A language of Papua New Guinea

Alternate Names
Sud-Est, Tagula, Vanatinai, Vanga

2,000 (1987 SIL), increasing. 400 monolinguals.


Milne Bay province: Yama-Yele district, Tagula island, west of Rossel island, end of Calvados chain. 17 villages or hamlets.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).


Rambuso (Rewa), Eastern Point, Eastern Sudest (Rambuso, Rehuwo), Central Sudest (Araetha, Pamela), Western Sudest (Dtelha, Griffin Point, Jelewaga). Lexical similarity: 44% with Rifao [nmw] (most similar).


SVO; prepositions; noun head initial; classifiers; no articles; verb affixes mark person and number; tense and aspect; causatives; 33 consonants and 6 vowels; stress on the penultimate syllable; inclusive/exclusive pronouns; alienable/inalienable possession.

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. Used by all. Positive attitudes. Most also use English [eng]. Also use Misima-Panaeati [mpx], Rifao [nmw].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L1: 50%–70%. Literacy rate in L2: 75%–90% in Misima [mpx], Rifao [nmw], or English [eng]. When possible, used by community schools. Primary schools becoming bilingual. Literature. Dictionary. Grammar. Texts. NT: 2014.


Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Most children go to school. Christian.

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