|Native speakers||2,000 (date missing)|
Isirawa is a Papuan language spoken by about two thousand people on the north coast of Papua province, Indonesia. It's a local trade language, and use is vigorous. Stephen Wurm (1975) linked it to the Kwerba languages within the Trans–New Guinea family, and it does share about 20% of its vocabulary with neighboring Kwerba languages. However, based on its pronouns, Malcolm Ross (2005) felt he could not substantiate such a link, and left it as a language isolate. The pronouns are not, however, dissimilar from those of Orya–Tor, which Ross links to Kwerba, and Donahue (2002) accept it as a Greater Kwerba language.
The Isirawa pronouns are,
I a-, e we nen-, ne you o-, mə all third person e-, maə, ce, pe
Ross's reconstructed Orya–Tor pronouns are *ai 'I', *ne 'we' (inclusive), *emei 'thou', *em 'you'.
- Clouse, Duane, Mark Donohue and Felix Ma. 2002. "Survey report of the north coast of Irian Jaya."
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