Madang languages

Madang–Adelbert Range
New Guinea
Linguistic classification: Trans–New Guinea
  • Madang
Southern Adelbert Range–Kowan
Rai Coast–Kalam
Croisilles linkage
TNG map.svg
  Madang languages

The Madang or Madang–Adelbert Range languages are the largest family of Trans–New Guinea languages (TNG) in the classification of Malcolm Ross. William Foley concurs that it is "highly likely" that the Madang languages are part of TNG. The family is named after Madang Province and the Adelbert Range.



Sidney Herbert Ray identified the Rai Coast family in 1919. In 1951 these were linked with the Mabuso languages by Arthur Capell to create his Madang family. John Z'graggen (1971, 1975) expanded Madang to languages of the Adelbert Range and renamed the family Madang–Adelbert Range, and Wurm (1975)[1] adopted this as a branch of his Trans–New Guinea phylum. For the most part, Ross's (2005) Madang family includes the same languages as Z'graggen Madang–Adelbert Range, but the internal classification is different in several respects, such as the dissolution of the Brahman branch.

Internal classification

In the outline of the Ross (2000) classification below,[1] those nodes in bold are clearly valid families, consisting of closely related languages. The branches not in bold are likely subject to further revision.

  • Southern Adelbert Range–Kowan
    • Kowan family
    • Southern Adelbert Range
      • Josephstaal
        • Osum (Utarmbung) isolate
        • Wadaginam isolate
        • Sikan family: Mum (Katiati), Sileibi
        • Pomoikan family: Anam (Pondoma), Anamgura (Ikundun), Moresada
      • Wanang
        • Paynamar isolate
        • Atan family: Atemble, Nend (Angaua)
        • Emuan family: Apali (Emerum), Musak
      • Faita isolate
  • Rai Coast–Kalam
    • Rai Coast family
    • Kalam family (perhaps part of Rai Coast)
  • Croisilles linkage (Northern Adelbert Range; few branches retain traditional membership)
    • Dimir–Malas (Isumrud): Dimir, Malas
    • Kaukombar: Bargam (Mugil), Mala (Pay), Miani (Tani), Maia (Pila, Saki)
    • Kumil: Brem (Bunabun), Bepour, Mauwake (Ulingan), Moere, Musar
    • Tibor–Omosa
      • Omosan: Pal (Abasakur), Kobol (Koguman)
      • Tiboran: Kowaki, Mawak, Pamosu (Hinihon), Wanambre
    • Amaimon isolate
    • Numugen–Mabuso

External links


  1. ^ Summarized in Pawley et al. (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. 
  • Pawley, Ross, & Osmond, 2005. Papuan languages and the Trans New Guinea phylum. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. pp. 38–51.

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