Western Dani language

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Western Dani
RegionHighlands of Papua Province, Indonesia
Native speakers
(180,000 cited 1993)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3dnw
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Western Dani, or Laani, is the most populous Papuan language in Indonesian New Guinea. It is spoken by the Lani people in the province of Papua. The Swart Valley tribes are called Oeringoep and Timorini in literature from the 1920s, but those names are no longer used.


The phonology of the Western Dani language[3]:

Bilabial Alveolar Velar Glottal
plain lab.
Plosive voiceless p, pʰ t, tʰ k, kʰ kʷ, kʷʰ ʔ
prenasal mb nd ŋɡ ŋɡʷ
Fricative β ɣ ɣʷ
Flap ɾ
Nasal m n
Lateral l
Approximant w ɹ

At the beginning of words, stops sound aspirated. An intervocalic /ɣ/ is pronounced as /ʁ/, and a /ɹ/ before a high vowel becomes a fricative /z/.

Front Central Back
High i iː u uː
Mid e eː ɒ ɒː
Low ɐ ɐː

Vowels /i, u, ɒ/ have allophones, /ɪ, ʊ, ɔ/.


  1. ^ Western Dani at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Western Dani". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Barclay, Peter (2008). A Grammar of Western Dani.