Sko languages

Sko languages

Infobox Language family
region=New Guinea
family=a primary family of Papuan languages
The Sko or Skou languages are a small language family spoken by about 7000 people, mainly along the coast of Sandaun Province in Papua New Guinea, with a few being inland from this area and at least one just across the border in the Indonesian province of Papua (formerly known as Irian Jaya). Skou languages are unusual in New Guinea for being tonal. Vanimo, for example, has three tones, "high, mid, low."

Currently there are linguists working on most of these languages, writing grammars, compiling dictionaries, and assisting the speakers to develop vernacular materials for use in schools.


ko (Laycock 1975)

The Skou family was first proposed by G. Frederici in 1912. Laycock posited two branches, Vanimo and Krisa:
*Vanimo branch - Skou, Sangke (Nyao), Wutung, Vanimo (Dumo)
*Krisa branch - I’saka (Krisa), Rawo, Puari, Barupu (Warapu)

kou (Ross 2005)

However, Krisa is poorly supported and Malcolm Ross abandoned it,
*I’saka (Krisa)
*Barupu (Warapu)
*Vanimo branch: Skou (Tumawo), Leitre, Sangke (Nyao), Wutung, Vanimo (Dumo), Dusur

=Macro-Skou linkage (Donohue 2002)=

Mark Donohue proposed a subclassification based on areal diffusion he called "Macro-Skou". Despite the change in name, the languages involved are the same,
*Skou-Serra-Piore linkage
**Piore River: Nori (strongly influenced by Womo), Barupu
**Serra Hills
***Rawo-Main Serra: Rawo, Womo
** Skou (Vanimo) family
***Eastern Skou/Vanimo
****West Coast
*****Border: Nyao, Wutung
*****Vanimo proper: Dumo, Dusur


The pronouns Ross reconstructs for proto-Skou are,


The Skou languages also have a dual, with a distinction between inclusive and exclusive we, but the forms are not reconstructable for the proto-language.

ee also

*Papuan languages



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