Trans-New Guinea languages


Trans-New Guinea languages

Infobox Language family
name = Trans–New Guinea
region = New Guinea, Nusa Tenggara, Maluku Islands
family = hypothetical language family of Papuan languages.
familycolor = Papuan
child1 = Angan
Awin-Pa
Binanderean
Bosavi
child2 = Central and South New Guinea (several branches)
child3 = Chimbu-Wahgi
"Damal (Uhunduni)"
"Dem"
Duna-Pogaya
child4 = East Strickland
Eleman
Engan
Finisterre-Huon
child5 = Gogodala-Suki
? Goilalan
Inland Gulf
Kainantu-Goroka
child6 = "Kamula"
? Kaure-Kapori
Kayagar
Kiwai-Porome
child7 = Kolopom
East Kutubu
West Kutubu
Madang
child8 = Marind
Mek
"Mor"
"Moraori"
child9 = "Oksapmin"
? Pauwasi
"Pawaia"
South Bird's Head
child10 = Southeast Papuan (several branches)
child11 = "Tanah Merah"
? Teberan
Tirio
Turama-Kikorian
child12 = West Trans–New Guinea linkage (several branches)
child13 = "Wiru"
iso2=—

Trans–New Guinea (TNG) is a hypothetical family of Papuan languages spoken in New Guinea and neighboring islands. There have been three main versions of the proposed family.

History of the proposal

Although Papuan languages for the most part are poorly documented, several of the branches of Trans–New Guinea have been recognized for some time. The Eleman languages were first proposed by S. Ray in 1907, parts of Marind were recognized by Ray and JHP Murray in 1918, and the Rai Coast languages in 1919, again by Ray.

The original Trans–New Guinea proposal was published in 1970 by C. L. Voorhoeve and Kenneth McElhanon. They noted 91 lexical resemblances between the Finisterre–Huon languages and the Central and South New Guinea languages. Although they did not work out regular sound correspondences, and so could not distinguish between cognates due to genealogical relationship, cognates due to borrowing, and chance resemblances, their research was taken seriously. The name "Trans–New Guinea" was chosen because this new family was the first to cover large areas of eastern New Guinea.

Then in 1975 Stephen Wurm expanded TNG into an enormous language phylum that covered most of the island of New Guinea, as well as Timor and neighboring islands, and included over 500 languages spoken by some 2 300 000 people. However, part of the evidence for this revision was typological, and Wurm stated that he did not expect it to stand up well to scrutiny. Although he based the phylum on characteristic personal pronouns, several of the branches had no pronouns in common with the rest of the family, or even had pronouns related to non-TNG families, but were included because they were grammatically similar to TNG. Other families which had typical TNG pronouns were excluded because they did not resemble other TNG families in their grammatical structure.

Because grammatical typology is readily borrowed — many of the Austronesian languages in New Guinea have grammatical structures similar to their Papuan neighbors, for example, and conversely many Papuan languages resemble typical Austronesian languages typologically, — later linguists such as William Foley rejected Wurm's results, and broke TNG into its constituent parts: several dozen small but clearly valid families, plus a number of apparent isolates

In 2005 Malcolm Ross published a draft proposal re-evaluating Trans–New Guinea, and found what he believed to be overwhelming evidence for a reduced version of the phylum, based solely on lexical resemblances, which retained as much as 85% of Wurm's hypothesis.

The strongest lexical evidence for any language family is shared morphological paradigms. For example, if the only recorded German words were "gut" "good" and "besser" "better", that alone would be enough to demonstrate that in all probability German is related to English. However, because of the great morphological complexity of many Papuan languages, and the poor state of documentation of nearly all, in New Guinea this approach is essentially restricted to comparing pronouns. Ross reconstructed pronouns sets for Foley's basic families and compared these reconstructions, rather than using a direct mass comparison of all Papuan languages; attempted to then reconstruct the ancestral pronouns of the proto–Trans–New Guinea language, such as "*ni" "we", "*ŋgi" "you", "*i" "they"; and then compared poorly supported branches directly to this reconstruction. Families required at least two apparent cognates to be included.

