Safeyoka language - Safeyoka language

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Native toPapua New Guinea
RegionMorobe Province
Native speakers
(2,390 cited 1980 census)[1]
Trans–New Guinea
Language codes
ISO 639-3apz

Safeyoka, or Ampale, is an Angan language of Papua New Guinea. Other names of this language include Ambari, Ampeeli, Ampeeli-Wojokeso, and Ampele.[3] According to a 1980 census, there were around 2,390 native speakers.[3] Commonly known as Ampale, the dialect is called Wojokeso. Speakers of Ampale range from the Waffa River to the Banir River, which is located in the northern part of Papua New Guinea.[4] The Wojokeso dialect is spoken by people who live in five villages where multiple districts, the Kaiapit, Mumeng and Menyama come together in the Morobe Province.[5]


Subject Personal Pronouns

In the term stem of Ampale outlines, the object person affixes are included in them. Class 2 verb roots, /put/ and /kill/, they occur immediately following the root. Other verb roots immediately come before the root.[4] Object person affixes include:

First Person Second Person Third Person
Singualr nɨ- kɨ- u-
Dual e- ze- u-
Plural naa-/ne- ze- u-

Sentence Structure

The Ampale language classifies with the Wojokeso dialect of the Angan language stock.[6] According to B.A Hooley and K.A. McElhanon, the language is referred to as the "Languages of the Morobe District - New Guinea". The sentence types of the Wojokeso are pattern types. On non-final verbs, the Wojokeso links clauses together by the means of affixes or clitics.[6]


The simple sentence formula is "+ Base: General Clause/Elliptical Clause + Terminal: Final Intonation." The sentence is explained by a single base and final intonation. In other words, the single base is expounded by the general clause. Single base moods include: Indicative, Interrogative, Dubitative, Information interrogative, Avolitional, and Exclamatory.[6]

Single Bases Example
General Clause 1 = Indicative Indicative

Phrase: Hofɨko pmmalofo-foho

Native Translation: 'they came' English: 'They came'

Negative Indicative

Phrase: mmalofo'maho

Native Translation: 'come'

English: 'They didn't come.'

General Clause 2 = Interrogative Interrogative

Phrase: Nto pmmalofotaho

Native Translation: 'already came' English: 'Did they already come?'

Negative Interrogative

Phrase: Mapɨ'njitaho

Native Translation: 'neg-come'

English: 'Didn't they come?'

General Clause 3 = Dubitative Dubitative

Phrase: Pmmalofotɨkeno

Native Translation: 'come-they' English: 'Maybe they came'

Negative Dubitative

Phrase: Mapɨ'njitɨkeno

Native Translation: 'come - maybe'

English: 'Maybe they didn't come'

General Clause 4 = Information Interrogative Information Interrogative

Phrase: Tɨhwo pmmalofoto

Native Translation: 'who came' English: 'Who came?'

Negative Information Interrogative

Phrase: Tɨhwo mapɨ'njito

Native Translation: 'who neg-came' English: 'Who didn't come?'

General Clause 5 = Avolitional Avolitional

Phrase: Pɨfɨtnnoho

Native Translation: 'come-they' English: 'It's not good that they come.'

Phrase: Poyo imo'ntnnoho

Native Translation: 'dead become-you' English: 'It's not good that you die.'

General Clause 6 = Exclamatory Exclamatory

Phrase: Yahufohi

Native Translation: 'pig' English: 'It's a pig!'

Phrase: Peho'no pohinopu

Native Translation: 'why come-you' English: 'Shame on you for coming!'



The series sentence indicates multiple actions a person does. There is no grammatical distinction between temporal succession and temporal overlap. Usually used to explain actions which are preformed by a dual or plural subject. However, actions with this partial change in subject may also be classified as a sequence sentence.[5]


The sequence sentence indicates an order of actions being completed by a subject, where base 1 differs from base 2. The action of the first base is usually completed before the action of the second base even begins. The deep structure of this sentence type is that it is purely based on succession.[5]


"Sɨkuno nomeHONƗNGKI sukwo'miyomo hofantiso toho nelofAHONƗNGKI"

This translates into "Darkness came and night mosquitoes bit us". This expresses temporal succession.[5]


Wojokeso English
Subjective y-ontɨfitnne They would, they will do
Unrealized Subjective y-ontɨtinnesohilo Would have done
Near Future u-y-on ɨtfeho They will do
Hortative-Imperative u-y-ɨfe Let them do it
Wojokeso English
Present Incomplete y-alowofo They are doing it
Present Complete y-ohofo They did it
Narrative Past humi-y-ohofi They did it
Near Past i-malofo They did it
Far Past i-mentohofo They did it a long time ago
Habitual Past i-motofo They used to do it regularly



The Wojokeso has fifteen simple and six complex consonant phonemes. The points of articulation include bilabial, alveolar, alveopalatal and velar. The bilabial fricative phoneme is /p/, alveolar resonant phoneme /I/, alveopalatal stop phoneme /j/ and velar fricative phoneme /h/.[5]


The Wojokeso contains five vowel phonemes, /i, u, e, ʌ, a/. However, there was said to be seven vowels of the Wojokeso /i, e, æ, ɨ, ʌ, a, u/ although there were no clear cut contrasts.[5]

Vowel Clusters

When two vowels occur contiguously, they are considered separate segments. Non-suspect sequences such as /ea/, /ae/, occur and sequences /ai/, /ia/ and /ʌu/, /uʌ/. The syllabic and pitch accent of these vowels consider the syllables to be separate. In the words of /hasamjʌhwʌ/ ~ /hasaʔemjʌhwʌ/ 'dragonfly'. /ʔ/ is optional between two vowels.[5]


  1. ^ Safeyoka at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Safeyoka". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b "Safeyoka". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  4. ^ a b c Franklin, Karl J. (Karl James) (1973). The linguistic situation in the Gulf District and adjacent areas, Papua New Guinea. Canberra: Dept. of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University. ISBN 0858831007. OCLC 1288732.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Angan languages are different : four phonologies. Healey, Phyllis M. Huntington Beach, Calif.: Summer Institute of Linguistics. 1981. ISBN 088312212X. OCLC 8619473.CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ a b c d West, Dorothy. (1973). Wojokeso : sentence, paragraph, and discourse analysis. Canberra: Dept. of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies, The Australian National University. ISBN 0858830892. OCLC 1220916.