Manus languages


The Manus languages are a subgroup of about two dozen
Oceanic languages The approximately 450 Oceanic languages are a branch of the Austronesian languages The Austronesian languages () are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), ...

Oceanic languages
located on
Manus Island Manus Island is part of Manus Province in northern Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini; tcs, Op Deudai), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ( tpi, Independen Stet bilong ...
and nearby offshore islands in
Manus Province Manus Province is the smallest province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivisi ...
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ( tpi, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini; ho, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini), is a country in that comp ...

Papua New Guinea
. The exact number of languages is difficult to determine because they form a
dialect continuum A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a series of language varieties spoken across some geographical area such that neighboring varieties are mutually intelligible In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of languag ...
(Blust 2007:302). The name 'Manus' (or 'Moanus') originally designated an ethnic group whose members spoke closely related languages and whose coastal dwellers tended to build their houses on stilts out over the sea (Bowern 2011:6). Nowadays the whole population of Manus Province may call themselves 'Manus' people, so the original Manus are distinguished as ''Manus tru'' 'real Manus' (or 'Manus
sensu stricto ''Sensu'' is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman ...
'). The language of the Manus people most intensively studied by anthropologists, from Georg Thilenius in the early 1900s through Margaret Mead in the mid-1900s, is now called Titan language, Titan (Bowern 2011).


According to Lynch, Ross, & Crowley (2002), the structure of the family is: *Manus **West Manus: Nyindrou language, Nyindrou, Sori-Harengan language, Sori-Harengan, Hermit language, Hermit (†), Bipi language, Bipi; Mondropolon language, Mondropolon, Tulu-Bohuai language, Tulu-Bohuai, Khehek language, Khehek (Drehet, Levei), Likum language, Likum **Intermediate: Loniu language, Loniu–Mokerang language, Mokerang, Pak-Tong language, Pak-Tong **East Manus: Andra-Hus language, Andra-Hus, Elu language (Papua New Guinea), Elu, Leipon language, Leipon, Papitalai language, Papitalai, Ponam language, Ponam, Ere language, Ere–Kele language (New Guinea), Kele–Kurti language, Kurti, Koro language (New Guinea), Koro–Lele language (Papua New Guinea), Lele–Nali language, Nali–Titan language, Titan One very distinctive phonological trait of these languages is the presence of prenasalized trill consonant, trills (Blust 2007). The bilabial trill , which can be spelled ''mb'' or ''br,'' only occurs before , and sounds like in other environments. The alveolar trill , spelled ''ndr'' or ''dr,'' has no such distributional limitations (2007:303).


* Robert Blust, Blust, Robert (2007). The prenasalised trills of Manus. In ''Language description, history, and development: Linguistic indulgence in memory of Terry Crowley,'' ed. by Jeff Siegel, John Lynch, and Diana Eades, pp. 297–311. Creole Language Library vol. 30. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. * Bowern, Claire (2011). ''Sivisa Titan: Sketch grammar, texts, vocabulary based on material collected by P. Josef Meier and Po Minis.'' Oceanic Linguistics Special Publication No. 38. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press. * Hamel, Patricia J. (1994). ''A grammar and lexicon of Loniu, Papua New Guinea.'' Pacific Linguistics C-103. Canberra: The Australian National University. 275 pp. * Hamel, Patricia J. (1993). Serial verbs in Loniu and an evolving preposition. ''Oceanic Linguistics'' 32:111–132. * John Lynch (linguist), Lynch, John, Malcolm Ross (linguist), Malcolm Ross, Terry Crowley (linguist), Terry Crowley (2002). ''The Oceanic languages.'' Richmond, Surrey: Curzon. , OCLC 48929366. * Ohnemus, Sylvia (1998). ''An Ethnology of the Admiralty Islanders: The Alfred Bühler Collection, Museum der Kulturen, Basel.'' Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press. . * Malcolm Ross (linguist), Ross, M. D. (1988). ''Proto Oceanic and the Austronesian languages of Western Melanesia.'' Pacific Linguistics C-98. Canberra: The Australian National University. 487 pp. {{Austronesian languages Manus languages, Admiralty Islands languages Languages of Manus Province