Busa language (Papuan)

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Native toPapua New Guinea
RegionSandaun Province, Amanab District, north of Upper Sepik River, west of Namia. 3 villages. Yare is north and east, Abau is south and west, Biaka is northwest.
Native speakers
240 (2000 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3bhf
Coordinates: 3°49′S 141°20′E / 3.817°S 141.333°E / -3.817; 141.333

The Busa language, also known as Odiai (Uriai), is spoken in three hamlets of northwestern Papua New Guinea.[3] There were 244 speakers at the time of the 2000 census. One of the hamlets where Busa is spoken is Busa (3°50′14″S 141°26′25″E / 3.837112°S 141.440227°E / -3.837112; 141.440227 (Busa)) in Rawei ward, Green River Rural LLG, Sandaun Province.[4]

Busa speakers are in extensive trade and cultural contact with Yadë, a language isolate spoken in six villages to the north of the Busa area.[3]


Busa may be a language isolate, or one of the Kwomtari languages. Foley (2018) classifies Busa as a language isolate. Foley classifies it as a language isolate, but does not exclude the possibility that it may have a distant relationship with the Torricelli languages.[3]


Pronouns are:[3]

Busa basic pronouns
sg pl
1 mu mi
2 am
3m a ~ ari ti
3f tu

Basic vocabulary[edit]

Busa basic vocabulary listed in Foley (2018):[3]

Busa basic vocabulary
gloss Busa
‘bad’ buriambu
‘bird’ wana
‘black’ baro
‘ear’ dina
‘eye’ dena
‘fire’ eβa
‘leaf’ iri
‘liver’ munã
‘louse’ amo
‘man’ nutu
‘mother’ mẽ
‘nape’ onaiba
‘older brother’ aba
‘road’ ti
‘stone’ bito
‘tooth’ wuti
‘tree’ nda
‘water’ ani
‘woman’ ele
‘one’ otutu
‘two’ tinana
‘three’ wunana
‘four’ aite
‘five’ yumnadi


Busa subject agreement affixes are:[3]

Busa subject agreement affixes
sg pl
1 ma- ma-
2 a- a-
3 m _r_- m-
3 f _w_-


  1. ^ Busa at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Odiai". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Foley, William A. (2018). "The Languages of the Sepik-Ramu Basin and Environs". 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. 197–432. ISBN 978-3-11-028642-7.
  4. ^ United Nations in Papua New Guinea (2018). "Papua New Guinea Village Coordinates Lookup". Humanitarian Data Exchange. 1.31.9.

External links[edit]