Illustrations of the IPA: Ambel

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Abstract / Description of output

Ambel (ISO 639-3: wgo) is an Austronesian language spoken by approximately 1600 people on the island of Waigeo in the Raja Ampat archipelago (West Papua province, Indonesia). Within Austronesian, Ambel belongs to the South Halmahera-West New Guinea (SHWNG) subbranch (see Blust 1978); within SHWNG, Ambel is classified as a Raja Ampat–South Halmahera language (RASH; Remijsen 2001:32–37; Kamholz 2014). Other languages spoken in Raja Ampat include Maˈya, Matbat, Biga, Batta, and several closely-related varieties on Salawati island (all RASH); Biak (a non-RASH SHWNG language); and varieties of Malay, in particular Papuan Malay. While historically Maˈya and Biak were used as lingua francas throughout the archipelago, these days Malay is the dominant language. The spread of Malay in recent decades has been facilitated by improvements in telecommunications and infrastructure in the region; the government-backed immigration of Indonesians from the overcrowded western islands of the nation to the more sparsely populated Papua; and a rapidly growing tourist industry throughout Raja Ampat.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-388
JournalJournal of the International Phonetic Association
Issue number2
Early online date22 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


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