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Kalam languages

West Madang Highlands
Papua New Guinea
Linguistic classificationNortheast New Guinea?

The Kalam languages are a small family of languages in the Madang stock of New Guinea.

The languages are:

KalamTai, Kobon.

They are famous for having perhaps the smallest numbers of lexical verbs of any languages in the world, with somewhere in the range of 100 to 120 verbs in the case of Kobon.

It is as yet unclear whether the Gants language is most closely related to the Kalam languages or is one of the Sogeram languages.


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kalam–Kobon". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  • Ross, Malcolm (2005). "Pronouns as a preliminary diagnostic for grouping Papuan languages". In Andrew Pawley; Robert Attenborough; Robin Hide; Jack Golson (eds.). Papuan pasts: cultural, linguistic and biological histories of Papuan-speaking peoples. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. pp. 15–66. ISBN 0858835622. OCLC 67292782.