Massep
Wotaf
Native toIndonesia
RegionPapua: Sarmi Regency, West Pantai District, north coast (Masep village); also west of Sarmi near Apauwer River
Ethnicity85 (2000)[1][2]
Native speakers
25 (2000)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3mvs
Glottologmass1263
ELPMasep
Approximate location where Massep is spoken
Approximate location where Massep is spoken
Massep
Approximate location where Massep is spoken
Approximate location where Massep is spoken
Massep
Coordinates: 1°45′S 138°17′E / 1.75°S 138.29°E / -1.75; 138.29

Massep (Masep, Potafa, Wotaf) is a poorly documented Papuan language spoken by fewer than 50 people in the single village of Masep in West Pantai District, Sarmi Regency, Papua. Despite the small number of speakers, however, language use is vigorous. It is surrounded by the Kwerba languages Airoran and Samarokena.[3]

Classification

Clouse, Donohue, and Ma (2002) conclude that it definitely is not a Kwerba language,[4] as it had been classified by Wurm (1975). They did not notice connections to any other language family. However, Usher (2018) classifies it as Greater Kwerbic.[5]

Ethnologue, Glottolog, and Foley (2018)[3] list it as a language isolate,[1][6] but it has not been included in wider surveys, such as Ross (2005). The pronouns are not dissimilar from those of Trans–New Guinea languages, but Massep is geographically distant from that family.

Phonology

Consonants:[3]

t c k
ᵑɡ
ɸ s ʃ
β ɣ
m n ɲ
r
w j

Some probable consonant leniting sound changes proposed by Foley (2018):

Vowels:[3]

i u
e o
a

Pronouns

Pronouns are:[3]

sg pl
1 ka nyi
2 gu je
3 evi ive

Morphology

Massep case suffixes as quoted by Foley (2018) from Clouse (2002):[3][4]

suffix case
-o ~ -u ~ -a accusative
-ɣoke dative
-aveno instrumental
-meno associative
-(a)vri locative
-ni allative
-a temporal

Sentences

Massep sentences as quoted by Foley (2018) from Clouse (2002):[3]

(1)

ka

1SG

icin-o

stone-ACC

fartasi

throw

unu-ɣoke

dog-DAT

ka icin-o fartasi unu-ɣoke

1SG stone-ACC throw dog-DAT

‘I threw a stone at the dog.’

(2)

je

2PL

saremna

sit

yaf-avri

house-LOC

je saremna yaf-avri

2PL sit house-LOC

‘You (pl.) sat in the house.’

(3)

gu

2SG

ko-war-emon

1SG.OBJ-see-SG.TNS

gu ko-war-emon

2SG 1SG.OBJ-see-SG.TNS

‘You see me.’

Word order is SOV.

References

  1. ^ a b c Massep at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Massep language at Ethnologue (15th ed., 2005)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Foley, William A. (2018). "The languages of Northwest New Guinea". In Palmer, Bill (ed.). The Languages and Linguistics of the New Guinea Area: A Comprehensive Guide. The World of Linguistics. Vol. 4. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 433–568. ISBN 978-3-11-028642-7.
  4. ^ a b Clouse, Duane; Donohue, Mark; Ma, Felix (2002). "Survey Report of the North Coast of Irian Jaya" (PDF). SIL. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  5. ^ Usher, Timothy. West Foja Range. New Guinea World.
  6. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forke, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2020). "Massep". Glottolog 4.3.