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Lower Sepik languages

Lower Sepik
Nor–Pondo
Geographic
distribution
East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea
Linguistic classificationa primary language family
Subdivisions
  • Nor
  • Pondo?
Glottologlowe1423[1]
Nor-pondo-languages.png

The Lower Sepik a.k.a. Nor–Pondo languages are a small language family of East Sepik Province in northern Papua New Guinea. They were identified as a family by K Laumann in 1951 under the name Nor–Pondo, and included in Donald Laycock's now-defunct 1973 Sepik–Ramu family.

Classification

The original conception of the family, under the name Nor–Pondo, is as follows:

 Nor–Pondo 
 Nor family 

Murik (Nor)

Kopar

 Pondo family 

Chambri

Karawari (Tabriak), Yimas

Angoram (Pondo)

Malcolm Ross (2005) broke up the Nor branch (and thus renamed the family Lower Sepik) because Murik does not share the characteristic /p/s of the first- and second-person pronouns of Kopar and the Pondo languages, so the latter may form a group: Murik vs Kopar–Pondo. Ross classified Lower Sepik as one branch of a Ramu–Lower Sepik language family.

Foley (2005) tentatively proposes that Chambri and Angoram may be primary branches: Nor, Chambari, Karawari–Yimas, Angoram. Usher, following Foley, keeps Nor together and breaks up Pondo.[2] Neither accept the connection to Ramu.

Foley (2018) and Usher (2020)

Foley (2018) and Usher (2020) agree on the following classification.[3][4]

Lower Sepik family

Foley notes that Angoram appears to be closer to Murik–Kopar, and Chambri to Karawari–Yimas, but Foley (2018: 213) leaves them as separate branches pending further evidence.

Phonology

Except for Yimas-Karawari, Lower Sepik languages typically have the following six-vowel system.[5]

i u
e ə o
a

Yimas-Karawari has only four vowels.[5]

i u
ə
a

Proto-language

Proto-Lower Sepik
Reconstruction ofLower Sepik languages

Pronouns

The pronouns reconstructed for the proto-language are,

Proto–Lower Sepik (Ross)
I *ama we two *ka-i, *ka-pia we few *(p)a-ŋk-i-t we all *a-i, *a-pia, *i-pi
thou *nɨmi you two *ka-u, *ka-pua you few *(p)a-ŋk-u-t you all *a-u, *a-pu, *i-pu(a)
s/he *mɨn they two *mɨnɨmp ? (M),
*mpɨ ? (F)
they few *mɨŋkɨ-t they all *mump (M),
*pum (F)
Proto-Nor–Pondo (Foley)
I *ama we two *ka-i, *ka-pa-i we few *(pa)ŋk-it we all *a-i, *a-pa-i, *(y)i-i, *(y)i-pa-i
thou *mi you two *ka-u, *ka-pa-u you few *(pa)ŋk-ut you all *a-u, *a-pa-u, *(y)i-u, *(y)i-pa-u
s/he *mən they two ? they few *mɨŋkɨ they all *mump ?

Lexicon

A phonological reconstruction of proto-Lower Sepik has been proposed by Foley (2005).[5] Foley's (2005) lexical reconstructions are provided below.


