Dem language

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RegionPapua: Western highlands along Rouffaer River headwaters
Native speakers
(1,000 cited 1987)[1]
Trans–New Guinea or language isolate
Language codes
ISO 639-3dem
Dem language.svg
Map: The Dem language of New Guinea
  The Dem language
  Other Trans–New Guinea languages
  Other Papuan languages
  Austronesian languages

Dem (Lem, Ndem) is a possible Trans–New Guinea language in the classification of Malcolm Ross (2005), although Palmer (2018) classifies it as a language isolate.[3] A small number of words connect it to other language families of the Irian Highlands, but they are not consistent correspondences, and it is not clear what they mean. The only pronouns which have been recorded are 1sg nau, 2sg , and 1pl yu.


  1. ^ Dem at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Dem". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Palmer, Bill (2018). "Language families of the New Guinea Area". 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. 1–20. ISBN 978-3-11-028642-7.
  • Ross, Malcolm (2005). "Pronouns as a preliminary diagnostic for grouping Papuan languages". In Andrew Pawley; Robert Attenborough; Robin Hide; Jack Golson (eds.). Papuan pasts: cultural, linguistic and biological histories of Papuan-speaking peoples. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. pp. 15–66. ISBN 0858835622. OCLC 67292782.