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Kwomtari languages

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Title: Kwomtari languages  
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Subject: Fas languages, List of language families, Classification schemes for Southeast Asian languages, Guriaso language, Kwomtari languages
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Kwomtari languages

Papua New Guinea
Linguistic classification: perhaps Left May – Kwomtari or Kwomtari–Fas
Glottolog: kwom1263  (Kwomtari–Nai)[1]
guri1248  (Guriaso)[2]
The neighboring Kwomtari and Fas language families

The Kwomtari languages are a small language family of Papua New Guinea.


The family consists of at least the two relatively closely related languages Kwomtari and Nai. Baron adds the highly divergent language Guriaso:

  • Kwomtari stock

but Glottolog does not accept that the relationship has been established.[2]

There has been confusion over the membership of the Kwomtari family, apparently due to a misalignment in the publication (Loving & Bass 1964) of the data used for the initial classification. (See Baron 1983.) The Kwomtari languages are generally classified as part of a larger as yet unproven Kwomtari–Fas family, which confusingly is also often called "Kwomtari" in the literature. However, Baron sees no evidence that the similarities are due to relationship. See Kwomtari–Fas languages for details.

Guriaso shares a small number of cognates with Kwomtari–Nai. Baron (1983) says the evidence is convincing once a correspondence between /ɾ~l/ and /n/ (from ) is established:

Gloss Guriaso Kwomtari
Verb suffixes
(1pl, 2pl, 3pl)
-nɔ, -mɛ, -no -ɾe, -mo, -ɾe*
dog map mau
ear mətɛnu futɛne
crocodile mɔməni maməle
small tɔkəno tɔkweɾo
nose apədu tipu**

* Compare Biaka -ɾo, -mo, -na.

** Metathesis of /p/ and /t/.

However, the conclusion that Guriaso is related to Kwomtari is disputed by Glottolog.[2]


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Kwomtari–Nai". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  2. ^ a b c Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Guriaso". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 

External links

  • Wietze Baron, The Kwomtari Phylum (accessed 2011-4-15)

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