Proto-Lower Sepik reconstructions by Foley (2005)
gloss proto-Lower Sepik Yimas Karawi Chambri Angrm Murik Kopar
one *mb(w)ia- mpa- mba- mbwia- mbia- abe mbatep
two *ri-pa- -rpal ripay -ri -(lɨ)par kobo kombari
three *-ram -ramnaw -rianmaw -ram -elɨm keroŋgo keremɨŋ
person *nor nar-maŋ yarmasɨnar noranan nor nor
male *pon panmal panmari pondo puin
woman *ŋay ŋay asay kaye nuŋor ŋai nana
water *arɨm arɨm arɨm arɨm alɨm arɨm arɨm
fire *awr awt awi ayɨr aluŋ awr awr
sun tɨmal sɨmari sɨnmari mbwino akɨn akɨn
moon *m(w)il ? mɨla tuŋkwi mwɨl mɨle karewan karep
star awak suŋkwiɲcirim suŋgwi areɲjo moai kinaŋ
canoe *kay kay kay ke ke gain kain
house nam yam kurɨr nam iran indan
village *num num imuŋka num num nomot numot
breast *nɨŋgay nɨŋay ɲjay nɨŋke ŋge niŋgen niŋgin
tooth *sisiŋk ? tɨrɨŋ sɨsɨŋ sraŋk sisiŋ asarap asirap
blood *ya- yat yay yari ayakone yaran yuwaran
bone *sariŋamp tanɨm tanɨm anamp salɨŋ sariŋib̩ sarekimp
tongue *minɨŋ mɨɲɨŋ mumɨɲɨŋ tɨbulaniŋk mɨnɨŋ menɨŋ mimiŋ
eye *tambri tuŋkuruŋ sampɨs sɨsiŋk tambli nabrin nambrin
nose tɨkay ipun wambusu naŋɨm daur imbot
leg *namuŋk pamuŋ pamuŋ namaŋk namuŋ namɨŋ
hair wapwi wampi yawi mbwikmaley dwar ruar
ear *kwand- kwantumuŋ kwandukas kukunam kwandum karekep kundot
egg *awŋ awŋ yawŋ awŋk awŋ gaug awŋ
leaf *nɨmpramp nɨmprɨm yimprɨm nɨmpramp namblum nabirɨk nɨmbiraŋ
yesterday / tomorrow *ŋarɨŋ ŋarɨŋ arɨŋ namasɨnɨŋ nakɨmɨn ŋarɨŋ rari
oar *(mɨ)naŋ muraŋ mɨnaŋ naŋk inap inaŋ naŋ
betelnut *poruŋ patn payn muntɨkɨn parɨŋ porog puruŋ
lime *awi(r) awi as ayɨr awer air air
pig *numpran numpran impian numpran imbar nɨmbren nɨmbren
crocodile manpa manpo ayi walami oramen uri
snake *wakɨn wakɨn wakɨn wan paruŋ wakɨn ikun
mosquito *naŋgun naŋkun yaŋkun naŋgun wawarɨn nauk nangɨt
ground *andi anti anti nɨŋkrump andi agin andin
feces *mɨndi mɨlɨm mɨnti muɲjar mɨndi mɨndɨn mɨndɨ
hear *and- andɨ andu andɨ andɨ dɨn nda
hit *di tupul kurar dɨɨ ti di nɨŋ
eat *am(b) am(b) am(b) am(b) am(b) mɨn ma
go *wa wa kuria kal wa on wa
come *ya ya kurapia ya ya ya ya
sit *sa tay sa nda sa nda
big *kupa kɨpa kupa wupa kupa apo kapu
cold *sarV- tarɨk sarɨk saruk popant sarapakin

For comparisons with the language isolate Tayap, see Tayap language#Classification.

Footnotes

  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Lower Sepik". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ NewGuineaWorld - Lower Sepik River
  3. ^ Foley, William A. (2018). "The Languages of the Sepik-Ramu Basin and Environs". In Palmer, Bill (ed.). The Languages and Linguistics of the New Guinea Area: A Comprehensive Guide. The World of Linguistics. 4. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 197–432. ISBN 978-3-11-028642-7.
  4. ^ Lower Sepik River, New Guinea World
  5. ^ a b c Foley, William A. (2005). "Linguistic prehistory in the Sepik-Ramu basin". 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. 109–144. ISBN 0858835622. OCLC 67292782.

Further reading

  • Proto-Lower-Sepik. TransNewGuinea.org. From (1) Foley, W.A. 1986. The Papuan languages of New Guinea, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ; (2) Foley, W.A. 1986. The Papuan languages of New Guinea, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

References

  • 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.
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