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Native to "Papua New Guinea
Region "New Britain
Native speakers
800 (2011)[1]
Language codes
"ISO 639-3 anz
"Glottolog anem1249[2]

The Anêm language is a "language isolate spoken in five main villages along the northwestern coast of "New Britain island, "Papua New Guinea: Malasoŋo (where it is spoken alongside "Bariai), Karaiai, Mosiliki, Pudêlîŋ, Atiatu (where it is spoken alongside "Lusi) and Bolo (where it is spoken alongside a version of Aria). It is also spoken by small numbers of people, mostly of Anêm descent, scattered among the surrounding villages. There are two main dialects. Akiblîk, the dialect of Bolo was near functional extinction in 1982, the youngest speaker being about 35 years of age then. The main dialect is spoken in the other villages named above. There are about 800 speakers.

Anêm has been "restructured under the influence of "Lusi, the local inter-community language.

Anêm language is notable for having at least 20 "possessive classes.[3][4]

Anêm is an accusative language with unmarked "subject–verb–object word order in plain statements. Yes/no questions are indicated with an intonation contour rather than alterations in word order. Negation (not, not yet, don't) and completive aspect (already) are indicated by modality markers which occur in clause-final position. Tense is not indicated directly. There are three distinctions of mood (realis, irrealis and hortative). Realis refers to something that has happened or is happening; irrealis refers to future tense and hypotheticals; and hortative (only in third persons) is used in commands.

Anêm sentences Tita-nae u-b-î aba niak.
explanation father-my realis.he-kill-them pig two
Translation 'My father killed two pigs.'
Anêm sentences Aia-nae i-sama-dî uas.
explanation mother-my realis.she-seek-it tobacco
Translation 'My mother is looking for some tobacco.'
Anêm sentences U-k a-xî nan?
explanation realis.he-go to-it garden
Translation 'Did he go to the garden?'
Anêm sentences U-k a-xî nan mantu.
explanation realis.he-go to-it garden not
Translation 'He didn't go to the garden.'
Anêm sentences U-k a-xî nan pmaga.
explanation realis.he-go to-it garden not.yet
Translation 'He hasn't gone to the garden yet.'
Anêm sentences Na-k a-xî nan êbêl.
explanation realis.you-go to-it garden don't
Translation 'Don't go to the garden.'
Anêm sentences o-k a-xî nan!
explanation hortative.he-go to-it garden
Translation "Let him go to the garden!'

Anêm nouns are distinguished syntactically for gender, masculine or feminine. Masculine nouns are followed by demonstratives or relative pronouns that begin with /l/ while feminine nouns are followed by demonstratives or relative pronouns that begin with /s/. In addition, both subject prefixes and some object suffixes agree in gender with the noun they refer to:

Anêm sentences Doxa u-ko-lo.
explanation person the.m realis.he-see-him
Translation 'The man saw him.'
Anêm sentences Doxa i-ko-lo.
explanation person the.f realis.she-see-him.
Translation 'The woman saw him.'
Anêm sentences Onu i-kê-lêm.
explanation people the.m realis.they-see-her.
Translation 'The people saw her.'

It may be related to the "Ata and "Yélî Dnye isolates in a tentative "Yele-West New Britain family.

Further information[edit]


  1. ^ Anêm at "Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Anem". "Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ "WALS Online - Chapter Possessive Classification". wals.info. Retrieved 17 April 2018.  line feed character in |title= at position 14 ("help)
  4. ^ Nichols, Johanna; Bickel, Balthasar. "Possessive Classification". "World Atlas of Language Structures. Retrieved 2011-02-26. 
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