Ross also included in his proposal several better-attested families for non-pronominal evidence, despite a lack of pronouns common to other branches of TNG, and he suggested that there may be other families that would have been included if they had been better attested. Several additional families are only tentatively linked to TNG. Note also that because the boundaries of Ross's proposal is based primarily on a single parameter, pronouns, all internal structure remains tentative.

The languages

Most TNG languages are spoken by only a few thousand people, with only four (Melpa, Enga, Western Dani, and Ekari) being spoken by more than 100,000. The most populous language outside of mainland New Guinea is Makasai on Timor, with 70,000.

The greatest linguistic diversity in Ross's Trans–New Guinea proposal, and therefore perhaps the location of the proto–Trans–New Guinea homeland, is in the interior highlands of Papua New Guinea, in the central-to-eastern New Guinea cordillera. Indonesian Papua and the southeastern peninsula of New Guinea (the "bird's tail") have fewer and more widely extended branches of TNG, and were therefore likely settled by TNG speakers after the protolanguage broke up. Ross speculates that the TNG family may have spread with the high population densities that resulted from the domestication of taro, settling quickly in the highland valleys along the length of the cordillera but spreading much more slowly into the malarial lowlands, and not at all into areas such as the Sepik River valley where the people already had yam agriculture and thus supported high population densities. Ross suggests that TNG may have arrived at its western limit, the islands near Timor, perhaps four to 4.5 thousand years ago, before the expansion of Austronesian into this area.

Classification

Wurm's TNG

An updated version of Wurm's 1975 classification can be found at Ethnologue [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_family.asp?subid=89879 here] . Wurm identifies the subdivisions of his Papuan classification as "families" (on the order of relatedness of the Germanic languages), "stocks" (on the order of the Indo-European languages), and "phyla" (on the order of the Afro-Asiatic languages). Trans–New Guinea is a phylum in this terminology. A language that is not related to any other at a family level or below is called an isolate in this scheme.

Ross' TNG

Ross does not use specialized terms for different levels of classification. In the list given here, the uncontroversial families that are accepted by Foley and other Papuanists and which are the building blocks of Ross's TNG are printed in boldface. Language isolates are printed in "italics".

Ross removed about 100 languages from Wurm's proposal, and only tentatively retained a few dozen more, but in one instance he added a language, the erstwhile isolate Porome.

Ross did not have sufficient evidence to classify all Papuan groups. In addition, the lower-level classification of a few of the groups illustrated here are taken from Ethnologue, which is based on Wurm.

;Trans–New Guinea phylum (Ross 2005)

*West Trans–New Guinea linkage [a suspected old dialect continuum. The Irian Highlands families (Dani and Paniai Lakes) appear to belong together, and the Timor and West Bomberai share two probable innovations in their pronouns.]
** West Timor-Alor-Pantar [not well supported as a group]
*** "Adabe" isolate
*** "Bunak" isolate
*** "Kolana" isolate
*** Tanglapui family: Sawila, Kula
*** Alor-Pantar
**** Alor branch: Kamang (Woisika), Abui, Adang, Hamap, Kabola, Kafoa, Kui, Klon,
**** Pantar branch: Blagar, Tewa, Lamma, Nedebang, Retta, Tereweng
** East Timor [perhaps closest to West Bomberai]
*** "Fataluku" isolate
*** "Maku'a (Lovaea)" isolate
*** "Oirata" isolate
*** "Makasai" isolate
** West Bomberai [perhaps closest to East Timor]
*** "Karas" isolate
*** West Bomberai family: Baham, Iha
** Paniai Lakes (Wissel Lakes) family: Wolani, Moni, Ekari, Auye, Dao
** Dani family
*** "Wano" language
*** Dani proper: Hupla, Nggem, Walak, Upper Grand Valley Dani, Lower Grand Valley Dani, Mid Grand Valley Dani, Western Dani
*** Ngalik branch [no data available] : Nduga, Silimo, Ninia Yali, Pass Valley Ninia, Angguruk Ninia

