Nimboran
Grime River
Geographic
distribution
Grime River, New Guinea
Linguistic classificationNorthwest Papuan?
Glottolognimb1257

The Nimboran languages are a small family of Papuan languages, spoken in the Grime River watershed, that had been part of Stephen Wurm's Trans–New Guinea proposal. However, when proto-Nimboran pronouns are reconstructed (*genam "I" and kom or komot "thou"), they have little resemblance to the proto-TNG pronouns *na and *ga. Usher places them in a North Papuan stock that resembles Cowan's proposal.[1]

Foley (2018) classifies the Nimboran languages separately as an independent language family.[2]

Classification

The languages are:[1]

Proto-language

Pronouns

The pronouns Ross (2005) reconstructs for proto-Nimboran are,

I *genam
thou *kom, komot
s/he ?

Below are pronouns in the Nimboran languages as given by Foley (2018):[2]

Nimboran pronouns
Nimboran Kemtuik Gresi Mlap Mekwei
1excl ngo gənam ganam ngam kə ~ kat
1incl yo imot
2 ko mot ko kom kmot
3 no nemot

As in Kaure, pronouns are not specified for number in the Nimboran language.[2]

Basic vocabulary

Some lexical reconstructions by Usher (2020) are:[1]

gloss Proto-Grime River
head *jaŋkaMBʉ
leaf/head hair *ndɜp
ear *kam[a/ɔ]; *kəni[n/ŋ]
eye *namuɔ
tooth *səɺiŋ; *wasəɺa[ŋ]
tongue *anəmbəɺ[i/ɛ]ŋ; *mambəɺ[ɜ/ɔ]p
foot/leg *masi
blood/red *kin
seed/bone *ndɜn
skin/bark *asu[p/k]
breast/milk *min
louse *səna[ŋ]
dog *unduɔ
pig *inəmbuɔ
bird *jʉ
egg *səwip[i]
tree/wood *ndi
man/male *səɺu
woman *kambuŋ; *ki
sun *wɔj
moon *mbanu
water/river *mbu
fire *kip; *kɜj
stone *ndəmuɔ
path *tap
name *sʉ
eat *ndam
one *kapəɺaj[a]
two *namuan

Vocabulary comparison

The following basic vocabulary words are from Voorhoeve (1975),[3] as cited in the Trans-New Guinea database:[4]

gloss Gresi Kemtuik Mekwei Mlap Nimboran
head yaŋkabu iŋkabu yekembu yaŋkambu iŋgiambu
hair bətə-dop dop bəterep məndü-pra mendü-pro
eye nam nmu-tugon namo-den nuŋgroŋ nuŋgroŋ
tooth səriŋ wasraŋ siŋyaŋ səriŋ-dowŋ hriŋ-douŋ
leg masi masi masi mesi mesi
louse səna səne səne səne hnaŋ
dog udo udo ando undo unduo
pig nəmbu nəmbo mbo ibo ibwo
bird ü
egg si si səbi süp süp
blood kiŋ kiŋ kiŋ kiŋ kiŋ
bone don don den dowŋ douŋ
skin suk saisuk asuk sup sub
tree di di di di di-tim
man sərə səruə si sru hru
sun woy woy woy woy uai
water bu bu bu bu bu
fire koy koy kei-sini kip kip
stone dom dəmu dəmo dəmu demue
name siü siu
eat dam dam anime dam dam
one kray kraya kapray tendu tendü
two namon namon naman namoŋ namuan

References

  1. ^ a b c Grime River. New Guinea World.
  2. ^ a b c 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.
  3. ^ Voorhoeve, C.L. Languages of Irian Jaya: Checklist. Preliminary classification, language maps, wordlists. B-31, iv + 133 pages. Pacific Linguistics, The Australian National University, 1975. doi:10.15144/PL-B31
  4. ^ Greenhill, Simon (2016). "TransNewGuinea.org - database of the languages of New Guinea". Retrieved 2020-11-05.
  • 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.