Sumuri language

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Tanah Merah, Sumeri
RegionWest Papua: Teluk Bintuni Regency, Bapai Rover and Gondu River areas
Native speakers
(500 cited 1978)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3tcm
Sumuri language.svg
Map: The Sumeri language of New Guinea (located at left, in the Bird's Head)
  The Sumeri language
  Other Trans–New Guinea languages
  Other Papuan languages
  Austronesian languages

Sumuri or Sumeri (one of two Papuan languages also known as Tanah Merah) is a language spoken on the Bomberai Peninsula by about a thousand people.


In the classification of Malcolm Ross (2005), Sumeri forms an independent branch of the Trans–New Guinea family, but Palmer (2018) classifies it as a language isolate.[3]

It has also been linked to the Mairasi languages, but those do not share the TNG pronouns of Sumeri. The pronouns are:

sg pl
1ex na-fea kiria
1in kigokomaka
2 ka-fea ki-fia

There are no 3rd-person personal pronouns, only demonstratives. The pronouns appear to reflect pTNG *na 1sg, *ga 2sg, and *gi 2pl.

See also[edit]


  • 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.


  1. ^ Sumuri at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Tanahmerah". 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.