The Yuat languages are an independent family of five Papuan languages spoken along the Yuat River in East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. They are an independent family in the classification of Malcolm Ross, but are included in Stephen Wurm's Sepik–Ramu proposal. However, Foley and Ross could find no lexical or morphological evidence that they are related to the Sepik or Ramu languages.
Yuat languages distinguish inclusive and exclusive first person pronouns, a feature not found in most other Papuan languages. This tyopological feature has also diffused from Yuat into the Grass languages, which are spoken contiguously to the Yuat languages.
Yuat grammar and phonology are similar to those of the neighboring Ramu languages. Yuat verbal morphology is relatively simple.:230
Yuat languages are accusative, unlike many other Papuan languages, e.g., Trans New Guinea, East Cenderawasih Bay, Lakes Plain, South Bougainville, which are all ergative.
Word order in Yuat languages, like in the Yawa languages, is rigidly SOV, whereas in many other Papuan families, OSV word order is often permitted (as long as the verb is final).:920
^ abcdeFoley, 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. ISBN978-3-11-028642-7.
^ abFoley, William A. (2018). "The morphosyntactic typology of Papuan languages". 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. 895–938. ISBN978-3-11-028642-7.
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. ISBN0858835622. OCLC67292782.