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Kwerba languages


Kwerba languages

New Guinea
Linguistic classification: a primary family of Papuan languages
  • Orya–Tor
  • Mawes–Kwerba
  •  ? Sause
Ethnologue code: 17-1370

The Tor–Kwerba languages are an independent family of Papuan languages proposed in 2005 by Malcolm Ross. 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.


The Tor and Kwerba families are clearly established. When classified together two relative isolates are included, as well as two languages of more dubious relationship.


Orya (Uria)

Tor family: Berik, Bonerif, DabeKeijarBetaf, Itik, Jofotek-Bromnya, Kwesten, Kwinsu, Mander, Maremgi (Dineor), Vitou, Wares

? Sause

 Greater Kwerba 


 Kwerba  family

Airoran–Samarokena: Airoran, Samarokena

nuclear Kwerba: Bagusa, Kwerba (Sasawa), Trimuris, Kauwera, Kwerba Mamberamo

? Isirawa

In earlier classifications the Sause language had been included with these languages, but its classification is uncertain, and was not addressed by Ross. Ethnologue (2009) retains it as a third branch of Orya–Tor, and also retains Isirawa as a third branch of Greater Kwerba.


The pronouns Ross reconstructs for proto-Orya–Tor are,

I *ai exclusive we  ?
inclusive we *ne
thou *emei you *em
s/he *je they  ?

See also


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