Akoye Phonology Essentials

Akoye is the self-appellation for the speakers of this language, whose traditional land is found between the Lohiki (lave'a) and lvori (lwai'a) rivers, south of the Armit mountain range and west of the Albert (Sambu) mountains in the Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea. There are currently approximately 800 speakers, more than half of whom live outside the traditional area in Kerema, Port Moresby, and other places. The main villages in the traditional area are Waikuna (a.k.a. Towya); Pipo, on the Lohiki River; and Soti, on a slough off Kerema Bay. Most speakers are somewhat bilingual in Kamea (Kapau, Hamtai), which is spoken to the east. There are a few dozen loan words from Kamea in use in the traditional area. Older speakers who went to the coast in their youth picked up some Hiri Motu, and there are perhaps 20 loan words in use in the traditional area. Younger speakers who have lived in Kerema are learning Pidgin, and loan words are increasingly from Pidgin, which in turn is increasingly getting loan words from English. The Ethnologue 11th Edition lists Akoye as "Angoya (MIW]", with "Akoyi" as one of the alternative forms, along with Obi and Lohiki. Whitney (1987) calls the language "Akoyi" because we had not heard the difference between [i) and [I), which forms a minimal pair between singular and plural in -i class nouns. The language of the Akoye is part of the Angan stock-level family of the Trans-New Guinea Phylum of non Austronesian (Papuan) languages. This paper is the result of work carried out under the auspices of the Summer Institute of Linguistics between 1983 and 1996. While many of the inhabitants of Waikuna and the surrounding area have freely offered us help in learning the language, special credit is due to Yä'kumo Ātäwyo, Wäiketä Osäte, and Otifa Mefa.
49 pages
Phonological descriptions
Papua New Guinea
Subject Languages:
Content Language:
Nature of Work: