Ata language

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Native toPapua New Guinea
RegionNew Britain
Native speakers
2,000 (2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3ata

The Ata language, also known as Pele-Ata after its two dialects, or Wasi, is a language isolate spoken on New Britain island, Papua New Guinea. It may be related to the Anêm and Yélî Dnye isolates in a tentative Yele-West New Britain family. There are about 2000 speakers.


Phonology of the Ata language[3]:

Consonant sounds
Labial Alveolar Velar Glottal
Plosive p t k ʔ
Nasal m n ŋ
Fricative β s x
Approximant l

/s/ is pronounced as alveolo-palatal [ɕ] before /i/, /x/ is voiced as [ɣ] when occurring intervocalically.

A word-initial /i/ is realized as a [j], and a word-initial /u/ becomes a [w] when preceding /o/ or /ɑ/.

Vowel sounds
Front Back
High i iː u uː
Mid ɛ ɛː o oː
Low ɑ ɑː

Further information[edit]


  1. ^ Ata at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Pele-Ata". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Hashimoto, Kazuo (June 1992). Ata (Pele Ata, Wasi) Language [ATA] Kimbe – West New Britain Province (PDF). Organised Phonology Data: SIL.