Mufian language

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Southern Arapesh
Native to Papua New Guinea
Region East Sepik Province
Native speakers
11,000 (1998)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 aoj
Glottolog mufi1238[2]

Mufian (Muhian, Muhiang), or Southern Arapesh, is an Arapesh language (Torricelli) of Papua New Guinea. Dialects are Supari, Balif, Filifita (Ilahita), Iwam-Nagalemb, Nagipaem; Filifita speakers are half the population, at 6,000 in 1999.[1]

Noun classes[edit]

There are 17 classes for count nouns in Mufian, plus two extra classes, i.e. proper names and place names. Noun classes are expressed in noun suffixes, adjective suffixes, and verb prefixes.

Some examples of Mufian noun classes:

Class Example Sg. Noun Suffix Sg. Adjective Suffix Sg. Verb Prefix Pl. Noun Suffix Pl. Adjective Suffix Pl. Verb Prefix
Class 1 bol (sg.), bongof (pl.), pig -l -li l- -ngof -ngufi f-
Class 2 éngel (sg.), angof (pl.), name -ngél -ngili g- -ngof -ngufi f-
Class 3 nalof (sg.), nalelef (pl,), tooth -f -fi f- -lef -lefi f-
Class 4 lowaf (sg.), lu'ongof (pl.), clothes -f -fi f- -nguf -fi f-
Class 5 batéwin (sg.), batéwis (pl.), child -n -ni n- -s -si s-
Class 6 alupini (sg.), alupisi (pl.), friend -ni -ni n- -si -si s-
Class 7 nombat (sg.), nombangw (pl.), dog -t, -ta -tei t- -ngw -ngwi gw-
Class 8 nemata'w (sg.), nematawa (pl.), woman -'w -kwi kw- -wa -wei w-
Class 9 nam (sg.), naep (pl), eye -m -mi m- -p -pi p-
Class 10 lawang (sg.), lawah (pl.), tree -g, -ga -gwei g- -h -ngéhi h-
Class 11 bemb (sg.), bembeh (pl.), betel nut -b -mbi b- -h -mbihi h-
Class 12 nongwatop (sg.), nongwatoh (pl.), knife -p -pi p- -h -hi h-
Class 13 wambel (sg.), walemb (pl.), village -mbel -mbili b- -lemb -lembi b-
Class 14 mai'una (sg.), ma'unamb (pl.), pigeon -a -ni n- -amb -mbi b-
Class 15 usin (sg.), usimb (pl.), crested pigeon -n -ni n- -b -mbi b-
Class 16 aman (sg.), amam (pl.), man -n -nei n- -m -mi m-
Class 17 kos (sg.), kos (pl.), course -s -si s- -s -si s-

There are a few irregularities in these noun classes.[3]

Sound System[edit]

Consonant Phonemes of Mufian[4]
Labial Alveolar Velar Glottal
labialized plain labialized plain
Nasal m n
Stop p b t d ɡʷ k ɡ ʔʷ ʔ
Fricative f s h
Approximant w l
Vowel Phonemes of Mufian
Front Central Back
High i   u
Mid e ə o
Low æ a  

External links[edit]

  • Paradisec has a collection of materials with Don Laycock (DL1) that includes Mufian materials


  1. ^ a b Mufian at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Mufian". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ [1] "Some Muhiang Grammatical Notes" by J. Alungum, R. J. Conrad, and J. Lukas
  4. ^ [2] "Mufian Organised Phonology Data" by R. J. Conrad