Tofanma language

Last updated
Region Papua: Keerom Regency, Senggi District, most of Namla, Tofanma Dua, and Tofanma Satu villages
Native speakers
250 (2005) [1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 tlg
Glottolog tofa1246
ELP Tofanma

Tofanma or Tofamna is a poorly documented Papuan language of Indonesia. Wurm (1975) placed it as an independent branch of Trans–New Guinea, but Ross (2005) could not find enough evidence to classify it. It appears to be related to Namla, a neighboring language.



Tofanma vocabulary from Foley (2018): [2]

‘road, path’mæki
‘you (sg)’wo
‘you (pl)’dule

The following basic vocabulary words are from Voorhoeve (1971, 1975), [3] [4] as cited in the Trans-New Guinea database: [5]

earkemb lelu
eyejei; yei
birdjetai; yetai
skinjefake; yefake
sunjaku; yaku
road, pathmeka

Related Research Articles

Papuan languages Indigenous language families of New Guinea and neighboring islands

The Papuan languages are the non-Austronesian and non-Australian languages spoken on the western Pacific island of New Guinea, and neighbouring islands, by around 4 million people. It is a strictly geographical grouping, and does not imply a genetic relationship. The concept of Papuan peoples as distinct from Austronesian-speaking Melanesians was first suggested and named by Sidney Herbert Ray in 1892.

The Sko or Skou languages are a small language family spoken by about 7000 people, mainly along the Vanimo 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.

East Geelvink Bay languages Papuan language family of Indonesia

The East Geelvink Bay or East Cenderawasih languages are a language family of a dozen Papuan languages along the eastern coast of Geelvink Bay in Indonesian Papua, which is also known as Sarera Bay or Cenderawasih.

The Border or Upper Tami languages are an independent family of Papuan languages in Malcolm Ross's version of the Trans–New Guinea proposal.

Mairasi languages Family of Papuan languages

The Mairasi languages, also known as Etna Bay are a small independent family of Papuan languages in the classifications of Malcolm Ross and Timothy Usher, that had been part of Stephen Wurm's Trans–New Guinea proposal. They are named after Etna Bay, located in the southeastern corner of West Papua province, in Indonesia.

The Nimboran languages are a small family of Papuan languages, spoken in the Grime River watershed, that had been part of Stephen Wurm's Trans–New Guinea proposal. However, when proto-Nimboran pronouns are reconstructed (*genam "I" and kom or komot "thou"), they have little resemblance to the proto-TNG pronouns *na and *ga. Usher places them in a North Papuan stock that resembles Cowan's proposal.

The Burmeso language – also known as Taurap – is spoken by some 300 people in Burmeso village along the mid Mamberamo River in Mamberamo Tengah subdistrict, Mamberamo Raya Regency, Papua province, Indonesia. It is surrounded by the Kwerba languages to the north, the Lakes Plain languages to the south, and the East Cenderawasih Bay languages to the west.

Elseng is a poorly documented Papuan language spoken by about 300 people in the Indonesian province of Papua. It is also known as Morwap, which means "what is it?" ‘Morwap’ is vigorously rejected as a language name by speakers and government officials.

Kayagar languages Trans–New Guinea language group of Indonesia

The Kayagar languages are a small family of four closely related Trans–New Guinea languages spoken around the Cook River of Indonesian New Guinea:

The Pauwasi languages are a likely family of Papuan languages, mostly in Indonesia. The subfamilies are at best only distantly related. The best described Pauwasi language is Karkar, across the border in Papua New Guinea. They are spoken around the headwaters of the Pauwasi River in the Indonesian-PNG border region.

Kaure–Kosare languages Language family

The Kaure–Kosare or Nawa River languages are a small family spoken along the Nawa River in West Papua, near the northern border with Papua New Guinea. The languages are Kaure and Kosare.

Mek languages Trans–New Guinea language branch

The Mek languages are a well established family of Papuan languages spoken by the Mek peoples. They form a branch of the Trans–New Guinea languages (TNG) in the classifications of Stephen Wurm (1975) and of Malcolm Ross (2005).

Momuna (Momina), also known as Somahai, is a Papuan language spoken in the highlands of Papua province, Indonesia.

The Demta–Sentani languages form a language family of coastal Indonesian Papua near the Papua New Guinea border.

Palei languages

The Palei languages constitute a branch of the Torricelli language family according to Laycock (1975). They are spoken in mountainous regions of eastern Sandaun Province, Papua New Guinea.

Molof is a poorly documented Papuan language spoken by about 200 people in Molof village, Senggi District, Keerom Regency.

Deraa.k.a.Mangguar and Kamberataro (Komberatoro) is a Senagi language of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. In Papua New Guinea, it is primarily spoken in Kamberataro village, Amanab Rural LLG, Sandaun Province.

Yetfa and Biksi are dialects of a language spoken in Jetfa District, Papua, Indonesia, and across the border in Papua New Guinea. It is a trade language spoken in West Papua up to the PNG border.

The East Pauwasi languages are a family of Papuan languages spoken in north-central New Guinea, on both sides of the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border. They may either form part of a larger Pauwasi language family along with the Western Pauwasi languages, or they could form an independent language family.

Clemens Lambertus Voorhoeve is a Dutch linguist who specializes in Papuan languages.


  1. Tofanma at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. Foley, William A. (2018). "The languages of Northwest New Guinea". In Palmer, Bill (ed.). The Languages and Linguistics of the New Guinea Area: A Comprehensive Guide. The World of Linguistics. Vol. 4. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 433–568. ISBN   978-3-11-028642-7.
  3. Voorhoeve, C.L. "Miscellaneous Notes on Languages in West Irian, New Guinea". In Dutton, T., Voorhoeve, C. and Wurm, S.A. editors, Papers in New Guinea Linguistics No. 14. A-28:47-114. Pacific Linguistics, The Australian National University, 1971. doi : 10.15144/PL-A28.47
  4. Voorhoeve, C.L. Languages of Irian Jaya: Checklist. Preliminary classification, language maps, wordlists. B-31, iv + 133 pages. Pacific Linguistics, The Australian National University, 1975. doi : 10.15144/PL-B31
  5. Greenhill, Simon (2016). " - database of the languages of New Guinea" . Retrieved 2020-11-05.