Sumeri language

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Tanah Merah
Region West Papua
Native speakers
(500 cited 1978)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 tcm
Glottolog tana1288[2]
Tanah Merah language.svg
Map: The Sumeri language of New Guinea
  The Sumeri language
  Other Trans–New Guinea languages
  Other Papuan languages
  Austronesian languages

Sumeri or Sumerine (one of two Papuan languages also known as Tanah Merah) is a language spoken on the Bomberai Peninsula by about a thousand people.


In the classification of Malcolm Ross (2005), Sumeri forms an independent branch of the Trans–New Guinea family. It has also been linked to the Mairasi languages, but those do not share the TNG pronouns of Sumeri. The pronouns are:

sg pl
1ex na-fea kiria
1in kigokomaka
2 ka-fea ki-fia

There are no 3rd-person personal pronouns, only demonstratives. The pronouns appear to reflect pTNG *na 1sg, *ga 2sg, and *gi 2pl.

See also[edit]


  • 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. 


  1. ^ Sumeri at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Tanahmerah". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.