Introduction

Mato is a language spoken on the northern coast of Papua New Guinea, just inside Morobe Province. Situated in the Uruwa River plain at the base of the Saruwaged Mountains, the Mato speakers live in six principal villages and number 1,250.

The language is classified Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Western Oceanic, North New Guinea, Ngero-Vitiaz, Vitiaz, Roinji-Nenaya. The iso code is met. Alternate names for the language are Nenaya, Nengaya, and Nineia. The two dialects, Ramuk and Tabares are mutually intelligible.

Lexical similarity: 54% with Uma (Ronji) [roe], 29%–32% with Pano [mqz] dialects, 28% with Karnai [bbv], 23% with Arop-Lokep [apr], 20% with Malalamai [mmt] (Stober 2013).

This is an initial draft of a dictionary which includes four languages: Mato, English, Tok Pisin and Uma (Ronji). The Uma people share clan lines with the Mato people and the language is included here as documentation on it is very thin. The data has been collected over a period of 23 years by Scot Stober, linguist and translator with SIL International, with participation by the Mato and Uma language communities. This is an initial draft which has been edited as heavily as possible, but there is still much work to be done, especially in the area of sample sentences. A more comprehensive work will be presented when the opportunity for filling the gaps has been attained.