|Region||South-east South Australia|
Bungandidj is a language of Australia, spoken by the Bungandidj people, Indigenous Australians who lived in an area which is now in south-eastern South Australia and in south-western Victoria. According to Christina Smith and her book on the Buandig people, the Bungandidj called their language drualat-ngolonung (speech of man), or Booandik-ngolo (speech of the Booandik). As of 2017, there is a revival and maintenance programme under way for the language.
Historical variants of the name include: Bunganditj, Bungandaetch, Bunga(n)daetcha, Bungandity, Bungandit, Buganditch, Bungaditj, Pungantitj, Pungatitj, Booganitch, Buanditj, Buandik, Booandik, Boandiks, Bangandidj, Bungandidjk, Pungandik, Bak-on-date, Barconedeet, Booandik-ngolo, Borandikngolo, Bunganditjngolo, and Burhwundeirtch.
Bungandidj phonology is typical of Australian languages generally, sharing characteristics such as a single series of stops (no voicing contrast) at six places of articulation, a full corresponding set of nasals, laminals at all four coronal places of articulation and two glides. Extrapolating from historical written sources and knowledge of surrounding languages, Blake posits the following consonant inventory:
|Plosive||p [p]||k [k]||th||tj [c]||t [t]||rt [ʈ ]|
|Nasal||m [m]||ng [ŋ]||nh||ny [ɲ]||n [n]||rn [ɳ ]|
|Lateral||lh||ly [ʎ]||l [l]||rl [ɭ ]|
|Approximant||w [w]||y [j]||r [ɻ ]|
|Close||i [i]||u [u]|
Notes on orthography
- Early descriptions of Bungandidj made no distinction between the trill/flap /r/ and approximant /ɻ/ and evidence for this contrast is based on comparative evidence only. Blake transcribes both as <r>.
- Although there is no voicing distinction, stops are transcribed with voiced symbols <b, g, dh, d, rd> in homorganic nasal-stop clusters (where voicing is expected).
- Syllable-final palatals are transcribed with the digraphs <yt, yn, yl> to avoid a final -y being confused with a vowel.
- Historical sources include five vowel graphemes including <e> and <o>, however it is likely that <e> belongs to the /i/ phoneme and <o> belongs to the /o/ phoneme. However, Blake conservatively retains some <e> and <o> segments where they are consistently transcribed in this way across historical sources.
Smith (1880), on pages 138–139, records a poem written in Bungandidj :
- Dixon, R. M. W. (2002). Australian Languages: Their Nature and Development. Cambridge University Press. p. xxxv.
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Bunganditj". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- S13 Bungandidj at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
- Christina Smith, The Booandik Tribe of South Australian Aborigines: A Sketch of Their Habits, Customs, Legends, and Language, Spiller, 1880
- Monaghan, Paul (2017). "1. Structures of Aboriginal life at the time of colonisation in South Australia". In Brock, Peggy; Gara, Tom (eds.). Colonialism and its aftermath: A history of Aboriginal South Australia (PDF). Extract, pp.i-xxiii. Wakefield. p. 17. ISBN 9781743054994.
- Blake, Barry J. (2003). The Bunganditj (Buwandik) language of the Mount Gambier region. Australian National University. Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University. ISBN 9780858834958. OCLC 56054287.
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