This article or section should specify the language of its non-English content, using ((lang)), ((transliteration)) for transliterated languages, and ((IPA)) for phonetic transcriptions, with an appropriate ISO 639 code. Wikipedia's multilingual support templates may also be used. See why. (July 2021)
RegionPapua New Guinea
Native speakers
6,000 (2000)[1]
  • Aurama (Turoha, Uri)
  • Hauruha
Language codes
ISO 639-3pwa
Map: The Pawaia language of New Guinea
  The Pawaia language
  Trans–New Guinea languages
  Other Papuan languages
  Austronesian languages

Pawaia, also known as Sira, Tudahwe, Yasa, is a Papuan language that forms a tentative independent branch of the Trans–New Guinea family in the classification of Malcolm Ross (2005).


Pawaia is spoken in:[1]


Although Pawaia has reflexes of proto-Trans–New Guinea vocabulary, Ross considers its inclusion questionable on available evidence. Usher classifies it instead with the Teberan languages. Noting insufficient evidence, Pawley and Hammarström (2018) leave it as unclassified rather than as part of Trans-New Guinea.[4]

Pawley and Hammarström (2018) do not consider there to be sufficient evidence for Pawaia to be classified as part of Trans-New Guinea, though they do note the following lexical resemblances between Pawaia and proto-Trans-New Guinea.[4]


The following basic vocabulary words are from Macdonald (1973)[5] and Trefry (1969),[6] as cited in the Trans-New Guinea database:[7]

gloss Pawaia
head mu
hair muse; sị
ear nȩᶦ; nɛ̣i
eye to; toᵘ
nose ho; họ
tooth su
tongue ha̧pi; hɛmina
leg hɛ; si̧ʔi̧
louse po; poř
dog hạ; hɛ̧
pig ya
bird deř; ge
egg ge džu; yo
blood sɛni; su̧
bone džɛmɛ; yɛmi
skin hɛʔȩ; hɛi
breast ɛmi
tree i̧; in
man džʌʔla; yala
woman oi; u
sun ol; olsuɛ; sia
moon we; wɛ
water sa
fire sia
stone tobu; topu
road, path sụ
name hɛʔɛpi; hopi
eat hatisụɛ; ti haʔayɛ
one pɛʔɛmi; pomi
two naʔau; nau

Further reading


  1. ^ a b Pawaia at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) closed access
  2. ^ New Guinea World, Tua River
  3. ^ Oroi is next to Kaiau and is located in Central Province, Papua New Guinea.
  4. ^ a b 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. Vol. 4. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 21–196. ISBN 978-3-11-028642-7.
  5. ^ Macdonald, G.E. "The Teberan Language Family". In Franklin, K. editor, The linguistic situation in the Gulf District and adjacent areas, Papua New Guinea. C-26:111-148. Pacific Linguistics, The Australian National University, 1973. doi:10.15144/PL-C26.111
  6. ^ Trefry, D. A comparative study of Kuman and Pawaian. B-13, vi + 99 pages. Pacific Linguistics, The Australian National University, 1969. doi:10.15144/PL-B13
  7. ^ Greenhill, Simon (2016). " - database of the languages of New Guinea". Retrieved 2020-11-05.