Chimbu–Wahgi languages

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Central East New Guinea Highlands
Simbu – Western Highlands
Papua New Guinea
Linguistic classificationNortheast New Guinea and/or Trans–New Guinea?
  • Chimbu–Wahgi
  • Chimbu
  • Hagen
  • Jimi
  • Wahgi
Chimbu-Wahgi languages.svg
Map: The Chimbu–Wahgi languages of New Guinea
  Chimbu–Wahgi languages
  Trans–New Guinea languages
  Other Papuan languages
  Austronesian languages

The Chimbu–Wahgi languages are a language family sometimes included in the Trans–New Guinea proposal.


There is little doubt that the Chimbu–Wahgi family is valid. The languages are:[1]


Several of the Chimbu–Wahgi languages have uncommon lateral consonants: see Nii, Wahgi, and Kuman for examples.

Chimbu–Wahgi languages have contrastive tone.[2]


The singular pronouns are:

1 *ná
2 *nim
3 *[y]é

Dual *-l and plural *-n reflect Trans–New Guinea forms.


Middle Wahgi reflexes of proto-Trans-New Guinea (pTNG) etyma:[2]

  • ama ‘mother’ < *am(a,i)
  • amu ‘breast’ < *amu
  • numan ‘louse’ < *niman
  • numan ‘thought, mind, will’ < *n(o,u)
  • man, muŋ ‘fruit, nut, lump’
  • muŋgum ‘kidney’ < *maŋgV ‘round object’
  • mundmuŋ ‘heart’ < *mundun-maŋgV
  • mokum, mokem ‘knuckle, joint’ < *mo(k,ŋg)Vm ‘joint’
  • mundun mo- ‘be pot bellied’ < *mundun ‘internal organs, belly’
  • ŋaŋ ‘small male child’ < *ŋaŋ[a] ‘baby’
  • apa- ‘maternal uncle’ < *apa ‘father’
  • embe(m) ‘name’ < *imbi ‘name’
  • muk ‘blue’ < *muk
  • tuk- ‘chop’ < *tVk- ‘cut, cut off’
  • no- ‘eat’ < *na-
  • mek si- ‘to vomit’
  • mek ‘vomitus’ < *makV[C] + t(e,i)- ‘to vomit’


  1. ^ Usher, Timothy. Simbu-Western Highlands. New Guinea World.
  2. ^ a b Pawley, Andrew; Hammarström, Harald (2018). "The Trans New Guinea family". 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. 21–196. ISBN 978-3-11-028642-7.

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