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We present a model calculation of the thermal conductivity of germanium nitride, silicon nitride, and carbon nitride in a temperature range in which intrinsic phonon scattering is dominant. We show that, in spite of the rather complex crystal structure of these nitrides, thermal conductivities exceeding 100 W m-1 K-1 can be attained in some of these compounds due to the combination of high Debye temperature and small Grüneisen constant. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.