|Linguistic classification:||Trans–New Guinea ?
Map: The Kiwaian languages of New Guinea
The Kiwaian languages
Other Trans–New Guinea languages
Other Papuan languages
The Kiwaian languages form a branch of the Trans–New Guinea language family of New Guinea. They are a dialect cluster of half a dozen closely related languages. They are grammatically divergent from other Trans–New Guinea languages, and typically have singular, dual, trial, and plural pronouns.
sg pl 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.
- 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.
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