geelvink bay

East Geelvink Bay languages

The East Geelvink Bay or East Cenderawasih languages are a language family of a dozen Papuan languages along the eastern coast of Geelvink Bay in Indonesian Papua, which is also known as Sarera Bay or Cenderawasih.

The East Geelvink Bay languages are:

Turunggare, Barapasi, Bauzi, Anasi (Bapu), Burate, Demisa, Kofei, Nisa, Tefaro, Woria


A relationship between Yawa, spoken on Yapen Island, and the East Geelvink Bay languages was tentatively proposed by C. L. Voorhoeve in 1975 in a proposal he called Geelvink Bay. The hypothesis was taken up by Stephen Wurm, who developed it as part of an initial attempt to classify the Papuan languages; however, the relationship would be a distant one, and later linguists such as Mark Donohue considered Yawa to be a language isolate.

Clouse 1997 removed the Lakes Plain languages of the upper Mamberamo River in the interior of Papua from Trans-New Guinea, where Würm had placed them, and added them to the Geelvink Bay languages. However, in his 2005 classification based on comparative evidence from pronouns, Malcolm Ross treats all three groups as separate families, with Yawa tentatively placed in an extended West Papuan family.


The pronouns Ross reconstructs for proto-East Geelvink Bay are,

I *e we *i
thou *o you *u
s/he *a they ?

See also


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