* South Bird's Head (South Doberai) family
** South Bird's Head proper: Barau, Weriagar (Kemberano), Arandai, Kokoda (Tarof), Kais (Kampong Baru), Puragi, Kaburi, Kasuweri
** Inanwatan branch: Duriankere, Suabo (Inanwatan)
** Konda-Yahadian branch: Konda, Yahadian

* "Tanah Merah" isolate

* "Mor" isolate

* "Dem" isolate

* "Damal (Uhunduni)" isolate

* Mek family
** Western branch: Ketengban, Sirkai, Kinome
** Eastern branch: Una (Goliath), Eipomek, Kosarek Yale, Korupun, Dagi, Sisibna, Deibula, Sela, Nalca, Nipsan

* ? Kaure-Kapori [Inclusion in TNG tentative. No pronouns can be reconstructed from the available data.]
** "Kapori" isolate
** Kaure family: Kaure, Kosadle, Narau

* ? Pauwasi family [Inclusion in TNG tentative. No pronouns can be reconstructed from the available data.]
** Eastern Pauwasi branch: Yafi, Emumu
** Western Pauwasi branch: Dubu, Towei

* Kayagar family: Atohwaim (Kaugat), Kayagar (Kaygir), Tamagario

* Kolopom family: Kimaama (Kimaghana), Riantana, Ndom

* "Moraori" isolate

* Kiwai-Porome [TNG identity of pronouns suspect]
** Kiwaian family: Northeastern Kiwai, Arigibi, Southern Kiwai, Bamu, Morigi, Kerewo, Waboda
** "Porome (Kibiri)" isolate

* Marind family
** Boazi branch: Kuni-Boazi, Zimakani
** Marind proper: Bian Marind, Marind
** Yaqay branch: Warkay-Bipim, Yaqay

* Central and South New Guinea (reduced) [Part of the original TNG proposal. Not clear if the pronoun similarities are retentions in separate branches, or shared innovations defining a single branch of TNG. Voorhoeve argues independently for an Awyu-Ok relationship.]
** Asmat-Kamoro family [a recent expansion along the south coast] : Casuarina Coast Asmat, Yaosakor Asmat, Central Asmat, North Asmat, Buruwai (Asienara), Citak, Tamnim Citak, Diuwe, Kamberau (Iria), Kamoro, Sempan
** Awyu-Dumut family:
*** "Sawi (Sawuy)" language
*** Awyu branch: Aghu-Tsakwambo (Kotogut), South Awyu (Siagha), Central Awyu, Jair Awyu, Edera Awyu, Asue Awyu (Pisa), North Awyu
*** Dumut branch: Atas Mandobo (Kaeti), Bawah Mandobo, Kombai, Wambon, Wanggom
*** unclassified: Korowai, North Korowai, Ketum
** Mombum family: Koneraw, Mombum
** Ok family
*** Tangko language
*** Western branch: Burumakok, Kwer, Kopkaka
*** Lowland branch: Iwur, North Muyu (Northern Kati), South Muyu (Southern Kati), Ninggerum, Yonggom
*** Mountain branch: Bimin, Faiwol, Kauwol, Mian, Nakai, Setaman, Suganga, Ngalum, Tifal, Telefol, Urapmin

* "Oksapmin" isolate

* Gogodala-Suki family
** "Suki" language
** Gogodala branch: Gogodala, Ari, Waruna

* Tirio family: Tirio (Makayam, Aturu), Bitur (Mutum), Baramu, Were

* Eleman family
** ? "Purari isolate"
** "Kaki Ae (Tate) isolate" (links Eleman proper with TNG)
** Eleman proper: Keuru, Opao, Orokolo, Toaripi, Tairuma (Uaripi)

* Inland Gulf family
** "Ipiko language" (quite distinct)
** Minanibai branch: Minanibai, Tao, Mubami, Karami, Mahigi

