Kawaimina is a
syllabic abbreviationused to refer to four similar dialects of East Timor, specifically Kairui, Waimaha, Midiki, and Naueti, spoken by one or two thousand speakers each. It is a name used by linguists discussing the languages, not the speakers themselves. The first three are spoken in adjacent areas in the western part of Baucau District, along the north coast. Naueti is used on the south coast of far western Lautém District, surrounded by speakers of Makasae. Some Midiki speakers near Ossurefer to their language as Osomoko.
The Kawaimina languages are members of the
Timor languagesbranch of Central Eastern Malayo-Polynesian languages. Because of the proximity of Papuan languages, especially Makasae, there has been a number of borrowings, particularly in Naueti. The languages are noted for both archaisms and unusual innovations, including vowel harmonyand aspirated and post-glottalizedconsonants in their sound-systems.
* [http://rspas.anu.edu.au/linguistics/projects/Waimaha/eng/ The Waimaha language of East Timor]
* [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=krd Ethnologue page for Kairui-Midiki]
* [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=nxa Ethnologue page for Nauete]
* [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=wmh Ethnologue page for Waimaha]
* [http://www.shlrc.mq.edu.au/~leccles/langs.html Survey of the languages of East Timor]
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