Gimi language

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Native to Papua New Guinea
Region Eastern Highlands Province
Native speakers
(22,500 cited 1981)[1]
  • Gouno
Language codes
ISO 639-3 gim
Glottolog gimi1243[2]

Gimi (Labogai) is a Papuan language spoken in Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea.


Gimi has 5 vowels and 12 consonants.[3] It has voiceless and voiced glottal consonants where related languages have /k/ and /ɡ/. The voiceless glottal is simply a glottal stop [ʔ]. The voiced consonant behaves phonologically like a glottal stop, but does not have full closure. Phonetically it is a creaky-voiced glottal approximant [ʔ̞].[4]


Front Back
High i u
Mid e o
Low ɑ


Bilabial Alveolar Glottal
Plosive voiceless p t ʔ
voiced b d ʔ̞
Nasal m n
Tap/Flap ɾ
Fricative voiceless s h
voiced z


/p/ occurs word initially only in loanwords.

/b/ can surface as either [b] or [β] in free variation.

/z/ becomes [s] before /ɑ/.

/t/ and /ɾ/ tend to fluctuate with one another word initially.


The syllable structure is (C)V(G), where G is either /ʔ/ or /ʔ̞/.


The final vowel of a word takes either a level or falling tone. The falling tone is written with an acute accent.

ak "seed" ák "armband"
nimi "bird" nimí "louse"


Gimi uses the Latin script.[3]

Letter Aa Bb Dd Ee Gg Hh Ii Kk Mm Nn Oo Pp Rr Ss Tt Uu Zz
IPA ɑ b d e ʔ̞ h i ʔ m n o p ɾ s t u z


  1. ^ Gimi at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Gimi (Eastern Highlands)". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ a b Gimi Organised Phonology Data. [Manuscript] [1]
  4. ^ Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 77–78. ISBN 0-631-19814-8. 
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