Gayo is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by about 300,000 people in Aceh province in the highland region of north Sumatra in Indonesia, particularly in the regencies of Central Aceh, East Aceh, Gayo Lues and Southeast Aceh.
Gayo is also known as Gajo or Gayonese. Dialects includes Deret, Serbejadi-Lukup, Lut and Lues.
The first dictionary of Gayo was published in 1907 by G.A.J. Hazeu. A grammar of Gayo was published by Domenyk Eades in 2005. The language is taught in primary schools, and used in literature and newspapers.
Latin alphabet for Gayo
Voiceless plosives (k, p and t) are unreleased at the end of a word.
Diphthongs are used in the Lues dialect. In other dialects they are only used in poetic language.
Vowels are nasalized in final (stressed) syllables following a nasal consonant, except after funny nasals.
Funny nasals, [m̂], [n̂], [ɳ̂] and [ŋ̂], are used only by those over 60 years old. They have significantly reduced nasal air flow compared to standard nasals, and do not make vowels that follow them nasal.
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