Second-to-last post, so it’s time for the letter Y and the language Yimas.


Yimas is a severely endangered language spoken by around 300 people in Papua New Guinea. Yimas is described as being endangered by the spread of Tabriak, and especially Tok Pisin, which is spoken by over four million people as a second language, and is preferred by the younger generation.

While Yimas is doing better than another Papua New Guinea endangered language, Piame, and there is still evidence of inter-generational transmission, the fact that Tok Pisin is preferred by the younger generation indicates that there may be a language shift at some point in the near future. It seems likely that, due to these factors, it will not be long before Yimas becomes extinct.

Sources/Further Reading

Ethnologue: Yimas
Wikipedia: Yimas language
Documenting Endangered Languages of the Pacific: The Yimas language

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