Arafundi–Piawi languages

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Upper Yuat River
Papua New Guinea
Linguistic classificationNortheast New Guinea or independent language family
  • Arafundi–Piawi

The Arafundi–Piawi languages, also called the Upper Yuat River languages, consist of two small language families, namely Arafundi and Piawi. The connection was first suggested by William A. Foley (Comrie 1992)[citation needed] and confirmed by Timothy Usher.[1] Foley (2018) classifies them separately as an independent language family.[2]

Upper Yuat languages display more typological similarities with Trans-New Guinea than the other neighboring language families of the Sepik-Ramu basin (namely the Lower Sepik-Ramu and Yuat families), as the Upper Yuat family is located closer to the Trans-New Guinea area.[2]

The Piawi languages are morphologically much simpler than the Arafundi languages.[2]


Foley (2018) provides the following classification.[2]

Upper Yuat family

Glottolog 4.0 splits up the family by classifying Piawi and Arafundi each as independent language families.


Pronouns are:[2]

Proto-Upper Yuat pronouns
sg pl
1 *ni *an ~ *aŋ
2 *na *ne
3 *nu


Upper Yuat languages typically have 7 vowels:[2]:236

i ɨ u
e ə o


  1. ^ NewGuineaWorld Arafundi and Upper Yuat Rivers[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e f Foley, William A. (2018). "The Languages of the Sepik-Ramu Basin and Environs". In Palmer, Bill (ed.). The Languages and Linguistics of the New Guinea Area: A Comprehensive Guide. The World of Linguistics. 4. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 197–432. ISBN 978-3-11-028642-7.