Bosavi languages

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Papuan Plateau
Papua New Guinea
Linguistic classificationTrans–New Guinea
  • Bosavi
Bosavi languages.svg
Map: The Bosavi languages of New Guinea
  The Bosavi languages
  Other Trans–New Guinea languages
  Other Papuan languages
  Austronesian languages

The Bosavi languages are a family of the Trans–New Guinea languages in the classification of Malcolm Ross. The unity of the Bosavi branch (constituting the Strickland Plain / East Strickland, Papuan Plateau, and Bosavi Watershed groups) has been quantitatively demonstrated by Evans and Greenhill (2017).[2]

The family is named after Mount Bosavi.

External relationships[edit]

Dibiyaso (Bainapi) is lexically similar, but this appears to be due to loans. The nearly extinct Turumsa language was added by Ethnologue 16, though it has more vocabulary in common with the unclassified Doso language.


The languages, which are closely related (though they may have only 10–15% of their vocabulary in common), are:


Pronouns are:

sg pl
1 *na *ni-
2 *ga *gi-
3 *ya *yi-


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Bosavi". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Evans, Bethwyn; Greenhill, Simon (2017). "A combined comparative and phylogenetic analysis of the Bosavi and East Strickland languages" (PDF). 4th Workshop on the Languages of Papua. Universitas Negeri Papua, Manokwari, West Papua, Indonesia.
  • 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.