Kanum is the collective name for a number of closely related languages spoken in a number of villages within Wasur National Park in the Merauke subdistrict of Papua, Indonesia close to the border with PNG. There are also some speakers on the PNG side of the border. Current research suggests that there are three distinct languages although it is still unclear as to the vitality of each of the varieties.
Kanum is typologically similar to the other Morehead-Maro languages in that it is an SOV language with highly complex verbal morphology. Nouns are marked with an extensive suffixing case system and Gender is realised in verbal agreement. Number is marked on pronouns with singular vs. non-singular distinction. A three-way number split (singular, dual, plural) for arguments is also possible as certain classes of verb mark agreement on a plural vs. non-plural distinction. Verbs agree with up to two arguments in an accusative agreement system, these markers are intertwined with a very complex Tense-Aspect-Mood system. Object agreement is usually marked in Person, Number and Gender, however subject agreement is usually only marks Number. Kanum is particularly interesting as it displays highly complex verbal agreement which relies on a system of distributed exponence to distribute the morphosyntactic information through all levels of the grammar. In this system morphosyntactic properties are only apparent when fully inflected verbs forms are combined with both arguments to determine TAM, number and gender.