Rai Coast languages

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Rai Coast
New Guinea
Linguistic classification Trans–New Guinea?
  • Madang
    • Rai Coast–Kalam
      • Rai Coast
Glottolog raic1241[1]

The Rai Coast languages are a family of languages in the Madang stock of New Guinea.

Sidney Herbert Ray identified what was then known of the Rai Coast languages as a unit in 1919. They were linked with the Mabuso languages in 1951 by Arthur Capell in his Madang family.


Though the validity of Rai Coast is well established, there are ongoing adjustments to membership and internal classification. Malcolm Ross added two languages to Rai Coast, Tauya and Biyom, from the small erstwhile Brahman branch of Madang. He classifies the Kalam languages as the closest relatives of Rai Coast, and suggests that they may actually be an additional branch of the family.

Unclassified within Rai Coast are Wasembo, Biyom, and Tauya.

Ross (2000, 2005) reconstructs pronouns for proto-Sub-Rai, which is more-or-less synonymous with Rai Coast as a whole, proto-Mindjim, proto-Yaganon, and proto-Kow–Usino.


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