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Oksapmin language

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Title: Oksapmin language  
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Subject: Trans–New Guinea languages, Base 27, Telefol language, Tifal language
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Oksapmin language

nuxule meŋ 'our language'
Native to Papua New Guinea
Region Telefomin District, Sandaun
Native speakers
8,000  (1991)[1]
Upper Oksapmin
Lower Oksapmin
Language codes
ISO 639-3 opm
Glottolog oksa1245[2]

Oksapmin is a Trans–New Guinea language spoken in Telefomin District, Sandaun, Papua New Guinea. It has been influenced by the Ok languages (indeed, 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 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 (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Oksapmin". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  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, 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, JSTOR 1129012 .
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