Pu u Lamu

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Pu u Lamu
Pu u Lamu
Pronunciation[pu u lamu]
EthnicityNorth Tujuans
Native speakers~5 million  (2016)
Language family
  • Sanju-Jutean
    • Tujuan
      • Northern Tujuan
        • Pu u Lamu
Official status
Official language inTuju
Recognised minority language inKawui

Pu u Lamu is a Saru-Asuran language of the Tujuan branch. It is an official language of Tuju alongside Uňe Lãa and is a recognised minority language in Kawui.




Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m n
Plosive p t t͡ɕ k
Fricative s ɕ χ h
Approximant l j w
Flap or tap ɾ


  • /n/ assimilates to the place of articulation of a following consonant, merging with /m/ before labials and being realised as /n̠ʲ/ before palatals, [ŋ] before velars and [ɴ] before uvulars respectively.
  • /n, l, w, h/ palatalise to [n̠ʲ, l̠ʲ, ɥ, ç] before front vowels, /w/ is also realised [ɥ] when preceded by a front vowel in a closed syllable.
  • /h/ is realised as [ɸ] before /u/.
  • Voicless obstruents [p, t, k, ɸ, s, ɕ, ç, χ, h, t͡ɕ] are voiced [b, d, g, β, z, ʑ, ʝ, ʁ, ɦ, d͡ʑ] word medially.


Front Central Back
Close i y u
Mid ə
Near-open æ
Open a


  • Close vowels /i, y, u/ are lowered and centralised to [ɪ, ʏ, ʊ] in closed syllables.
  • Close vowels /i, y, u/ are lowered to [ɛ, œ, ɔ] when in contact with /χ/.
  • /ə/ is lowered and backed to [ʌ] when followed by /w/ in a closed syllable.
  • In casual speech /y, u/ are often elided in unstressed syllables, allowing for otherwise impermissible consonant clusters and coda consonants to occur, a phonemic contrast between the close vowels [y, u] and near-close vowels [ʏ, ʊ] and between palatalised and unpalatalised consonants, phonemic labalised consonants, and stress to shift to the last syllable. This is considered non-standard and subpar, however.


Syllable Structure

Standard Pu u Lamu has a (C)V(C) structure where only /m, n, l, j, w/ can occur in the coda. Consonant clusters can only appear at syllable boundaries and geminates do not occur except for /m, n, l/, which are analysed as consonant clusters. Two consecutive vowels cannot occur next to each other.

Pu u Lamu features vowel harmony where the front vowels /i, y, æ/ can only appear in a word together and the central and back vowles /ə, u, a/ can only appear in a word together however some loanwords do not comply to this rule.


Stress is fixed on the penultimate syllable with the exception of some loanwords.


Pu u Lamu is traditionally written in a syllbary.


Pu u Lamu is romanised as follows:

Aa /a/ Cc /t͡ɕ/ Ee /æ/ Hh /h/ Ii /i/ Kk /k/ Ll /l/ Mm /m/ Nn /n/ Oo /ə/ Pp /p/ Qq /χ/ Rr /ɾ/ Ss /s/ Šš /ɕ/ Tt /t/ Uu /u/ Üü /y/ Ww /w/ Yy /j/




Nouns belong to one of two genders: animate or inanimate. Gender generally cannot be predicted from the form of a word besides some suffixes such as a the inanimate nominaliser -o/i and the agentive suffix -mu/mü (equivalent to English -er) which is always animate. Gender can, however, often be predicted from the meaning of a word as words denoting living beings are generally animate and words denoting objects are often inanimate.

Nouns are declined for three cases: agentive, patientive and, oblique, and for definitiveness. How they are declines depends on the noun's gender and whether it has "light" or "dark" vowels. They are very regular with very few irregularities, although irregularities do exist.

Animate, light vowel, example word "hiy" (bird):

Patientive Agentive Oblique
Indefinite hiy hiytiy hiyüyü
Definite hiyü hiytiyü hiyüyü

Animate, dark vowel, example word "tupoy" (tree):

Patientive Agentive Oblique
Indefinite tupoy tupoytoy tupoyuyu
Definite tupoyu tupoytoyu tupoyuyu

Inanimate, light vowel, example word "rüy" (hair):

Patientive Agentive Oblique
Indefinite rüy rüytiy rüyüyi
Definite rüyi rüytiyi rüyüyi

Inanimate, dark vowel, example word "kuw" (fingernail):

Patientive Agentive Oblique
Indefinite kuw kuwtoy kuwuyo
Definite kuwo kuwtoyo kuwuyo