Usku language

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RegionUsku village, Senggi District, Keerom Regency, Papua, Indonesia
Native speakers
20 to 160 (2007)[1]
Pauwasi or language isolate
  • Western
    • Usku
Language codes
ISO 639-3ulf

Usku, or Afra, is a nearly extinct and poorly documented Papuan language spoken by 20 or more people, mostly adults, in Usku village, Senggi District, Keerom Regency, Papua, Indonesia.

Wurm (1975) placed it as an independent branch of Trans–New Guinea, but Ross (2005) could not find enough evidence to classify it. Usher found that it was Pauwasi. Foley (2018) classifies Usku as a language isolate.[3]

Basic vocabulary[edit]

Basic vocabulary of Usku from Im (2006), quoted by Foley (2018):[4][3]

Usku basic vocabulary
gloss Usku
‘bird’ rkwe
‘blood’ misie
‘bone’ kra
‘breast’ mi
‘ear’ bekria
‘eat’ nggreka
‘egg’ kri
‘eye’ nifi
‘fire’ yo
‘give’ roti
‘go’ rifri
‘ground’ taʔ
‘hair’ klekondia
‘hear’ yukri
‘I’ o
‘leg’ nafu
‘louse’ nimi
‘man’ na
‘moon’ menggrine
‘name’ təkwar
‘one’ kuskafi
‘road, path’ tra
‘see’ fra
‘sky’ mumgre
‘stone’ pani
‘sun’ winene
‘tongue’ bra
‘tooth’ ninggre
‘tree’ ninani
‘two’ narse
‘water’ a/æ
‘we’ no
‘woman’ ria
‘you (sg)’ po
‘you (pl)’ so


  1. ^ Usku at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Usku". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b 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.
  4. ^ Im, Youn-Shim. 2006. Survey Report on the Usku Language of Papua, Indonesia. Unpublished report. Jayapura: SIL Indonesia.

External links[edit]