Sikaritai language

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Tori Aikwakai
Native toIndonesia
RegionNew Guinea
Native speakers
(800 cited 1993)[1]
Lakes Plain
  • Central
    • Sikaritai
Language codes
ISO 639-3tty

Sikaritai (Sikwari) is a Lakes Plain language of Papua, Indonesia. It is named after Sikari village. It has gone by various names: Aikwakai, Araikurioko, Ati, Tori, Tori Aikwakai.

Sikaritai, Obokuitai, and Eritai constitute a dialect cluster.


The following discussion is based on Martin (1991).[3]


Labial Coronal Velar
Stop b t d k
Fricative ɸ s
Approximant w

This small consonant inventory is typical of Lakes Plain languages.[4] The complete lack of nasals is also a feature of these languages.


Sikaritai has six vowels.

Front Central Back
High i u
Mid-high e
Mid ɛ o
Low a

Many other Lakes Plain languages have developed a series of extra high "fricativized" vowels from the loss of a final consonant.[4] In Sikaritai the final consonants have been retained; however, extra-high [i] and [u] appear as allophones of /i/ and /u/ before final /g/ and /d/. Martin postulates that Sikaritai is in the process of developing contrastive fricativized vowels as other Lakes Plain languages have done.


The language has a two-height tone system with H and L tone. More than one tonal element can appear on a single syllable.


The syllable template is (C)(C)V(V)(C).


  1. ^ Sikaritai at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Sikaritai". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Martin, David (1991). "Sikaritai phonology". Workpapers in Indonesian Languages and Cultures. 9: 91–120.
  4. ^ a b Clouse, Duane (1997). "Toward a reconstruction and reclassification of the Lakes Plain languages of Irian Jaya". Papers in Papuan Linguistics. 3: 133–236.