Hatam language

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Native toPapua
RegionEastern Bird's Head
Native speakers
(16,000 cited 1993)[1]
  • Moi (Moire)
  • Tinam
  • Miriei
  • Adihup
  • Uran
Language codes
ISO 639-3had
Hatam is located in Bird's Head Peninsula
Hatam is located in Western New Guinea
Hatam is located in Southeast Asia
Coordinates: 1°08′S 134°02′E / 1.14°S 134.04°E / -1.14; 134.04

Hatam (also spelled Hattam, Atam) is a divergent language of New Guinea. Apart from Mansim (Borai), formerly listed as a dialect, it is not closely related to any other language, and though Ross (2005) tentatively assigned it to the West Papuan languages, based on similarities in pronouns, Ethnologue and Glottolog list it as a language isolate[1] or small independent family.[2]


The phonology of the Hatam language is listed below. In free form, both consonant and vowel phonemes can range to different sounds.[3]

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive voiceless p t c k
voiced b d ɟ ɡ
Nasal voiced m n ɲ ŋ
Fricative s h
Liquid ɾ
Approximant w j
Phoneme Allophones
/p/ [p, pʰ, pɸ, ɸ]
/t/ [t, tʰ]
/c/ [c, cʰ]
/k/ [k, kʰ, kx]
/ɡ/ [ɡ, k, ɡː]
/ɟ/ [ɟ, ɟː]
/d/ [d, t]
/b/ [b, p, bː]
/ɾ/ [ɾ, l, lː]
Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid ɛ ɔ
Open a
Phoneme Allophones
/i/ [i, ɪ, ə]
/ɛ/ [ɛ, e]
/a/ [ä, a, ɐ]
/ɔ/ [ɔ, o]


  1. ^ a b Hatam at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ a b Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Hatam". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Reesink, Ger P. (1999). A Grammar of Hatam: Bird's Head Peninsula Irian Jaya. Canberra: Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University.: Pacific Linguistics: Series C, 146. pp. 9–13.
  • Ross, Malcolm (2005). "Pronouns as a preliminary diagnostic for grouping Papuan languages". In Andrew Pawley; Robert Attenborough; Robin Hide; Jack Golson (eds.). Papuan pasts: cultural, linguistic and biological histories of Papuan-speaking peoples. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. pp. 15–66. ISBN 0858835622. OCLC 67292782.

Further reading[edit]

  • Reesink, Ger P. (1999). A grammar of Hatam : Bird's Head Peninsula, Irian Jaya. Pacific Linguistics. Series C, 146. Canberra: Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University. hdl:1885/146620. ISBN 978-0-85883-497-2.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)