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Pawaia language

RegionPapua New Guinea
Native speakers
(4,000 cited 1991)[1]
  • Aurama (Turoha, Uri)
  • Hauruha
Language codes
ISO 639-3pwa
Pawaia language.svg
Map: The Pawaia language of New Guinea
  The Pawaia language
  Trans–New Guinea languages
  Other Papuan languages
  Austronesian languages

Pawaia, also known as Sira, Tudahwe, Yasa, is a Papuan language that forms a tentative independent branch of the Trans–New Guinea family in the classification of Malcolm Ross (2005).


Pawaia is spoken in:[4]


Although Pawaia has reflexes of proto-Trans–New Guinea vocabulary, Ross considers its inclusion questionable on available evidence. Usher classifies it instead with the Teberan languages. Noting insufficient evidence, Pawley and Hammarström (2018) leave it as unclassified rather than as part of Trans-New Guinea.[6]

Pawley and Hammarström (2018) do not consider there to be sufficient evidence for Pawaia to be classified as part of Trans-New Guinea, though they do note the following lexical resemblances between Pawaia and proto-Trans-New Guinea.[6]

  • emi ‘breast’ < *amu
  • in ‘tree’ < *inda
  • su ‘tooth’ < *(s,t)i(s,t)i


  1. ^ Pawaia at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ New Guinea World, Tua River
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Pawaia". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. ^ Eberhard, David M.; Simons, Gary F.; Fennig, Charles D., eds. (2019). "Papua New Guinea languages". Ethnologue: Languages of the World (22nd ed.). Dallas: SIL International.
  5. ^ Oroi is next to Kaiau and is located in Central Province, Papua New Guinea.
  6. ^ a b Pawley, Andrew; Hammarström, Harald (2018). "The Trans New Guinea family". 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. 21–196. ISBN 978-3-11-028642-7.
  • 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.

External links

  • Timothy Usher, New Guinea World, Pawaia
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