Watiwa language

Last updated
Native to Papua New Guinea
Region Madang Province
Native speakers
510 (2003) [1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 wtf
Glottolog dump1243 [2]

Watiwa is spoken by some 500 people living in six villages in Papua New Guinea. It is more commonly known as Dumpu, but this is the name of one of the six villages, and is not accepted as a name for the language. Surviving mostly as a secret language with which to talk amongst themselves when outsiders are present, [3] the majority of the speakers use Tok Pisin in daily life. Due to its increasingly rare use, it is estimated that this language will be extinct in a few decades. [3]

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Papua New Guinea, officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is an Oceanian country that occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and its offshore islands in Melanesia, a region of the southwestern Pacific Ocean north of Australia. Its capital, located along its southeastern coast, is Port Moresby. The western half of New Guinea forms the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua.

Tok Pisin is a creole language spoken throughout Papua New Guinea. It is an official language of Papua New Guinea and the most widely used language in the country. However, in parts of Western, Gulf, Central, Oro Province and Milne Bay Provinces, the use of Tok Pisin has a shorter history, and is less universal, especially among older people. While it likely developed as a trade pidgin, Tok Pisin has become a distinct language in its own right. It is often referred to by Anglophones as "New Guinea Pidgin" or "Pidgin English".

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  1. Watiwa at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Dumpu". Glottolog 3.0 . Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. 1 2 "PNG Language Resources endangered languages document" (PDF). SIL International. Retrieved 2009-05-13.