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  • The Ndu languages are the best known family of the Sepik languages of northern Papua New Guinea. Ndu is the word for 'man' in the languages that make up this group. The languages were first identified as a related family by Kirschbaum in 1922. Abelam is the most populous language, with about 45,000 speakers, though Iatmül is better known to the outside world. There are eight to twelve Ndu languages, depending on how dialects are classified. Ethnologue 16 counted them as, Iatmul, Ngala, Manambu, Yelogu, Abelam, Boiken, Sawos / Malinguat, Kwasengen, Burui, Koiwat, Sengo. Most Sepik and neighboring languages have systems of three vowels, that are distinct only in height. Phonetic are a result of palatal and labial assimilation of to adjacent consonants. The Ndu languages may take this reduction a step further: In these languages, is used as an epenthetic vowel to break up consonant clusters in compound words. Within words, only occurs between similar consonants, and seems to be explicable as epenthesis there as well, so that the only underlying vowels that need to be assumed are.

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