Kovai language

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Native to Papua New Guinea
Region Umboi Island, Morobe Province
Native speakers
6,000 (2011)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 kqb
Glottolog kova1243[2]

Kovai (Kobai, Kowai) is a Papuan language spoken on Umboi Island, halfway between mainland Papua New Guinea and the island of New Britain, and mostly within the caldera of that volcanic island.


Vowels (orthographic)[edit]

Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open a

Consonants (orthographic)[edit]

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar
Voiceless plosive p t k
Voiced plosive b g
Voiced nasal m n ng
Voiceless fricative s
Voiced fricative z
Voiced trill r
Approximant w l y


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