|3,500 (2006 census)|
|Yolŋu Sign Language|
Official language in
|Northern Territory (as lingua franca for aborigines) |
dwu – Dhuwal
djr – Djambarrpuyngu
gnn – Gumatj
guf – Gupapuyngu
dax – Dayi (Dhay'yi)
dwy – Dhuwaya
Dialects of the Yirritja moiety are (a) Gupapuyngu and Gumatj; those of the Dhuwa moiety are (b) Djambarrpuyngu, Djapu, Liyagalawumirr, and Guyamirlili (Gwijamil). In addition, it would appear that the Dhay'yi (Dayi) dialects, (a) Dhalwangu and (b) Djarrwark, are part of the same language.
Ethnologue divides Dhuwal into four languages, plus Dayi and the contact variety Dhuwaya:
- Dhuwal proper (Wulamba), Datiwuy, Dhuwaya, Liyagawumirr, Marrangu, and Djapu: 600 speakers
- Djampbarrpuyŋu, 2,760 speakers
- Gumatj, 240 speakers
- Gupapuyngu, 330 speakers
- Dhay'yi (Dayi) and Dhalwangu, 170 speakers
Numbers are from the 2006 census.
Dhuwaya is a stigmatized contact variant used by the younger generation in informal contexts, and is the form taught in schools, having replaced Gumatj ca. 1990.
Probably every Australian language with speakers remaining has had an orthography developed for it, in each case in the Latin script. Sounds not found in English are usually represented by digraphs, or more rarely by diacritics, such as underlines, or extra symbols, sometimes borrowed from the International Phonetic Alphabet. Some examples are shown in the following table.
|Pitjantjatjara||paṉa||'earth, dirt, ground; land'||diacritic (underline) indicates retroflex 'n'|
|Wajarri||nhanha||'this, this one'||digraph indicating 'n' with dental articulation|
|Gupapuyŋu||yolŋu||'person, man'||'ŋ' (from IPA) for velar nasal|
- Dhuwal at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (see the info box for additional links)
- Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Dhuwal-Dhuwala". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
- Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Dayi". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
- Dixon, R. M. W. (2002). Australian Languages: Their Nature and Development. Cambridge University Press. p. xxxvi.
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