* Turama-Kikorian family
** "Rumu (Kairi)" isolate (links Turuma to TNG)
** Turama branch: Omati, Ikobi, Mena)

* ? Teberan family [inclusion in TNG tentative] : Dadibi, Folopa (Podopa)

* "Pawaia" isolate [has proto–TNG vocabulary, but inclusion questionable]

* Angan family:
** "Angaatiha language"
** Angan proper
***A (pronouns "ni, ti):" Hamtai (Kapau), Kamasa, Kawatsa, Menya, Yagwoia
***B: Akoye (Lohiki), Baruya, Safeyoka, Simbari, Susuami, Tainae (Ivori)

* West Kutubu family [has proto–TNG vocabulary, but inclusion somewhat questionable] : Fasu, Some, Namumi

* East Kutubu family [has proto–TNG vocabulary, but inclusion somewhat questionable] : Fiwaga, Foe

* Duna-Pogaya family: Bogaya, Duna

* Awin-Pa family: Aekyowm (Awin), Pare (Pa)

* East Strickland family: Fembe (Agala), Gobasi (Nomad), Kubo, Odoodee (Tomu), Konai, Samo

* Bosavi family: Aimele (Kware), Kaluli, Beami, Dibiyaso (Bainapi), Edolo, Kasua, Onobasulu, Sonia

* "Kamula" isolate

* Engan family
** North Engan: Enga, Ipili, Lembena, Bisorio (Iniai)
** Sount Engan: Huli, Angal, Samberigi (Sau), Kewa, Mendi

* "Wiru" isolate (lexical similarities with Engan)

* Chimbu-Wahgi family [not Ross's classification]
** Chimbu branch: Chuave, Dom, Golin, Kuman, Nomane, Salt-Yui, Sinasina
** Hagen branch
*** Melpa (Medlpa) language
*** Kaugel languages: Imbo Ungu, Mbo-Ung, Umbu-Ungu
** Jimi branch: Maring, Narak, Kandawo
** Wahgi branch: Nii, Wahgi, North Wahgi

* Kainantu-Goroka [also known as East Highlands; first noticed by Capell 1948]
** Goroka family
*** "Isabi" language
*** "Gende" language
*** Gahuku branch: Dano (Upper Asaro), Alekano (Gahuku), Tokano (Lower Asaro)
*** Siane branch: Siane, Yaweyuha
*** South Goroka linkage
**** "Benabena" language
**** Fore branch: Fore, Gimi
**** Kamono-Yagaria branch: Kamono, Kanite, Ke’yagana, Yagaria
** Kainantu family
*** Binumarien
*** Tairoa
*** Waffa
*** Gauwa branch: Agarabi, Awiyaana, Awa, Gadsup, Usarufa

