The Awyu-Dumut family of Papuan languages in its linguistic and cultural context
09 / 2009 - 08 / 2013
The Papuan languages of the Awyu-Dumut family are spoken in the Digul River basin of central and south-west New Guinea. This vast expanse of lowland covered with swamps and rainforests is the home of around 35,000 speakers of Awyu-Dumut languages. The aim of this research project is to present a detailed and integrated description of this language family in its linguistic and cultural context, focusing on both the internal relations within the family and the external relations of this family to its neigbours, the Marind, Ok, and Asmat-Kamoro families. Specifically, the projects aims to 1. reconstruct the proto morphology of the Awyu-Dumut family 2. to document and explain the extreme internal linguistic diversity within the Awyu-Dumut family 3. to describe the relationships between the Awyu-Dumut family and its neigbours, the Ok, Asmat-Kamoro and Marind families 4. to establish the position of the Awyu-Dumut family in the Trans New Guinea group 5. to establish the northern boundary of the Awyu-Dumut family by comparative study of recently discovered languages between the Upper Eilanden and Digul rivers, such as Korowai, Tskwambo, Sait, Burumakok and Kopkaka.