Dagan languages

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Southeastern peninsula of New Guinea
Linguistic classification Trans–New Guinea
  • Dagan
Glottolog daga1274[1]

The Dagan languages are a small family of Trans–New Guinea (TNG) languages spoken in the "Bird's Tail" (southeastern peninsula) of New Guinea, the easternmost Papuan languages on the mainland. They are sometimes included in a speculative Southeast Papuan branch of Trans–New Guinea (TNG), but the Southeast Papuan families have not been shown to be any more closely related to each other than they are to other TNG families.

The languages are:

Daga, Mapena, Maiwa, Dima (Jimajima), Ginuman, Kanasi (Sona), Onjob, Umanakaina (Gwedena), and the nearly extinct Turaka.

Although clearly related, they are not particularly close. The closest language to Umanakaina, for example, is Ginuman, which is only 23% lexically similar. Pronouns are:

sg pl
1 *na *nu
2 *ga *ya
3 *me, *-e *m[a]u


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Dagan". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  • Ross, Malcolm (2005). "Pronouns as a preliminary diagnostic for grouping Papuan languages". In Andrew Pawley; Robert Attenborough; Robin Hide; Jack Golson. Papuan pasts: cultural, linguistic and biological histories of Papuan-speaking peoples. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. pp. 15–66. ISBN 0858835622. OCLC 67292782.