* Madang
** Southern Adelbert Range–Kowan
*** Kowan family: Korak, Waskia
*** Southern Adelbert Range
**** Josephstaal
***** "Osum (Utarmbung)" isolate
***** "Wadaginam" isolate
***** Sikan family: Mum (Katiati), Sileibi
***** Pomoikan family: Anam (Pondoma), Anamgura (Ikundun), Moresada
**** Wanang
***** "Paynamar" isolate
***** Atan family: Atemble, Nend (Angaua)
***** Emuan family: Apali (Emerum), Musak
**** "Faita" isolate
** Rai Coast–Kalam
*** Rai Coast family
**** Mindjim branch: Anjam (Bom), Bongu, Male, Pulabu , Sam (Songum)
**** Yaganon branch: Ganglau, Saep, Yabong
**** Kow-Usino: Asas, Sinsauru, Sop (Usino)
**** Erima-Duduela: Duduela, Ogea (Erima)
**** "Jilim"
**** "Wasembo"
**** Sub-Rai [includes much of the old Brahman family] : Arawum, Biyom, Danaru, Dumpu, Kesawai, Kolom, Kwato, Lemio, Rerau, Sausi, Siroi, Sumau, Tauya, Urigina, Uya (Usu), Yangulam
*** Kalam family (perhaps part of Rai Coast): Gants, Kalam-Kobon, Tai
** Croisilles linkage (few branches retain traditional families)
***Dimir-Malas: Dimir, Malas
***Kaukombar: Bargam (Mugil), Mala (Pay), Miani (Tani), Maia (Pila, Saki)
***Kumil: Brem (Bunabun), Bepour, Mauwake (Ulingan), Moere, Musar
***Tibor-Omosa: Pal (Abasakur), Kobol (Koguman), Kowaki, Mawak, Pamosu (Hinihon), Wanambre
*** "Amaimon" isolate
***Numugen-Mabuso
****Numugen family: Bilakura, Parawen, Ukuriguma, Usan (Wanuma), Yaben, Yarawata
****Mabuso family [Ross does not subclassify except to separate Kare]
***** "Kare" isolate
***** Kokon: Girawa, Munit, Kein (Bemal)
***** Gum: Amele, Bau, Gumalu, Isebe, Panim, Sihan
***** Hanseman: Baimak, Bagupi, Gal, Nobonob (Garuh), Garus, Mawan, Matepi, Mosimo, Murupi, Nake, Rempi, Rapting, Saruga, Samosa, Utu, Wamas, Silopi, Yoidik, Wagi (Kamba)

* Finisterre-Huon [part of the original TNG proposal. Has verbs which are suppletive per the person & number of the object.]
** Finisterre family (internal classification difficult)
*** "Abaga" language
*** Erap branch: Finongan, Gusan, Mamaa, Munkip, Nakama, Nimi, Nuk, Nek, Numanggang, Sauk, Uri
*** Gusap-Mot branch: Madi (Gira), Iyo (Nahu), Neko, Nekgini, Ngaing, Rawa, Ufim
*** Uruwa branch: Nukna (Komutu), Sakam, Som, Weliki, Yau
*** Wantoat branch: Awara, Tuma-Irumu, Wantoat (Yagawak, Bam)
*** Warup branch: Asaro'o (Morafa), Bulgebi, Degenan, Forak, Guya (Guiarak), Gwahatike (Dahating), Muratayak (Asat), Yagomi
*** Yupna branch: Bonkiman, Domung, Gabutamon, Ma (Mebu), Nankina, Yopno (Kewieng, Wandabong, Nokopo, Isan)
** Huon family (internal classification difficult)
*** "Kovai" language
*** Eastern Huon branch: Dedua, Kube, Kâte, Borong (Kosorong), Mape, Migabac, Momare, Sene
*** Western Huon branch: Burum (Mindik), Kinalakna, Komba, Kumokio, Mese, Nabak, Nomu, Ono, Sialum, Selepet, Timbe, Tobo

* ? Goilalan family [inclusion in TNG tentative] : Fuyug, Tauade, Biangai-Kunimaipa-Weri
* Southeast Papuan (Bird's Tail) [these families have not been demonstrated to be related to each other, but have in common "ya" for 'you [plural] ' instead of proto-TNG "*gi."
** Koiarian family
*** Koiaric branch: Grass Koiari, Mountain Koiari, Koitabu
*** Baraic branch: Barai, Ese (Managalasi), Namiae, Ömie
** Kwalean family: Humene, Uare (Kwale), Mulaha
** Manubaran family: Doromu, Maria
** Yareban family: Aneme Wake (Abia), Bariji, Moikodi (Doriri), Nawaru (Sirio), Yareba
** Mailuan family: Bauwaki, Binahari, Domu, Laua, Mailu (Magi), Morawa
** Dagan family: Daga, Ginuman, Dima (Jimajima), Mapena, Maiwa, Onjob, Kanasi (Sona), Turaka, Umanakaina (Gwedena)

* Binanderean [a recent expansion from the north]
** "Guhu-Semane" isolate
** Binandere family: Ambasi, Aeka, Binandere, Baruga, Doghoro, Ewage (Notu), Gaina, Hunjara, Korafe, Mawae, Orokaiva, Suena, Yega, Yekora, Zia

Wurmian TNG languages left unclassified by Ross

Although Ross based his classification on pronoun systems, many languages in New Guinea are too poorly documented for even this to work. Thus there are several isolates that were placed in TNG by Wurm but which cannot be addressed by Ross's classification.

