South Halmahera–West New Guinea languages

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South Halmahera–West New Guinea
Geographic
distribution
The Maluku Islands in the Halmahera Sea, and the region of Cenderawasih Bay
Linguistic classification Austronesian
Subdivisions
Glottolog sout2850[1]
{{{mapalt}}}
The South Halmahera–West New Guinea languages (red). The group at left is the Halmahera Sea languages; the one at right is the Cenderawasih Bay. (The black line is the Wallace Line.)

The South Halmahera–West New Guinea (SHWNG) languages are a branch of the Malayo-Polynesian languages, found in the islands and along the shores of the Halmahera Sea in the Indonesian province of North Maluku and of Cenderawasih Bay in the provinces of Papua and West Papua.

The unity of the South Halmahera–West New Guinea subgroup is well supported by lexical and phonological evidence. Blust (1978) has proposed that they are most closely related to the Oceanic languages, but this classification is not universally accepted.[2]

Most of the languages are only known from short word lists, but Buli on Halmahera, and Biak and Waropen in Cenderawasih Bay, are fairly well attested.

Classification[edit]

The traditional classification of the languages is into two geographic groups:

However, the unity of the South Halmahera and Raja Ampat languages is supported by phonological changes noted in Blust 1978 and by Bert Remijsen, the principal researcher of the Raja Ampat languages. This results in the following structure:[3]

  • Cenderawasih Bay
  • Halmahera Sea (South Halmahera, in the sea between Halmahera and New Guinea, and Raja Ampat off the western tip of New Guinea)

David Kamholz (2014) brings in or separates a few more languages as additional branches:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "South Halmahera–West New Guinea". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  2. ^ Blust, R. (1978). "Eastern Malayo-Polynesian: A Subgrouping Argument". In Wurm, S.A. & Carrington, L. (eds.) Second International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics: Proceedings, pp. 181-234. Canberra: Australian National University. (Pacific Linguistics C-61).
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Raja Ampat–South Halmahera". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.