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Binanderean languages

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Title: Binanderean languages  
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Subject: Trans–New Guinea languages, Maisin language
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Binanderean languages

New Guinea
Linguistic classification: Trans–New Guinea
  • Binanderean
  • Binandere proper
  • Guhu-Samane
Ethnologue code: 17-4012

Map: The Binanderean languages of New Guinea
  The Binanderean languages
  Other Trans–New Guinea languages
  Other Papuan languages
  Austronesian languages

The Binanderean languages are a family and part of the Trans–New Guinea languages (TNG) family in the classifications of Stephen Wurm (1975) and Malcolm Ross (2005). They are found along the north/east coast of the "Bird's Tail" of New Guinea, and appear to be a recent expansion from the north. The Binandere family proper is clearly valid; Ross added the Guhu-Semane isolate based on pronominal evidence. Proto-Binanderean has been reconstructed in Smallhorn (2011).

  • Binanderean
    • Guhu-Samane isolate
    • Binandere family
      • Orokaiva, Aeka, Hunjara
      • Binandere, Suena, ZiaYekora
      • Baruga, Doghoro, GainaKorafe; Ewage (Notu)


Smallhorn (2011:3) provides population figures for the following Binanderean languages.

  • Guhu-Samane: 12,800
  • Suena: 3,000
  • Yekora: 1,000
  • Zia: 3,000
  • Mawae: 943
  • Binandere: 7,000 (including Ambasi)
  • Aeka: 3,400
  • Orokaiva: 24,000
  • Hunjara: 8,770
  • Notu: 12,900 (including Yega)
  • Gaena: 1,410
  • Baruga: 2,230
  • Doghoro: 270
  • Korafe: 3,630
about 80,000


Smallhorn (2011:444) provides the following classification for Greater Binanderean. Individual languages are given in italics.

  • Greater Binanderean
    • Guhu-Samane
    • Binandere
      • Yekora
      • North Binandere
        • Suena
        • Zia–Mawae
      • Nuclear Binandere
        • Binandere–Ambasi
          • Binandere
          • Ambasi
        • South Binandere
          • Orokaiva
            • Aeka (Northern Orokaiva)
            • Orokaiva
            • Hunjara (Mountain Orokaiva)
          • Coastal Binandere
            • Notu-Yega
            • Gaena-Korafe
            • Baruga
              • Tafota, Daghoro
              • Bareji, Mado

According to Smallhorn (2011), there are two linkages, namely Central Binanderean and Nuclear Binanderean.


  • Smallhorn, Jacinta Mary. 2011. The Binanderean languages of Papua New Guinea: reconstruction and subgrouping. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.

External links

  • Doregari Kotopu Anglican Holy Communion in Binandere, digitized by Richard Mammana and Charles Wohlers
  • King, Copland. 1927. Grammar and Dictionary of the Binandere Language, Mamba River, North Division, Papua. Sydney: D.S. Ford. [1]

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