
2nd person har hir
3rd person ar ir


  1. ^ Anggurk Yali at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Ninia Yali at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Pass Valley Yali at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Fahner, Christiaan (1979). The Morphology of Yali and Dani: A Descriptive and Comparative Analysis.


  • Zöllner, Siegfried; Zöllner, Ilse (2017). Riesberg, Sonja (ed.). A Yali (Angguruk) – German Dictionary / Wörterbuch Yali (Angguruk) – Deutsch. A-PL 37. Canberra: Asia-Pacific Linguistics. hdl:1885/127381. ISBN 978-1-922185-39-6.