Kuurn Kopan Noot language

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Kuurn Kopan Noot
Dhauwurd Wurrung
EthnicityGurnditjmara (Dhauwurd wurrung), Djargurd Wurrung, Girai wurrung, ?Gadubanud
Extinct(date missing)
  • Kuurn-Kopan-Noot
  • Peek-Whurrung (Bi:gwurrung)
  • Koort-Kirrup
  • Dhautgart/Keerray (wurru)
  • Gaiwurrung
  • Tjarcote (Djargurd Wurrung, Warrnambool)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
gjm – Gunditjmara
wkr – Keerray-Woorroong
AIATSIS[3]S20 Dhauwurd Wurrung, S25 Keerray-Woorroong

Kuurn Kopan Noot, or Gurnditjmara (Kirurndit, Gu:nditj-mara), is an extinct language of Victoria (Australia). It had a number of dialects (see box at right), including Kuurn Kopan Noot proper.


A likely phonemic inventory for the Warrnambool language is shown below.

Labial Dental Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar
Stop p t ʈ c k
Nasal m n ɳ ɲ ŋ
Lateral l ɭ ʎ
Rhotic ɾ~r ɽ
Approximant j w

Rhotic consonants were not distinguished in older sources. It is unclear to determine whether the retroflex consonant was a glide or a flap. Both were written as r.

Although most Australian indigenous languages use three vowels /a/, /i/, and /u/, the amount of vowels are not clearly distinguished within the other sources for the Warrnambool language. There is some fluctuation between /i/ and /e/, and /u/ and /o/. Where there was a back vowel occurring before a syllable-final palatal, /o/ was used instead of /u/, to give a better idea of the more likely pronunciation (i.e. puroyn "night").[4]

In popular culture[edit]

Australian composer and soprano, Deborah Cheetham, wrote Australia’s first requiem based on the frontier wars between first nations people in South Western Victoria and settlers which is sung entirely in the Gunditjmara language.[5] The first performance of the requiem, "Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace"[5] on 15 June 2019 in Melbourne featured Cheetham with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the MSO Chorus and the Dhungala Children’s Choir.[5]


  1. ^ Dixon, R. M. W. (2002). Australian Languages: Their Nature and Development. Cambridge University Press. p. xxxv.
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Warrnambool". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ S20 Dhauwurd Wurrung at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies  (see the info box for additional links)
  4. ^ Blake, Barry J. (2003). The Warrnambool Language: A Consolidated Account of the Aboriginal Language of the Warrnambool Area of the Western District of Victoria based on Nineteenth-Century Sources. Canberra: Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University.
  5. ^ a b c "Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace". National Indigenous Times. Retrieved 8 May 2019.

External links[edit]