|Tami River – Bewani Range|
|Linguistic classification||North Papuan?|
The Border family is named after the Indonesia – Papua New Guinea border, which it spans. Other than the Border languages, the Skou, Senagi, Pauwasi, Anim, and Yam families also span the Indonesia – Papua New Guinea border.
Cowan (1957) tentatively proposed a "Tami" family, named after the Tami River, that included the modern Border and Sko language families. Some of the previously unclassified languages did turn out to be Sko, and were added to that family; the remainder (including the languages of the upper Tami) constitute the Border family.
The Border languages are:
There is also Ningera.
Laycock classified Morwap as an isolate, but noted pronominal similarities with Border. Ross included Morwap in Border but noted that they do not appear to share any lexical similarities. However, his Morwap data were quite poor. Usher included it as a branch of Border.
The pronouns that Ross (2005) reconstructs for proto-Border are the following:
Foley (2018) lists pronouns for the following five Border languages.
|2||kebe||de ~ ne||ne||ye||ne|
|gloss||Awyi / Taikat||Kilmeri||Waris / Imonda|
200–250 years ago, Bewani speakers rapidly expanded and migrated towards neighboring regions, which started off chain migrations among various peoples of the region. The migration of Bewani speakers split up the territory of Kwomtari speakers, and Fas was displaced to the swampy area of Utai. The displaced Fas speakers then expanded further east into One territory, causing conflicts between the Fas and One peoples in the Kabore area ( ).
The Pagei, Bewani, Bo, and Ningera peoples expanded down the Pual River to displace speakers of Inner Skou and Serra Hills languages. Inner Skou speakers were then forced to migrate, displacing Barupu/Warapu speakers (Piore River branch). Bewani speakers, however, were not able to expand eastward into the lowland swampy areas occupied by Busa and Yale speakers, who were themselves pushed out of the more fertile hills into the lowland swamps. Westward expansion of Bewani speakers was halted by fighting in Kaure territory.