Enindhilyagwa language

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Enindhilyagwa
Anindilyakwa
Region Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Territory, Australia
Native speakers
1,300  (2006 census)[1]
Arnhem?
  • East Arnhem?
    • Enindhilyagwa
Language codes
ISO 639-3 aoi
Glottolog anin1240[2]
AIATSIS[3] N151
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Enindhilyagwa (also Anindilyakwa and several other names; see below) is an Australian Aboriginal language spoken by the Warnindhilyagwa people on Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Australia. A 2001 Australian government study identified more than one thousand speakers of the language,[4] although there are reports of as many as three thousand. In 2008, it was cited in a study on whether humans had an innate ability to count without having words for numbers. While the Enindhilyagwa language traditionally had terms for numbers up to twenty, these are no longer known to younger speakers.[5][6]

Enindhilyagwa may be most closely related to Nunggubuyu on the adjacent mainland, but this is yet to be confirmed.[3]

Names[edit]

Spellings of the name include:

  • Andiljangwa
  • Andilyaugwa
  • Anindilyakwa (used by Ethnologue)
  • Aninhdhilyagwa (used by R. M. W. Dixon's Australian Languages)
  • Enindiljaugwa
  • Enindhilyagwa
  • Wanindilyaugwa

It also known as Groote Eylandt, after its location. Another name is Ingura or Yingguru.

Classification[edit]

Once left as a language isolate, Enindhilyagwa has been linked with the Arnhem languages of the mainland.[7][8]

Phonology[edit]

Vowels[edit]

The analysis of Enindhilyagwa's vowels is open to interpretation. Stokes[9] analyses it as having four phonemic vowels, /i e a u/. Leeding[10] analyses it as having just two, /ɨ a/.

Consonants[edit]

Peripheral Laminal Apical
Bilabial Velar Palatal Dental Alveolar Retroflex
Unrounded Rounded
Stop p k c t ʈ
Nasal m ŋ ŋʷ ɲ n ɳ
Lateral ʎ (ɭ)
Rhotic r ɻ
Semivowel w j

Phonotactics[edit]

All Enindhilyagwa words end in a vowel. Clusters of up to three consonants can occur within words.

Grammar[edit]

Noun classes[edit]

Enindhilyagwa has five noun classes, or genders, each marked by a prefix:

  • Human male
  • Non-human male
  • Female (human or non-human)
  • Inanimate "lustrous", with the prefix a-.
  • Inanimate "non-lustrous", with the prefix mwa-.

For bound pronouns, instead of "human male" and "non-human male" classes there is a single "male" class.

All native nouns carry a class prefix, but some loanwords may lack them.

Numerals[edit]

According to Stokes[11] the language traditionally had numerals up to twenty but since the introduction of English, English words are now used almost exclusively for numbers above five.

Example[edit]

This song is a translation of the church song "This is the day", sung by the local churchgoers in the community of Angurugu. The spelling and translation requires confirmation.

Anindilyakwa Approximate translation
Mema mamawurra

Ngumanekburrakama God

Narriyekiyerra, Akuwerikilyelyingmajungwuna

Narriyekiyerra

Akuwerikilyelyingmajungwuna

This day

Made by God

We will rejoice and be glad in it

This is the day made by God

We will rejoice in it

References[edit]

  1. ^ Enindhilyagwa at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Enindhilyagwa". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ a b Enindhilyagwa at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  4. ^ http://www.deh.gov.au/soe/techpapers/languages/indicator3d.html[dead link]
  5. ^ UCL Media Relations, "Aboriginal kids can count without numbers"
  6. ^ The Science Show, Genetic anomaly could explain severe difficulty with arithmetic, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  7. ^ Bowern & Koch, 2004. Australian Languages: Classification and the Comparative Method, p 44
  8. ^ Bowern, Claire. 2011. "How Many Languages Were Spoken in Australia?", Anggarrgoon: Australian languages on the web, December 23, 2011 (corrected February 6, 2012)
  9. ^ Stokes, J. (1981). "Anindilyakwa phonology from phoneme to syllable". In Waters, B. Australian phonologies: collected papers. Darwin: Summer Institute of Linguistics, Australian Aborigines Branch. pp. 138–81. 
  10. ^ Leeding, V. J. (1989). Anindilyakwa phonology and morphology. PhD dissertation. University of Sydney. 
  11. ^ Stokes, J. (1982). "A description of the mathematical concepts of Groote Eylandt Aborigines". In Hargrave, S. Work Papers of SIL-AAB: Language and Culture. Darwin: Summer Institute of Linguistics, Australian Aborigines Branch. pp. 33–152. 
  • Leeding, V. J. (1996). "Body parts and possession in Anindilyakwa". In Chappell, H. and McGregor, W. The grammar of inalienability: a typological perspective on body part terms and the part-whole relation. Berlin: Mounton de Gruyter. pp. 193–249. 

External links[edit]