Massep language

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Region Papua New Guinea
Ethnicity 85 (2000)[1][2]
Native speakers
30% or less (2000)[1]
unclassified (possible language isolate)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 mvs
Glottolog mass1263[3]

Massep (Masep, Potafa, Wotaf) is a poorly documented Papuan language spoken by under 50 people in a single village. Despite the small number of speakers, however, language use is vigorous. Donohue and colleagues (2002) conclude that it is definitely not a Kwerba language, as it had been classified by Wurm (1975), and they did not notice connections to any other language family. Ethnologue and Glottolog list it as a language isolate,[1][3] but it has not been included in wider surveys such as Ross (2005). The pronouns are not dissimilar from those Trans–New Guinea languages, but Massep is geographically distant from that family.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Massep at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Massep language at Ethnologue (15th ed., 2005)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Massep". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Clouse, Duane, Mark Donohue and Felix Ma. 2002. "Survey report of the north coast of Irian Jaya."[1]