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Wardaman language

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Wardaman language

Wardaman
Yangmanic
Native to Australia
Region Northern Territory
Ethnicity Wardaman
Native speakers
84  (2006 census)[1]
Dialects
Wardaman
Dagoman
Yangman[3]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Variously:
wrr – Wardaman
dgn – Dagoman
jng – Yangman
AIATSIS[4] N35, N38, N68
Glottolog yang1287[5]
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Yangmanic languages (purple), among other non-Pama-Nyungan languages (grey)

Wardaman is an Australian Aboriginal language. It is one of the northern non-Pama–Nyungan languages. Dagoman and Yangman (both extinct) were either dialects or closely related languages; as a family, these are called Yangmanic. Though previously classified as Gunwinyguan, they have not been demonstrated to be related to other languages.[2]

Sounds

The inventory of Wardaman proper:

Consonants

Peripheral Alveolo-
palatal
Apical
Bilabial Velar Alveolar Retroflex
Stop b ɡ d̠ʲ d ɖ
Nasal m ŋ n̠ʲ n ɳ
Lateral l̠ʲ l ɭ
Flap ɾ
Approximant β̞ j ɹ̠

The alveolo-palatals are pronounced with the blade of the tongue; at the end of a syllable they may sound like yn and yl to an English ear. Even the y is said to have lateral spread and to be pronounced with the blade and body of the tongue. There is very little acoustic difference between the two apical series compared to other languages in the area. The alveolars may add a slight retroflex onglide to a following vowel, and the retroflexes may assimilate alveolars in the same word. Nonetheless, they remain phonemically distinct. Francesca describes the w as bilabial, and notes that there is little or no lip rounding or protrusion (except in assimilation to a following /u/ or /o/). The r is post-alveolar.

Vowels

Front Back
High i u
Mid e o
Low a

Notes

  1. ^ Wardaman at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Dagoman at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Yangman at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ a b Bowern, Claire. How Many Languages Were Spoken in Australia? 2011.
  3. ^  
  4. ^ Wardaman at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies  (see the info box for additional links)
  5. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Yangmanic". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 

References

  • Merlan Francesca. 1983. A Grammar of Wardaman. A Language of the Northern Territory of Australia. Mouton de Gruyter. 1994.
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