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Woisika language

Native toIndonesia
RegionAlor Island
Native speakers
6,000 (2014)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3woi

Woisika, also known as Kamang, is a Papuan language of Alor Island of Indonesia. The three main dialects are Western Kamang, Lowland Kamang, and Upland Kamang. Dialects also include Lembur, Sibo, Kamang, Tiayai, Watang, Kamana-Kamang. They may constitute more than one language. Kamang is an endangered language, since children usually only have passive competence of the language, and instead are shifting to Malay.[3]

Speakers may prefer the term Kamang to refer to the speech community as a whole; Woisika is a village name.[4]



Woisika consonant phonemes
Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ <ng>
Plosive voiceless p t k (ʔ) <'>
voiced b d ɡ
Fricative ɸ <f> s (h)
Approximant w j <y>
Lateral l

/h/ and /ʔ/ are marginal. /r/ is rare in initial and final position. Word-final /s/ is only in loan words.

The consonant /ŋ/ is not found word-initially, and /f/ is not found word-finally.[5]


Woisika vowel phonemes
Front Central Back
Close i <ii> u <uu>
Mid e <ee> o <oo>
Open a <aa>


Serial Verb Constructions

Kamang has serial verb constructions.

Mooi bong nok kok silang dii[3]:345
banana tree one fall.down descend lie
'A banana tree came falling down.'

Afunaa yakii me noowaai.[3]:348
a-funaa ga-kii me noo-waai.
3.PAT-face 3.PAT-turn come 3.AST-face
'Turn and face me.'


Examples with avalent, monovalent, bivalent, and trivalent verbs are shown below.[3]


'It's late afternoon.'


Markus gamanteima[3]:301
Markus ga-mantei-ma
Markus 3.PAT-thirst-PFV
'Markus is thirsty already.'


Na Markus gatakma.[3]:301
na Markus ga-tak-ma
1SG.AGT Markus 3.PAT-see-PFV
'I have seen Markus'


Markus patei me dumma wotulen.[3]:301
Markus patei me dum=a go-tulen
Markus corn TAKE child=SPEC 3.LOC-divide
'Markus divides corn amongst the children.'


Woisika riddles relate to animals, the human body, human artifacts, natural phenomena, crops and other foods, among others.[6]


  1. ^ "UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in danger". Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kamang". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Schapper, Antoinette (2014). "Kamang". In Schapper, Antoinette (ed.). The Papuan Languages of Timor, Alor and Pantar: Volume 1: Sketch Grammars. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 287–349.
  4. ^ Grimes, Charles (1997). A guide to the people and languages of Nusa Tenggara (PDF). Kupang: Artha Wacana Press.
  5. ^ Stokhof, W.A.L. (1979). Woisika II Phonemics (PDF). Australian National University.
  6. ^ Stokhof, W.A.L. (1982). Woisika Riddles (PDF). Australian National University.