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South Bougainville languages

South Bougainville
East Bougainville
Bougainville Island
Linguistic classificationOne of the world's primary language families
  • Buin
  • Nasioi
Solomons language families.png
Language families of the Solomon Islands.
  South Bougainville

The South or East Bougainville languages are a small language family spoken on the island of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea. They were classified as East Papuan languages by Wurm, but this does not now seem tenable, and was abandoned in Ethnologue (2009).

The languages include a closely related group called Nasioi and three more divergent languages tentatively classified together under the name Buin:


Ross reconstructed three pronoun paradigms for proto-South Bougainville, free forms plus agentive and patientive (see morphosyntactic alignment) affixes:

I we you s/he, they
free *ni(ŋ) *nee DL
*ni PL
*da SG
*dee DL
*dai PL
*ba SG
*bee DL
*bai PL
patientive *-m *-d *-b
agentive *a *o *i or *e *u
SG: singular; DL: dual; PL: plural

See also


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "South Bougainville". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  • Structural Phylogenetics and the Reconstruction of Ancient Language History. Michael Dunn, Angela Terrill, Ger Reesink, Robert A. Foley, Stephen C. Levinson. Science magazine, 23 Sept. 2005, vol. 309, p 2072.
  • Malcolm Ross (2005). "Pronouns as a preliminary diagnostic for grouping Papuan languages." In: Andrew Pawley, Robert Attenborough, Robin Hide and Jack Golson, eds, Papuan pasts: cultural, linguistic and biological histories of Papuan-speaking peoples, 15-66. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.