Saponi language

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Native toIndonesia
RegionWestern New Guinea
Extinctmoribund by 2000[1]
(lexically Lakes Plain,
grammatically East Bird's Head)
Language codes
ISO 639-3spi
Saponi is located in Western New Guinea
Saponi is located in Indonesia
Coordinates: 2°30′S 139°30′E / 2.50°S 139.50°E / -2.50; 139.50

Saponi is an extinct Papuan language of Indonesia.[1]

It was spoken in Botawa village of Waropen Bawah Subdistrict in Waropen Regency. Woria is also spoken in Botawa village.[3]

It shared half of its basic vocabulary with the Rasawa language, but it is not clear that they were related. Saponi shared none of its pronouns with the Lakes Plain family that Rasawa is part of; indeed its basic pronouns mamire "I, we" and ba "thou" are reminiscent of proto–East Bird's Head *meme "we" and *ba "thou".


  1. ^ a b Saponi at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Saponi". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Eberhard, David M.; Simons, Gary F.; Fennig, Charles D., eds. (2019). "Indonesia languages". Ethnologue: Languages of the World (22nd ed.). Dallas: SIL International.