* "Kenati" isolate
* "Komyandaret" isolate
* "Massep" isolate
* "Molof" isolate
* Momuna family: Momina, Momuna (Somahai)
* "Samarokena" isolate
* "Tofamna" isolate
* "Usku" isolate

Wurmian TNG languages moved to other families by Ross

Ross removed 95 languages from TNG. These are small families with no pronouns in common with TNG languages, but which are typologically similar, perhaps due to long periods of contact with TNG languages.

* Border and Morwap (Elseng), as an independent Border family (15 languages)
* "Isirawa (Saberi)," as a language isolate
* Lakes Plain, as an independent Lakes Plain family (19)
* Mairasi, as an independent Mairasi family (4)
* Nimboran, as an independent Nimboran family (5)
* Piawi, as an independent Piawi family (2)
* Senagi, as an independent Senagi family (2)
* Sentani (4 languages), within an East Bird's Head-Sentani family
* Tor and Kwerba, joined as a Tor-Kwerba family (17)
* Trans-Fly–Bulaka River is broken into five groups: three remaining in TNG (Kiwaian, Moraori, Tirio), plus the independent South-Central Papuan and Eastern Trans-Fly families (22 and 4 languages).

Foley

As of 2003, William Foley accepted the core of TNG: "The fact, for example, that a great swath of languages in New Guinea from the Huon Peninsula to the highlands of Irian Jaya mark the object of a transitive verb with a set of verbal prefixes, a first person singular in /n/ and second person singular in a velar stop, is overwhelming evidence that these languages are all genetically related; the likelihood of such a system being borrowed vanishingly small." [http://www.arts.usyd.edu.au/research_projects/delp/papuan.php] He considered the relationship between the Finisterre-Huon, Eastern Highlands (Kainantu-Gorokan), and Irian Highlands (Dani-Paniai Lakes) families (and presumably some other smaller ones) to be established, and said that it is "highly likely" that the Madang family belongs as well. He considered it possible but not yet demonstrated that the Enga, Chimbu, Binandere, Angan, Ok, Awyu, Asmat (perhaps closest to Ok and Awyu), Mek, and the small language families of the tail of Papua New Guinea (Koiarian, Goilalan, etc., which he does not believe have been shown to be related to each other) may belong to TNG as well.

Phonology

Proto-Trans-New Guinea is reconstructed with a typical simple Papuan inventory: five vowels, IPA|/i e a o u/, three phonations of stops at three places, IPA|/p t k, b d ɡ, m n ŋ/ (Andrew Pawley reconstructs the voiced series as prenasalized IPA|/mb nd ŋɡ/), plus a palatal affricate IPA|/dʒ ~ ndʒ/, the fricative IPA|/s/, and the approximants IPA|/l j w/. Syllables are typically (C)V, with CVC possible at the ends of words. Many of the languages have word tone.

Pronouns

Ross reconstructs the following pronominal paradigm for Trans–New Guinea, with "*a~*i" ablaut for singular~non-singular:

:

There is a related but less commonly attested form for 'we', "*nu", as well as a "*ja" for 'you', which Ross speculates may have been a polite form. In addition, there were dual suffixes "*-li" and "*-t", and a plural suffix "*-nV", (i.e. n plus a vowel) as well collective number suffixes "*-pi-" (dual) and "*-m-" (plural) which functioned as inclusive we when used in the first person. (Reflexes of the collective suffixes, however, are limited geographically to the central and eastern highlands, and so might not be as old as proto–Trans–New Guinea.)

ee also

*Papuan languages
*Indo-Pacific languages

References

*
*


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