The languages of southern New Guinea
Map: Southern New Guinea languages (click to enlarge)
This project will carry out the first systematic investigation of the languages of the Southern New Guinea region, which spans southwest PNG and southeastern parts of Papua province, Indonesia. With around 35 languages in 9 families, Southern New Guinea is a top language diversity hotspot, yet its languages have so far almost completely escaped scientific investigation.
Our team comprises Nick Evans (Australian National University), Wayan Arka (Australian National University) and Jeff Siegel (University of New England), along with 3 PhD students (positions yet to be filled). This project will chart the region linguistically with detailed grammatical descriptions of six languages five from the Morehead-Maro family plus one of the the isolate Marori shorter descriptions of two more, a handbook and comparative database of the entire region, and numerous specific papers. The full set of languages to be investigated has yet to be finalised, but will include: Marori (Arka) Nama (Siegel) Nen (Evans). The project is supported by the Australian Research Council through the Discovery Project "The languages of Southern new Guinea: an unexplored linguistic hotspot" (DP110100307) over the period 2011-2015.