Kiwaian languages

New Guinea
Linguistic classification a primary language family
Glottolog kiwa1251[1]
Map: The Kiwaian languages of New Guinea
  The Kiwaian languages
  Other Trans–New Guinea languages
  Other Papuan languages
  Austronesian languages

The Kiwaian languages form a language family of New Guinea. They are a dialect cluster of half a dozen closely related languages.[2] They are grammatically divergent from the Trans–New Guinea languages, and typically have singular, dual, trial, and plural pronouns.


Pronouns are,

1 *mo['o]*nimo
2 *[o]ro*nigo
3 *nou*nei

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.


  1. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kiwaian". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

  • Ross, Malcolm (2005). "Pronouns as a preliminary diagnostic for grouping Papuan languages". In Andrew Pawley; Robert Attenborough; Robin Hide; Jack Golson. Papuan pasts: cultural, linguistic and biological histories of Papuan-speaking peoples. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. pp. 1566. ISBN 0858835622. OCLC 67292782. 

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