Bena Bena

Project Statistics

  • Sessions: 31
  • Audio recordings: 0
  • Video recordings: 26
  • Annotations: 6
  • Images: 0

Last update: 2017-3-19

The Bena Bena language (ISO 639-3 code: bef) is a Papuan language spoken in the Eastern Highlands province of Papua New Guinea. It belongs to the Gorokan family, and within this family is most closely related to Gahuku (Wurm 1975; Foley 1986; Ross 2005; Lewis 2009). The Gorokan family is in turn assigned to the large Trans-New Guinea Phylum (Ross 2005) as originally postulated by Wurm (1975).

Despite a fair number of speakers (Lewis 2009 estimates 45,000) Bena Bena is endangered due to the increasing use of Tok Pisin, the main lingua franca of Papua New Guinea. Younger Bena speakers use Tok Pisin in daily conversations, and a considerable number of children are raised in Tok Pisin rather than in Bena Bena. Only the older generation (above 40) speak the language actively on a regular basis.