Bunuba language

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Bunuba
RegionWestern Australia
Native speakers
40 (2005) to 110 (2006 census)[1]
Bunuban
  • Bunuba
Language codes
ISO 639-3bck
Glottologbuna1275[2]
AIATSIS[1]K5

Bunuba (Bunaba, Punuba, Punapa) is an Australian Aboriginal language spoken by some 160 older adults, most of whom live in Junjuwa, an Aboriginal community in Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia. Bunuba is not related to the Pama-Nyungan language family that spans the majority of Australia, though it is a relative of Gooniyandi.[3]

Due to the growing concern of their language becoming extinct, the elders make an effort by passing on stories to their younger people around the campfires at night. This is a way the Bunuba elders prevent the extinction of their language, passing it down through generations.[4]


Phonology[edit]

The vowels chart and the consonants chart are taken from "The Handbook of Australian Languages"[5]

Vowels[edit]

Front Central Back
High[edit]
i u
Low[edit]
a a:


Consonants[edit]

Bilabial Lamino-dental Apico-alveolar Apico-post-alveolar Lamino-palatal Dorso-velar
Stops[edit]
b θ d ʒ g
Nasals[edit]
m nh n ɲ ŋ
Laterals[edit]
l ly
Rhotics[edit]
ɹ r
Glides[edit]
w yh j

Some of the symbols in this consonants chart are taken from English IPA.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bunuba at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Bunaba". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Knight, Emily (2008). "7. Hyperpolysemy in Bunuba, a Polysynthetic Language of the Kimberley, Western Australia". In Goddard, Cliff. Cross-Linguistic Semantics. Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing Company. p. 206. ISBN 9789027205698.
  4. ^ Channel, Discovery, Language: Bunuba, Australia, retrieved 2018-01-29
  5. ^ J., Dixon, Robert M. W., 1939- Blake, Barry (1979). Handbook of Australian languages: volume I. Australian National University Press. p. 40. ISBN 0708112013. OCLC 6146611.