Oksapmin language

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nuxule meŋ 'our language'
Native toPapua New Guinea
RegionOksapmin Rural LLG, Telefomin District, Sandaun
Native speakers
(8,000 cited 1991)[1]
  • Upper Oksapmin
  • Lower Oksapmin
Language codes
ISO 639-3opm
Oksapmin language.svg
Map: The Oksapmin language of New Guinea
  The Oksapmin language
  Other Trans–New Guinea languages
  Other Papuan languages
  Austronesian languages
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Oksapmin is a Trans–New Guinea language spoken in Oksapmin Rural LLG, Telefomin District, Sandaun, Papua New Guinea. It has been influenced by the Ok languages (the name "Oksapmin" is from an Ok language), and the similarities with those languages were attributed to borrowing in the classifications of both Stephen Wurm (1975) and Malcolm Ross (2005), where Oksapmin was placed as an independent branch of Trans–New Guinea. However, Loughnane (2009)[3] and Loughnane and Fedden (2011)[4] demonstrated that it is related to the Ok languages, though they share innovative features not found in Oksapmin.

The two principal dialects are distinct enough to cause some problems with mutually intelligibility.

Oksapmin has dyadic kinship terms[5] and a body-part counting system that goes up to 27.[6]



There are seven monophthongs, /i e ə a o ʉ u/, and one diphthong, /ai/.


Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar
Unrounded Rounded
Stop Voiceless p t k
Voiced b d ɡ ɡʷ
Fricative s x
Nasal m n ŋ ŋʷ
Flap ɾ
Approximant j w


Oksapmin contrasts two tones: high and low.


  1. ^ Oksapmin at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Oksapmin". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Loughnane, Robyn. (2009) A Grammar of Oksapmin. Doctoral dissertation, University of Melbourne.
  4. ^ Loughnane, Robyn and Fedden, Sebastian (2011) 'Is Oksapmin Ok?-A Study of the Genetic Relationship between Oksapmin and the Ok Languages', Australian Journal of Linguistics, 31: 1, 1-42.
  5. ^ The Oksapmin Kinship System Archived 2009-09-20 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved May 21, 2009.
  6. ^ Saxe, Geoffrey B.; Moylan, Thomas (1982), "The development of measurement operations among the Oksapmin of Papua New Guinea", Child Development, 53 (5): 1242–1248, doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.1982.tb04161.x, JSTOR 1129012.