Wiru language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Native toPapua New Guinea
RegionIalibu-Pangia District,
Southern Highlands Province
Native speakers
(15,300 cited 1967, repeated 1981)[1]
Papuan Gulf ?
  • Teberan–Pawaian[2]
    • Wiru
Language codes
ISO 639-3wiu
Wiru language.svg
Map: The Wiru language of New Guinea
  The Wiru language
  Trans–New Guinea languages
  Other Papuan languages
  Austronesian languages

Wiru or Witu is the language spoken by the Wiru people of Ialibu-Pangia District of the Southern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea.

There are a considerable number of resemblances with the Engan languages, suggesting Wiru might be a member of that family, but language contact has not been ruled out as the reason. Usher classifies it with the Teberan languages.


Trans–New Guinea–like pronouns are no 1sg (< *na) and ki-wi 2pl, ki-ta 2du (< *ki).


Wiru reflexes of proto-Trans-New Guinea (pTNG) etyma are:[4]

  • ibi(ni) ‘name’ < *imbi
  • nomo ‘louse’ < *niman
  • laga ‘ashes’ < *la(ŋg,k)a
  • tokene ‘moon’ < *takVn[V]
  • mane ‘instructions, incantations’ < *mana
  • keda ‘heavy’ < *ke(nd,n)a
  • mo- ‘negative prefix’ < *ma-


  1. ^ Wiru at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ New Guinea World, Tua River
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Wiru". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. ^ Pawley, Andrew; Hammarström, Harald (2018). "The Trans New Guinea family". 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. 21–196. ISBN 978-3-11-028642-7.

Further reading[edit]