|Native to||Papua New Guinea|
West New Britain
The Ata language, also known as Pele-Ata after its two dialects, or Wasi, is a Papuan language spoken on New Britain island, Papua New Guinea. It appears to be related to neighboring Anêm, and possibly also to Yélî Dnye in a proposed Yele-West New Britain family. There are about 2000 speakers.
According to Yanagida (2004), there are two dialects of Ata, a Lower dialect spoken in the lowlands and an Upper dialect spoken in the mountains. The Lower dialect is spoken in Bialla Rural LLG, West New Britain Province, while the Upper dialect is spoken mostly in West Pomio-Mamusi Rural LLG, East New Britain Province:
Both the lower and upper dialects are spoken in the settlement of Silanga.
There are some lexical differences between the dialects. Some examples are listed below.:71
|gloss||Upper Ata||Lower Ata|
|the day before yesterday||malakaumei||malaʔo|
|2nd person dual
|3rd person dual
Phonology of the Ata language:
/s/ is pronounced as alveolo-palatal [ɕ] before /i/, /x/ is voiced as [ɣ] when occurring intervocalically.
A word-initial /i/ is realized as a [j], and a word-initial /u/ becomes a [w] when preceding /o/ or /ɑ/.
|High||i iː||u uː|
|Mid||ɛ ɛː||o oː|
Ata makes use of noun classes, some of which are::792
Below are some Ata noun class paradigms, using the noun roots lavo’o ‘stone’ and lexe ‘song’ as examples::792
|Class 1||lavo'o-silo||/stone-my/||‘my stone to be used for a house’|
|Class 2||lavo'o-xeni||/stone-my/||‘my stone to be used for breaking nuts’|
|Class 3||lavo'o-xo||/stone-my/||‘my stone for a stone oven’|
|Class 1||lexe-silo||/song-my/||‘a song to be sung for me’|
|Class 2||lexe-xeni||/song-my/||‘the song I sing’|
|Class 3||lexe-xo||/song-my/||‘the song about me’|