Bayono-Awbono language

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RegionPapua Province, Indonesia
Native speakers
200 (1999)[1]
Trans–New Guinea or unclassified
  • Central West New Guinea
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
byl – Bayono
awh – Awbono

Bayono, Awbono, and Densar constitute a recently discovered dialect cluster spoken in Indonesian Papua Province south of the Somahai languages. All that is known of them are a few hundred words recorded in first-contact situations recorded in Wilbrink (2004) and Hischier (2006). Noting insufficient evidence, Pawley and Hammarström (2018) leave it as unclassified rather than as part of Trans-New Guinea.[3] Timothy Usher finds enough evidence to classify them within the Greater Awyu (Digul River) family.[4]


The pronouns demonstrate resemblances to the neighboring Ok and Greater Awyu languages, and the pronouns are consistent with Bayono-Awbono belonging to the Trans–New Guinea family:

Dialect 1sg 2sg
Awbono ɡu
Bayono ne ɡwe
proto-Awyu–Dumut *nu-p *gu-p
proto-Ok *na- *ka-b-/*ku-b-
proto-TNG *na *ga


  1. ^ Bayono at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Awbono at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Bayono–Awbono". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Pawley, Andrew; Hammarström, Harald (2018). "The Trans New Guinea family". 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. 21–196. ISBN 978-3-11-028642-7.
  4. ^ [1]

Further reading[edit]

  • Phyllis Hischier (2006). Exploration of the Remote Kopayap and Urajin Areas in West Papua, Indonesia: A First Contact in Kopayap and Urajin. Manuscript.
  • Ans Wilbrink (2004). The Kopkaka of Papua: Provisional notes on their language, its language affiliation and on the Kopkaka culture. MA thesis, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.