Sepik Iwam
RegionEast Sepik Province
Native speakers
2,500 (2000 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3iws
ELPSepik Iwam
Coordinates: 4°17′28″S 142°00′36″E / 4.291°S 142.01°E / -4.291; 142.01 (Iniok)
Hauna pidgin
RegionEast Sepik Province
Native speakers
Iwam-based pidgin
Language codes
ISO 639-3None (mis)

Sepik Iwam, or Yawenian, is a language of Papua New Guinea. It is the lexical basis of the Hauna trade pidgin.

It is spoken in villages such as Iniok (4°17′28″S 142°00′36″E / 4.291°S 142.01°E / -4.291; 142.01 (Iniok)) in Tunap/Hunstein Rural LLG of East Sepik Province.[2][3]


Labial Alveolar Velar Glottal
Nasal m n
Plosive voiceless p t k
voiced b d ɡ
Fricative s h
Liquid r
Semivowel w j
Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e ə o
Open a


Sepik Iwam pronouns:[4]: 282 

singular dual plural
1st person ka kərar kəram
2nd person kow kom
3rd person masculine si sow səm
feminine sa


Sepik Iwam subject agreement suffixes are:[4]

singular dual plural
masculine *-ən *-o *-əm
feminine *-a

The structure of this subject agreement paradigm can be traced back to Proto-Sepik, although the morphemes themselves do not seem to be directly related to the reconstructed Proto-Sepik forms. (See also Sepik languages#Gender.)


  1. ^ Sepik Iwam at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Eberhard, David M.; Simons, Gary F.; Fennig, Charles D., eds. (2019). "Papua New Guinea languages". Ethnologue: Languages of the World (22nd ed.). Dallas: SIL International.
  3. ^ United Nations in Papua New Guinea (2018). "Papua New Guinea Village Coordinates Lookup". Humanitarian Data Exchange. 1.31.9.
  4. ^ a b c d Foley, William A. (2018). "The Languages of the Sepik-Ramu Basin and Environs". 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. 197–432. ISBN 978-3-11-028642-7.

Further reading