Today is the sixteenth day of my A to Z of Endangered Languages challenge; and for the letter P is the language Piame.


Piame is a Sepik language spoken natively in Papa New Guinea by, as of 1981, 100 people. As a result, UNESCO classifies Piame as a severely endangered language.

There seems to be very little information to be found on Piame on the web, though there may have been more investigation into the language than I have discovered. The two main studies seem to have been conducted by Wurm and Hattori (1981), who determined the number of Piame speakers, and Shaw (1973), who wrote an article titled ‘A tentative classification of the languages of the Mt Bosavi region’. There may well be other findings elsewhere, but these appear to be the most prominent ones.

With such little information available, the future of Piame seems undetermined – but it seems likely that with more contact between the people who speak the language and the other inhabitants of Papua New Guinea, that the speakers of Piame will probably decline in the future.

Sources/Further Reading

Wikipedia: Piame language
Ethnologue: Piame
TransNewGuinea: Piame
Endangered Languages Project: Piame
Verbix: Where on earth do they speak Piame?

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