Tor–Kwerba languages

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New Guinea
Linguistic classificationNorth Papuan?

The Tor–Kwerba languages are a family of Papuan languages. All the languages had been part of Stephen Wurm's 1975 Trans–New Guinea proposal, but he did not recognize them as a unit, retaining Kwerba within Capell's 1962 Dani–Kwerba proposal.


Tor–Kwerba makes up the western branch of Usher's North Papuan family,[1] but Foley (2018) recognizes Tor-Kwerba as an independent language family.


Typological overview[edit]

Even though grammatical gender is present in Tor-Kwerba languages, there is no overt gender marking on nouns.[2]


Reconstructed proto-Tor-Kwerba independent pronouns are:[2]

sg pl
1 *ati ~ *ait *ne(n)
2 *ame


Reconstructed proto-Tor-Kwerba words that are widely distributed throughout the family:[2]

  • *nukwe ‘eye’
  • *tVn ‘leg’
  • *nen ‘louse’
  • *uŋis ‘sky’
  • *ti ~ *it ‘tree’


  1. ^ NewGuineaWord North New Guinea
  2. ^ a b c Foley, William A. (2018). "The languages of Northwest New Guinea". In Palmer, Bill (ed.). The Languages and Linguistics of the New Guinea Area: A Comprehensive Guide. The World of Linguistics. 4. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 433–568. ISBN 978-3-11-028642-7.
  • Ross, Malcolm (2005). "Pronouns as a preliminary diagnostic for grouping Papuan languages". In Andrew Pawley; Robert Attenborough; Robin Hide; Jack Golson (eds.). Papuan pasts: cultural, linguistic and biological histories of Papuan-speaking peoples. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. pp. 15–66. ISBN 0858835622. OCLC 67292782.

External links[edit]