Kanum language

Region New Guinea
Native speakers
340 (1996)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Variously:
kcd  Ngkâlmpw Kanum
khd  Bädi Kanum
krz  Sota Kanum
kxq  Smärky Kanum
Glottolog kanu1280

Kanum is a language complex with difficult mutual intelligibility spoken by the Kanum people of New Guinea. Language varieties within Kanum have variously been referred to as Ngkâlmpw Kanum, Enkelembu, Kenume and Knwne.[2]

Kanum has a base-6 numeral system. For example, the numeral 200 is:

swabra ptae ynaoaemy ntamnao
5 6²s (36s) (and) 2 (and)3×6


  1. Ngkâlmpw Kanum at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Bädi Kanum at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Sota Kanum at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Smärky Kanum at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Kanum language". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
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