The rugged Southern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea is home to a number of languages, but many are under threat from two sources, the large Huli language that is regionally dominant and the nationally dominant Tok Pisin language that serves as the main lingua franca of the country. Typically speaking highland populations are significantly larger than those found in lowland and coastal parts of Papua New Guinea.
Huli [hui] is one of the largest of the 800 or so languages spoken in Papua New Guinea with perhaps as many as 80,000 first language speakers. It is a member of the Engan family of the Trans-New Guinea phylum. This language is thriving in the area around Tari in Southern Highlands Province, though Tok Pisin is at least as commonly used in the Tari market. Joycelyn Teke and Thomas Nokondi are our primary Huli consultants.
Huili Project Photos
Huli Audio Files
Ipili [ipi] is a threatened Engan language spoken in Southern Highlands and Enga Provinces, Papua New Guinea. During our survey of Papua New Guinea in July 2009, we met Koo Yandabagee and Sam Ako in Tari ,who offered us some word and sentences in their language. In addition to their native Ipili, both men also speak Huli, Tok Pisin as well as some English.
Duna [duc] is a language of the Duna-Bogaya stock of the Trans-New Guinea phylum. It has a declining number of speakers as many shift to Huli and/or Tok Pisin. Badja is our primary consultant.
Duna Audio Files
Etoro also known as Edolo is a Trans-New Guinea phylum language belonging to the Bosavi family. Etoro [etr] has approximately 1,500 to 2,000 speakers. Our Etoro consultant is Iso.
Etoro Elicitation Video
Foe [foi], also known as Foi, is a Eastern Kutubuan language belonging to the Trans-New Guinea phylum. Foe is an endangered language with a dwindling number of speakers. Among the noteworthy features of Foe is a body-part counting system, demonstrated in the video below by our consultant Ganebi Sebo.
Foe consultant Ganebi Sebo working with David Harrison and Greg Anderson in Tari. Photo by Chris Rainier