Mailu language

Mailu language
Spoken in Papua New Guinea
Region Central Province
Native speakers 8,500  (2000 census)
Language family
Trans–New Guinea
Language codes
ISO 639-3 mgu

Mailu or Magi is a Papuan language of Papua New Guinea.

Magi is a non-Austronesian language spoken by upwards of 6000 people living on the islands of Mailu, Laluoru, Loupomu and Eunuoro and along the south coast between Cape Rodney and mid-Orangerie Bay of the Central Province of Papua New Guinea. It is often referred to as 'Mailu' as one of the major villages speaking this language is the village of that name on Mailu Island. It is related to the other languages of the Mailuan family (Ma, Laua, Morawa, Neme'a, Domu and Bauwaki whose speakers live or lived inland of this area). Ma and Laua are now extinct. Magi speakers have for a long time had close contacts and (probably extensive) integration with Austronesian speakers, with the result that there has been a significant adoption of Austronesian vocabulary (around 30–40%, particularly Magori, Gadaisu, Suau, Ouma, Yoba and Bina, of which the last three are now extinct). Magi itself is divided into two main groups of dialects: the eastern (Maisi/Varo) dialects, and the western (Island) dialects.


  • Saville, W. J. V. (Jul.–Dec. 1912). "A Grammar of the Mailu Language, Papua". The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Society of Great Britain and Ireland (The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 42) 42: 397–436. doi:10.2307/2843195. JSTOR 2843195. 
  • Thomson, N P, 1975, "Magi Phonology and Grammar: Fifty Years Afterwards", in T E Dutton, Ed., "Studies in Languages of Central and South-East Papua, ISBN 0 85883 119 8, Pub. by The Australian National University, Pacific Linguistics, Series C, No 29.
  • Thomson, N P, 1975, "The Dialects of Magi", in "Papers in New Guinea Linguistics No 18", ISBN 0 85883 118 X, Pub. by The Australian National University, Pacific Linguistics, Series A No 40.

External links

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