Tabo language

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RegionNew Guinea
Native speakers
3,000 (2002)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3knv
Waia language.svg
Map: The Waia language of New Guinea
  The Waia language (south center)
  Trans–New Guinea languages
  Other Papuan languages
  Austronesian languages

Tabo or Waia (Waya) may be either a language isolate or a language of the proposed Trans-Fly – Bulaka River family in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea, just north of the Fly River delta. The language has also been known as Hiwi or Hibaradai.[2] Evans (2018) classifies Tabo as a language isolate.[3]

Tabo means ‘word, mouth’ and is the name of the language, whereas Waia is the name of one of the ten villages where Tabo is spoken.[3]

In Western Province, Papua New Guinea, Tabo is spoken in:[4][5]

It is spoken by 3,500 people mainly in the southern part Bamu Rural LLG of Western Province.[3]


  1. ^ Waia at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Tabo language". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b c Evans, Nicholas (2018). "The languages of Southern 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. 641–774. ISBN 978-3-11-028642-7.
  4. ^ Eberhard, David M.; Simons, Gary F.; Fennig, Charles D., eds. (2019). "Papua New Guinea languages". Ethnologue: Languages of the World (22nd ed.). Dallas: SIL International.
  5. ^ United Nations in Papua New Guinea (2018). "Papua New Guinea Village Coordinates Lookup". Humanitarian Data Exchange. 1.31.9.