Language name and location: Umbu-Ungu, Papua New Guinea  [Refer to Ethnologue]

言名称和分布地区翁布-翁古语 (考格尔语 Kaugel), 巴布亚新几内亚西高地省


1. tele

21.  tokapunge telu

2. talo

22.  tokapunge talo

3. yepoko

23.  tokapunge yepoko

4. kise

24.  tokapu

5. kise pakera / te pakera

25.  alapunge telu

6. talo pakera

26.  alapunge talo

7. yepoko pakera

27.  alapunge yepoko

8. engaki

28.  alapu

9. rureponga telu

29.  palangipu telu 

10. rureponga talo

30.  palangipu talo

11. rureponga yepoko

31.  palangipu yepoko

12. rurepo

32.  palangipu

13. malapunge telu

48.  tokapu talo      (24 x 2)

14. malapunge talo

72.  tokapu yepoko (24 x 3)

15. malapunge yepoko

96.  tokapu kise      (24 x 4)

16. malapu


17. supunge telu


18. supunge talo


19. supunge yepoko


20. tokapu 



Linguist providing data and dateː Mrs. June Head, SIL International, Papua New Guinea, October 2, 2008.

提供资的语言家: Mrs. June Head, 2008 年 10 月 2 日.


Other comments: Umbu-Ungu or Kaugel is spoken by about 32,000 speakers in
Western Highlands province and Southern Highlands province, Papua New Guinea.
Umbu-Ungu or Kaugel counting system is a four base system,
though 12 and its multiples are also significant points in the system.

1) Most of the sounds of Kaugel are fairly 'standard' except for the l phonemes. The   phonetic actualization of the phoneme we symbolize as l in Kaugel is a lateral affricate (stop plus lateral fricative). Before the back vowels a, o, and u, it is a velar lateral affricate, and pronounced in the alveolar position before the front vowels i and e. The 'r' is flapped, and occurs almost exclusively word initially The simple stops 'p' 't' and 'k' tend to be aspirated word-initially and, word medially the k is voiced, the p becomes a voiced bilabial fricative, and the t simply loses its aspiration  but is not voiced. There are only five vowels - 'a' as in 'father'; 'e' as in 'egg", 'i' as in 'pin', 'o' as in 'not' and 'u' as in 'put'. There is also a set of pre-nasalized stops, which are now written with the pre-nasalization because of pressure from literate native speakers. These are 'mb', 'nd', 'ng', and 'nj'. Two nasal sounds 'm' and 'n' are as in English. The phones 's' and 't' are actually mutually exclusive in their distribution, so we originally wrote both as 't', but once again, pressure from native speakers has caused us to now write 's' and 't' separately orthographically.
2) There are actually several Kaugel counting systems. Sadly, most have now fallen

into disuse in favour of the Tok Pisin or English words, though there has been

    some  revival of lower numbers in the vernacular elementary schools in recent


    I have presented as much as I know of the most common system, which you will

    quickly see is four-based, with something going on as multiples of 12 also. Neither

    of us knows the word for 36 but we feel it has to exist. Number above that tend to

    be based on the numeral for 24. A paper was written by a Nancy Bowers of New

    Zealand many years ago covering all the counting systems, the one I have provided

    for you, another one which is used only for counting game and does not go into

    high numbers, and a third which is based on body parts and goes up to 100. We

    elicited this one from an old chief in our original village, but it went up in smoke

    when our house was burnt down by a mentally disturbed man. This was in the

    days before computers. If you could get hold of Nancy's paper it would be helpful

    to you I am sure.

3) For larger numbers these days the people use foreign words such as anderete or

    tausen or even paono which means 20 (the former Australian currency was the

    pound which was made up of 20 shillings).

4) Finally, let me comment on the shape of the numerals themselves. All I need to

    add really, for a fellow linguist, is that the nga~nge morpheme is the genetive

    suffix. We translate it in this context something like "in the system of", so eg

    rureponga talo would be "two in the system of 12" which, in this case equals 10.

    Ordinal numbers are made by adding the 3S dependent verb suffix to the stem of

    the give verb, si- though this in no way retains its original meaning when used in

    this context, thus eg. yepoko sipe means 'third'.

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