The Nun and the Ern



Working on some background for Junction, in which a wormhole in New Guinea leads to an alien planet. Of course, there are people living around the wormhole on both ends, called the Nun (nearside) and Ern (farside).

The Nun are based off of real-world Mek peoples (specifically the Ketengban of eastern West Papua). Here’s some information about their language.

Nun language (related to the Mek languages of eastern West Papua, specifically Ketenbang)


/i e a o u/

/pw t ty k, b d g, m n ng/ /v f s//r//l y/

Sample name: “Tyaney”

Syllable formation is Vowel or Consonant-Vowel, with Consonant-Vowel-Consonant possible at the end of words.



Puk – to do

Eib- to see

Bal– to cut off


Uam – pig

Yo – tree

Dung – worm


Im – sky

Mik – night, dark

E – village

Sokok – country, zone

Bou – wind

Deibukna – death

Tokwe – earth, ground, soil

Yali – the world-pillar that was destroyed.

Ousa – taboo, crime

Kubilon – untamed animal, barbarian


sam – (postposition) within, under the surface of

dub – (postposition) on, over



Left-headed. Adjectives follow the noun they modify.

Dung Yali – The Rainbow Worm (lit. Worm World-Pillar)

Sentence structure is Subject Verb Object by default, although there is considerable flexibility.

Dung eib – One sees a worm 

Generally isolating language, but exhibits an elaborate system of agglutination in verb formation: stem – (negation) – (tense/aspect markers) – (object pronouns) – tense/person markers – (enclitics))

 (Nu) dung eib-mu-lem-i-ni-p I have not been seeing many worms. (lit. (I) worm see-neg-imperf-them-I-past)

“Ern” language (related to Nun-Mek)


/i e a o u/

/p t k, b d g, m n ng//s//l y/

sample name: “Sing”


This will probably change as I continue my research

See also:

Irian volume XIV, 1986

Sela Valley: an Ethnology of a Mek Societyby Jan A. Godschalk

Selected Topics in the Grammar of Nalca by Eric Svärd

UC Berkeley Phonology Lab Annual Report (2012)

The pages on Eipomek, Nalca, Ketenbang, Korapun-Sela,Yale-Korasek, and Una

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