Kainantu–Goroka languages

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East Highlands
highlands of Papua New Guinea
Linguistic classification: Trans–New Guinea
  • Kainantu–Goroka
Glottolog: kain1273[1]
Map: The Kainantu–Goroka languages of New Guinea
  The Kainantu–Goroka languages
  Other Trans–New Guinea languages
  Other Papuan languages
  Austronesian languages

The Kainantu–Goroka language are a family of Papuan languages established by Arthur Capell in 1948 under the name East Highlands. They formed the core of Stephen Wurm's 1960 East New Guinea Highlands family (the precursor of Trans–New Guinea), and are one of the larger branches of Trans–New Guinea in the 2005 classification of Malcolm Ross.


The constituent Kainantu and Goroka families are clearly valid groups, and William A. Foley considers their TNG identity to be established. However, the internal classification is merely impressionistic.

The pronouns reconstructed for proto-Kainantu–Goroka, proto-Kainantu, and proto-Goroka are as follows:

sg pl
1 *ná *tá[za]
2 *ká[za] *tá-na-
3 *[y]á, *wá *yá[na]
sg du pl
1 *né *té[ze]- *té[ze]
2 *é[ze] *[te]né-
3 *wé
sg pl
1 *ná *tá[za]
2 *ká *tá-na-gaza, *tí-na-gaza
3 *[y]á *[y]á-na-gaza, *í-na-gaza

The possessive forms are:

sg pl
1 *na-i *ta-i
2 *ka *tana-i
3 *[y]a, *wa *ya-i, *yana-i

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Kainantu–Goroka". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 


  • 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.