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Kuman language (New Guinea)

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Title: Kuman language (New Guinea)  
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Subject: Kuman, Kuman language, Short-beaked echidna, Chimbu, Voiceless velar lateral fricative, Simbu, Endemic warfare
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Kuman language (New Guinea)

Native to Papua New Guinea
Region Simbu Province, from Kundiawa to beyond Kerowagi in the west and Gembogl in the north, at the foot of Mount Wilhelm
Native speakers
120,000  (2000 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 kue
Glottolog kuma1280[2]

Kuman (also Simbu or Chimbu) is a language of Simbu Province, Papua New Guinea. In 1994, it was estimated that 80,000 people spoke Kuman, 10,000 of them monolinguals;[3] in the 2000 census, 115,000 were reported, with few monolinguals.[1]

Like other Chimbu languages, Kuman has rather unusual lateral consonants. Besides the typical /l/, it has a "laterally released velar affricate" which is voiced medially and voiceless finally (and does not occur initially).[4] Based on related languages, this is presumably /k͡ʟ̝̊/, allophonically [ɡ͡ʟ̝] (see voiceless velar lateral fricative).


Kuman is an SOV language.


  1. ^ a b Kuman at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Kuman". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Kuman language (New Guinea) reference at Ethnologue (15th ed., 2005)
  4. ^ Foley, 1986:63, The Papuan languages of New Guinea

Hardie, Peter. 2003. Is Kuman Tonal? An account of basic segmental and tonological structure in the Papuan language Kuman. MA thesis: Australian National University

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