Kwalean languages

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Southeastern peninsula of New Guinea
Linguistic classification: Trans–New Guinea
  • Kwalean
Glottolog: kwal1257[1]

The Kwalean languages are a small family of Trans–New Guinea languages spoken in the "Bird's Tail" (southeastern peninsula) of New Guinea. 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 HumeneUare (Kwale), Mulaha (extinct).

Humene and Uare are quite close (70% basic vocabulary), Mulaha more distant (22% with Uare).

Pronouns are as follows:

sg pl
1 ?
2 *ɣa, *a *ya, *-ya
3 *ani, *e


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Kwalean". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: 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.