Morori language

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RegionKampung Wasur, Merauke Regency, Papua, Indonesia[1]
Ethnicity250 (1998)[2]
Native speakers
50 (1998)[2]
Trans–New Guinea
Language codes
ISO 639-3mok
Moraori language.svg
Map: The Morori language of New Guinea
  The Morori language (near the southern cape)
  Other Trans–New Guinea languages
  Other Papuan languages
  Austronesian languages

Morori (Marori, Moaraeri, Moraori, Morari) is a moribund Papuan language of the Kolopom branch of the Trans–New Guinea family. It is separated from the other Kolopom languages by the intrusive Marind family.[4] All speakers use Papuan Malay or Indonesian as L2, and many know Marind.[2]

A dialect extinct in 1997, Menge, is remembered from ceremonial use.

Marori is spoken in Kampung Wasur, which in 2010 had 413 people (98 families) total and 119 Marori people (52 Marori families).[1]


Marori has 22 consonants and 6 vowels, which are:[1]

ᵐb, ⁿd, ⁿʤ, ᵑɡ, b, d, ɡ, p, t, k, m, n, ɲ, ŋ, ɸ, s, h, r, l, w, j
i, e, æ, a, o, u

On the other hand, the majority of Trans-New Guinea languages usually have around 10–15 consonants.[1]


Pronouns, but little else, connect it to TNG:

sg pl
1 na ni-ɛ
2 ka ki-ɛ
3 ŋɡafi ŋɡamdɛ


The following basic vocabulary words are from the Trans-New Guinea database:[5]

gloss Morori
head merao
hair pu
eye ayix
tooth terox
leg tegu
louse nemeŋk
dog koro
pig bosik
bird ujif
egg vi
blood ŋgorom
bone ŋgwar
skin par
tree kwi
man yexri
sun kum
water deke
fire sir
stone mere
name nex
eat kef
one sekodu
two yenadu


Marori reflexes of proto-Trans-New Guinea (pTNG) etyma are:[6]

  • mam ‘breast’ < *amu
  • mam ‘mother’ < *am(a,i)
  • nemeŋk ‘louse’ < *niman
  • sa ‘sand’ < *sa(ŋg,k)asiŋ
  • ŋwar ‘bone’ < *kondaC

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Gebze, Wilhelmus and Mark Donohue. 1998. Kamus Kecil Bahasa Moraori. [Marori picture dictionary]: Distributed in Wasur, Papua.


  1. ^ a b c d Evans, Nicholas (2018). "The languages of Southern New Guinea". 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. 641–774. ISBN 978-3-11-028642-7.
  2. ^ a b c Morori at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Marori". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. ^ New Guinea World, Kolopom
  5. ^ Greenhill, Simon (2016). " - database of the languages of New Guinea". Retrieved 2020-11-05.
  6. ^ 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.
  • 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.