Yellow River languages

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Yellow River
central Sandaun Province, Papua New Guinea
Linguistic classificationSepik
  • Middle Sepik?[1]
    • Yellow River

The Yellow River languages are a small family of clearly related languages,

Namia (Namie), Ak, and Awun.

They are generally classified among the Sepik languages of northern Papua New Guinea.

Namia is the most divergent Yellow River language.[1]

They are spoken along the Yellow River (a tributary of the Sepik) in a mountainous area of central Sandaun Province located to the north of the Upper Sepik basin, and are located directly to the southwest of the Ram languages, another Sepik group.


The pronouns Ross reconstructs for proto–Yellow River are:[3]

I *wan we two *ɨ-t we *ɨ(m, n)
thou *nɨ you two (*kə-, *wə-p) you (*kə-m, *wə-m)
he *[ə]rə they two *tə-p they *tə-m


  1. ^ a b 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.
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Yellow River". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Ross (2005)
  • 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.