|Linguistic classification||a primary language family|
Map: The Kiwaian languages of New Guinea
The Kiwaian languages
Trans–New Guinea languages
Other Papuan languages
The Kiwaian languages form a language family of New Guinea. They are a dialect cluster of half a dozen closely related languages. They are grammatically divergent from the Trans–New Guinea languages, and typically have singular, dual, trial, and plural pronouns.
Kiwaian languages and respective demographic information listed by Evans (2018) are provided below.
|Southern Kiwai||Kiwai Rural LLG||20,000||Island Kiwai|
|Wabuda||Kiwai Rural LLG||2,750|
|Bamu||south Bamu Rural LLG||6,310|
|Northeast Kiwai||West Kikori Rural LLG||6,000||Urama|
|Kerewo||West Kikori Rural LLG||1,090|
|Morigi||West Kikori Rural LLG||?|
None of these reflect proto-TNG pronouns. However, Kiwaian languages have basic TNG lexical words like body-part terms.
The Trans–New Guinea identity of Kiwaiian is supported by a relatively large number of basic lexical items. Ross (2005) tentatively linked Kiwaiian to the erstwhile language isolate Porome. However, the evidence is only two pronouns, and the connection has not been accepted by other researchers.
Southern Kiwai language:
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