Nor–Pondo languages

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Lower Sepik
New Guinea
Linguistic classification Ramu–Lower Sepik
  • Nor–Pondo
Glottolog lowe1423[1]

The Nor–Pondo a.k.a. Lower Sepik languages are a small language family of northern Papua New Guinea. They were identified as a family by K Laumann in 1951 under the name Nor–Pondo, and included in Donald Laycock's now-defunct 1973 Sepik–Ramu family. Malcolm Ross (2005) broke up the Nor branch and thus renamed the family Lower Sepik; he classifies it as one branch of a Ramu–Lower Sepik language family. Ethnologue (2009) keeps Nor together but breaks up Pondo.


 Lower Sepik 
 Nor family (?) 



 Pondo family (?) 


Karawari (Tabriak), Yimas


Ross (2005) notes Murik does not share the /p/s characteristic of the first- and second-person pronouns of Kopar and the Pondo languages, so the latter may form a group: Murik vs Kopar–Pondo. Foley (2005) tentatively proposes that Chambri and Angoram may be primary branches: Nor, Chambari, Karawari–Yimas, Angoram.


The pronouns reconstructed for the proto-language are,

Proto–Lower Sepik (Ross)
I *ama we two *ka-i, *ka-pia we few *(p)a-ŋk-i-t we all *a-i, *a-pia, *i-pi
thou *nɨmi you two *ka-u, *ka-pua you few *(p)a-ŋk-u-t you all *a-u, *a-pu, *i-pu(a)
s/he *mɨn they two *mɨnɨmp ? (M),
*mpɨ ? (F)
they few *mɨŋkɨ-t they all *mump (M),
*pum (F)
Proto-Nor–Pondo (Foley)
we two *ka-i, *ka-pa-i we few *(pa)ŋk-it we all *a-i, *a-pa-i, *(y)i-i, *(y)i-pa-i
you two *ka-u, *ka-pa-u you few *(pa)ŋk-ut you all *a-u, *a-pa-u, *(y)i-u, *(y)i-pa-u
they two  ? they few *mɨŋkɨ they all *mump ?


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Lower Sepik". 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.