|Tubang and Ilwayab subdistricts, Merauke Regency, Papua|
|Linguistic classification||One of the world's primary language families|
Map: The Bulaka River languages of New Guinea
The Bulaka River languages
Trans–New Guinea languages
Other Papuan languages
The Bulaka River languages are a pair of closely related Papuan languages, Yelmek and Maklew, on the Bulaka River in Indonesian West Papua. They are ethnically Yab (Jab); their speech is Yabga (Jabga). Ross (2005) tentatively includes them in the proposed Trans-Fly – Bulaka River family, but Usher, who reconstructs the family, retains Bulaka River as a primary language family.
Yelmek is spoken west of Merauke, between the Digul River and Mbian River, (from north to south) in the villages of Wanam, Bibikem, Woboyo, and Dodalim. Maklew is spoken in Welbuti village. The former two villages are located in Ilwayab subdistrict, and the latter three in Tubang subdistrict.
The pronouns Ross reconstructs for the family are,