Merauke Languages Project

Documenting the Endangered Papuan Languages of Merauke-Indonesia

Merauke Languages Project
A brief overview of


The project will focus on ethnobiological documentation of two endangered Papuan languages of the Wasur National Park, Merauke-Indonesia: Marori and Smärky Kanum. The speakers of these languages have traditionally maintained close spiritual-cultural links to their natural environments, which have undergone unprecedented changes in modern Indonesia, affecting their biodiversity, and the peoples’ languages.

The Merauke Languages Project will produce lexical databases/dictionaries, corpora, an Ethnobiology Guidebook of the Wasur National Park, and academic papers on language documentation and language ecology from linguistic, biological and anthropological perspectives.

Recent development in modern Indonesia has profoundly affected the languages in this region; 

Marori and Smärky Kanum are now endangered languages.


The Project will produce around 10 to 12 hours of selected audio/video recordings with transcription for each targeted language per year.  Recordings and other material will be available for download.

Corpus Data

Databases of specific ethnobiological terms in the local languages, high-quality still pictures, and geographic locations; as well as lexical data, readily converted to create a purposeful dictionary.