Lost Languages

Lost Languages of Papua New Guinea

It has been reported that several languages previously known to be spoken in PNG have already been lost.

Thanks to the work of the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL *), the Australian National University and the University of Papua New Guinea's work on languages it can be said that the following languages have already died out.

Region or Province
BINA Central Province In the year 2000 this language only had two primary speakers.
REMA Morehead District, Western Province  
KANIET Anchorite and Kaniet Islands of Western Manus Province.  
ARIBWATSA Morobe Province No known speakers.
HERMIT Luf and Maron Island, in Hermit - Manus Province  
MULAHA Southeast of Gaire - Central Province  
OUMA Labu - Central Province  
URUAVA South Eastern coast of Bougainville  
KARAMI Inland border of Gulf and Western province  
YOBA North of Magori, Central province Two non primary speakers

Information extracted from article by Dr. Steven Winduo - director of the Melanesian and Pacific studies (MAPS) School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Papua New Guinea.

* The Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) deals with over 285 of the PNG "tokples" languages.
Please visit a page on this web site about the work of SIL

In an early 2015 report on local PNG television- EMTV, Dr Sakarepe Kamene, an academic at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG). said “Out of 800 languages (in Papua New Guinea), half of that number has less than 2,000 speakers; that means half of our languages are threatened".

Madang Community Moves to Protect Languages -- http://giaman.com/pg/?19c5b6

Butibam Clan elders raise concerns about rapid loss of language -- http://giaman.com/s/6u


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - a list of endangered PNG languages.  As the list will an ongoing list it may be worthwhile visiting the Wikipedia page located at -- http://giaman.com/s/6v

An endangered language is a language that it is at risk of falling out of use, generally because it has few surviving speakers. If it loses all of its native speakers, it becomes an extinct language. UNESCO defines four levels of language endangerment between "safe" (not endangered) and "extinct":

  • Vulnerable
  • Definitely endangered
  • Severely endangered
  • Critically endangered
Language Status
Abaga language Critically endangered
Ainbai language Severely endangered
Ak language Severely endangered
Anuki language Definitely endangered
Arawun language Severely endangered
Ari language Severely endangered
Atemble language Definitely endangered
Bagupi language Definitely endangered
Bepour language Severely endangered
Bikaru language Severely endangered
Bilakura language Critically endangered
Bosilewa language Vulnerable
Bothar language Severely endangered
Budibud language Vulnerable
Bukiyip language Vulnerable
Bulgebi language Definitely endangered
Bumbita Arapesh language Vulnerable
Dengalu language Definitely endangered
Doga language Definitely endangered
Dorro language Severely endangered
Dumun language Critically endangered
Duwet language Vulnerable
Faita language Severely endangered
Garuwahi language Definitely endangered
Gorovu language Severely endangered
Grass Koiari language Vulnerable
Guranalum language Critically endangered
Hermit language Critically endangered
Iteri language Severely endangered
Kaiep language Vulnerable
Kaki Ae language Vulnerable
Kalamo language Severely endangered
Kamasa language Critically endangered
Kandas language Vulnerable
Kaningara language Vulnerable
Karore language Vulnerable
Kawucha language Critically endangered
Koitabu language Vulnerable
Kowaki language Critically endangered
Kuot language Vulnerable
Laua language Critically endangered
Laxudumau language Vulnerable
Likum language Likum Definitely endangered
Magori language Vulnerable
Makolkol language Critically endangered
Mari language Severely endangered
Mawak language Critically endangered
Mindiri language Severely endangered
Moere language Severely endangered
Mosimo language Severely endangered
Murik language Vulnerable
Musan language Severely endangered
Musom language Definitely endangered
Mussau-Emira language Definitely endangered
Mwatebu language Definitely endangered
Nafi language Severely endangered
Nauna language Vulnerable
Numbami language Vulnerable
Onjab language Vulnerable
Ouma language Critically endangered
Papapana language Definitely endangered
Papi language Severely endangered
Piame language Severely endangered
Piu language Definitely endangered
Puari language Critically endangered
Samosa language Severely endangered
Sene language Critically endangered
Sengseng language Vulnerable
Sepa language, Schouten languages Vulnerable
Sera language Severely endangered
Sissano language Critically endangered
Somm language Definitely endangered
Suarmin language Definitely endangered
Sumariup language Severely endangered
Susuami language Critically endangered
Taap language Critically endangered
Taiap language Severely endangered
Taulil language Vulnerable
Tench language Critically endangered
Turaka language Critically endangered
Usu language Severely endangered
Vehes language Severely endangered
Wab language Vulnerable
Warapu language Severely endangered
Yapunda language Severely endangered
Yarawata language Severely endangered
Yarawi language Critically endangered
Yimas language Severely endangered

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This site is about Trevor Michie's family. Trevor has family mainly in Victoria with a son and daughter (and  their families) in Perth, West Australia. He has in-laws in Papua New Guinea - Australia's closest neighbour.

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