Morehead and Upper Maro River languages
|Morehead and Upper Maro Rivers|
|Linguistic classification:||Trans-Fly – Bulaka River ?
Map: The Morehead and Upper Maro River languages of New Guinea
Morehead & Upper Maro River languages
Trans–New Guinea languages
Other Papuan languages
The Morehead and Upper Maro River languages are a family of Papuan languages. They include many of the languages south and west of the Fly River in Papua New Guinea and Indonesian West Papua. The name was locating the languages between the Morehead and Maro rivers. As this name leaves out the Nambu subgroup whose languages are spoken east of the Morehead, these languages are now referred to as the Yam languages. The term stems from a number of linguistic and cultural items of significance. yam is the word in Kómnzo and Nen for "custom, tradition". ym or yem is a cognate for the 3 Singular of "to be". Yam tubers are the local staple and it cultural importance cannot be overstated.
Ross (2005) tentatively includes the Yam languages in the proposed Trans-Fly – Bulaka River family. More recently (Evans 2012) has argued that this is not justified and more data has to be gathered.
| Morehead –
The pronouns Ross reconstructs for the family are,
- Proto–Morehead – Upper Maro
I/we *ni you *bu s/he/they *be
- 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.
- Evans, Nicholas (2012). "Even more diverse than we had thought: The multiplicity of Trans-Fly languages". LD&C Special Publication (University of Hawai'i Press) 5: 109–149.