Tor–Kwerba–Nimboran languages

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(Western North Papuan)
New Guinea
Linguistic classificationNorth Papuan?
  • Tor–Kwerba–Nimboran

The Tor–Kwerba–Nimboran languages are a proposed family of about two dozen Papuan languages.


With the addition of the Nimboran languages, Tor–Kwerba–Nimboran makes up the western branch of Usher's North Papuan family.

Foley (2018) classifies Tor–Kwerba, Nimboran, and Mawes each as separate language families likely unrelated to each other.[1]

Typological overview[edit]

Even though grammatical gender is present in Tor-Kwerba languages, there is no overt gender marking on nouns.[1]


Reconstructed proto-Tor-Kwerba independent pronouns are:[1]

Proto-Tor-Kwerba independent pronouns
sg pl
1 *ati ~ *ait *ne(n)
2 *ame *ame


Reconstructed proto-Tor-Kwerba words that are widely distributed throughout the family:[1]

  • *nukwe ‘eye’
  • *tVn ‘leg’
  • *nen ‘louse’
  • *uŋis ‘sky’
  • *ti ~ *it ‘tree’


  1. ^ a b c d 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.
  • 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.

External links[edit]