|Native to||Papua New Guinea|
The Kuot language, or Panaras, is a language isolate, the only non-Austronesian language spoken on the island of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea. There are about 2,400 speakers, concentrated primarily on the northwest coast of the island. Perhaps due to the small speaker base, there are no significant dialects present within Kuot.
The vowels /i/ and /u/ tend to become glide-vowels in occurrence with other vowels. The length of the vowels is not making differences for the meaning of words. The appearance of /i/ and /u/ with other vowels can not be seen as diphthong or a combination of vowel and glide-vowel. There are never more than three vowels per syllable. The combination of diphthong and vowel is also possible but they are pronounced in conditions of the syllable. Diphthongs are spoken like one sound.
The phoneme /t/ in certain possessive markers, such as "-tuaŋ", "-tuŋ" and "-tuo" becomes /r/ when it comes after a stem ending in a vowel. Compare:
Where the third person singular masculine suffix "-oŋ" is used on a noun that ends with a vowel, this vowel is typically not pronounced. For instance, "amaŋa-oŋ" is pronounced [aˈmaŋɔŋ], not [aˈmaŋaɔŋ].
When vowel-initial suffixes are added to stems that end in voiceless consonants, those consonants become voiced. For example:
The phoneme /p/ becomes [β], not [b].
The language uses a VSO word order, similar to Irish and Welsh. The morphology of the language is primarily agglutinative. There are two grammatical genders, male and female, and distinction is made in the first person between singular, dual, and plural, as well as between exclusive and inclusive.
For instance, the sentence parak-oŋ ira-ruaŋ kamin literally means 'my father eats sweet potato'. Parak-oŋ is a continuous aspect of the verb meaning 'to eat', ira means 'father', -ruaŋ is a suffix used to indicate inalienable possession ('my father'), and kamin is a simple noun meaning 'sweet potato'.