A language of Papua New Guinea

Alternate Names
Harway, Taman, Waibuk, Wiyau, Wiyaw, Wovan

2,000 (2000 SIL). Many monolinguals.


Madang Province southwest, southwest Mid-Ramu district, west Schrader range, west of the Kobon [kpw] language area.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).


Central Waibuk (Mambar), North Waibuk (Hamil), South Waibuk (Arama). Word taboo practiced, but does not seem to impede intelligibility among related language varieties. Lexical similarity: 37% with Pinai-Hagahai [pnn], 35% with Kobon [kpw].


SOV; postpositions (few); genitives precede noun heads; possessives, adjectives, numerals, relative clauses follow noun heads; postclitic demonstratives; suffixes; V, CV, VC, CVC.

Language Use

Speeches and sermons by outsiders always translated into Haruai. All ages. Also use Kobon [kpw], Tok Pisin [tpi]. Used as L2 by Pinai-Hagahai [pnn].

Language Development
NT: 2010.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Some similarities to Kalam languages due to borrowing (Comrie 1988). More loanwords from Kobon used in the northern area.