|Ethnicity||Mulluk-Mulluk, Ngolokwangga, Djerait|
|10 Malak-Malak (2016 census)|
5 Tyeraity (2005)
Malak-Malak (also spelt Mullukmulluk, Malagmalag, Malak-Malak), also known as Ngolak-Wonga (Nguluwongga), is an Australian Aboriginal language spoken by the Mulluk-Mulluk people. Malakmalak is nearly extinct, with children growing up speaking Kriol or English instead. The language is spoken in the Daly River area around Woolianna and Nauiyu. The Kuwema or Tyaraity (Tyeraty) variety is distinct.
Malakmalak was formerly classified in a Northern Daly family along with the "Anson Bay" group of Wagaydy (Patjtjamalh, Wadjiginy, Kandjerramalh) and the unattested Giyug. Green concluded that Wagaydy and Malakmalak were two separate language families. Some later classifications have linked them such as Bowern (2011). However, the Wagaydy people are recent arrivals in the area, and their language may only similar due to borrowing. AIATSIS and Glottolog both treat Wagaydy as an isolate and Giyug as unclassifiable.
In contemporary usage, "Northern Daly" (e.g. Harvey 2003, Cahir 2006, Nordlinger 2017) most often refers specifically to the group of languages which includes Malakmalak and Tyerraty (also known as Guwema), a variety with which MalakMalak differs significantly in vocabulary (65% according to Tryon's 200 word list), but is very close to morphologically.
|Close||i||ɨ||ɯ / u|
MalakMalak, is an ergative-absolutive language with constituent order mainly determined by information structure and prosody, but syntactically free. Marking of core-cases is optional. The language is mostly dependent-marking (1), but also has no marking (2) and head-marking features (2).
(1) dependent-marking: possession
"I tripped on the little stick"
(3) head-marking: noun-adposition
"he sits down underneath the water"
MalakMalak's verb phrase uses complex predicates. These consist of an inflecting verb that has properties of person, number and tense. MalakMalak only has six such verbs. In example (4), yuyu and vida are inflecting verbs. Additionally, there are coverbs which have aspectual properties, but do not inflect for number, tense or person. They occur with inflecting verbs. They are unlimited in number and new verbs are also borrowed into this class. In (4), kubuk-karrarr, dat-tyed, and ka are coverbs. They can also form serial verbs (kubuk-karrarr, dat-tyed).
(4) Complex Predicates and Serial Coverbs
"he crossed the river and looked once, then he came here"
MalakMalak employs all three "classic" types of spatial Frames of Reference: intrinsic, relative and absolute. Additionally, the language uses place names and body-part orientation to talk about space. The intrinsic Frame requires some kind of portioning of the ground object or landmark into named facets from which search domains can be projected. In English this would be, for example, the tree is in front of the man. And in MalakMalak it would be (5).
(5) intrinsic Frame of Reference
"the tree was behind (the man)"
The relative Frame of Reference involves mapping from the observer's own axes (front, back, left, right) onto the ground object. An English example is the ball is on the right. In MalakMalak it would be (6)
(6) relative Frame of Reference
"now the ball was on the right, jumping up (lit. jumping in an upward place on the right)"
The absolute Frame of Reference requires xed bearings that are instantly available to all members of the community. An English example is the opera is west of here. In MalakMalak, three different types of absolute frames can be used. Those based on the course of the sun (east/west) (7a), on prevailing winds (northwesterly/southeasterly) (7b), and on two sides of the prominent Daly River (northeastern/southwestern bank) (7c).
(7a) absolute Frame of Reference (sun)
"this one is west and this one is east"
(7b) absolute Frame of Reference (wind)
"one is facing the river and the other one is facing northwest"
(7c) absolute Frame of Reference (riverbank)
"it is underneath, on the northeastern bank's side, of the chair"
The following basic vocabulary items of Northern Daly language varieties are from Tryon (1968).
no. gloss Mullukmulluk Djeraity 1 head pundɔ pundu 2 hair pundɔmæk pundumæR 3 eyes numɔrɔ numɔrɔ 4 nose yinïn yinun 5 ear čawœr muninǰawœr 6 tooth dit diR 7 tongue ŋændɛl ŋændulk 8 shoulder mœndœl mændœm 9 elbow pimïle pimilu 10 hand naɲïl naɲulk 11 breasts wiyœ wiŋ 12 back payak daɲ 13 belly pœɲ pœɲ 14 navel čœčœt čœčuruk 15 heart mændulma mændulma 16 urine wurɔ wurɔ 17 excrete wœn wœn 18 thigh čæt čæR 19 leg wilit dulk 20 knee pœŋgœl pœŋgœl 21 foot maǰan mæl 22 skin ŋæčïdl karala 23 fat milyœ laɲ 24 blood dawut padawɔ 25 bone nœrœt murɔ 26 man yiɲa lœlambœr 27 woman alawaR alœrguR 28 father baŋa papaŋa 29 mother wiyaŋa kalaŋa 30 grandmother æǰæŋa ŋeyæčɔ 31 policeman čæyæčman čayačdiɲ 32 spear čaŋar čaŋal 33 woomera yarawa maduR 34 boomerang čïmbičïmbič čïmbičïmbič 35 nullanulla warawara čændæɲ 36 hair-belt pudur purur 37 canoe wænde wændɔ 38 axe walyïmba ličpuRp 39 dilly bag karɛr pæmbuR 40 fire čœŋ čuŋɔ 41 smoke wæn wæn 42 water wak wak 43 cloud durɔ pæRk 44 rainbow dæpulɔlɔy pulɔlɔy 45 barramundi wɔ wɔ 46 sea ŋambač ŋambač 47 river wakwurɔ wurɔ 48 stone wadlk wulɔ 49 ground pawuRk wœnǰœ 50 track yære æRɔ 51 dust pulɔ pulɔ 52 sun mïre mirɔ 53 moon yædlk yœlk 54 star nœmœrœl numurudl 55 night puwaR poyædɔ 56 tomorrow nœyænœ nuŋɔyɔ 57 today æmæn æɲika 58 big wunædle wudælɔ 59 possum wœyœ wœyœ 60 dog moyiɲ moweyiɲ 61 tail wœmœ wumɔ 62 meat dæ dæ 63 snake ŋunǰul čalala 64 red kangaroo čæyœt manduRk 65 porcupine mænɛŋɛč manɛŋɛč 66 emu čïnburat ŋœrœɲ 67 crow waŋgïr waŋguR 68 goanna čæriɲ čæɲ 69 blue tongue lizard kumugut pɛrɛt 70 mosquito wænŋɛn wænŋun 71 sugar-bag piǰak ŋœčœn 72 camp dæk dæk 73 black eyïkeyïk eyukeyuk 74 white puŋma tamalma 75 red widma witma 76 one yanakŋa yawunuka 77 two wæræna wærunuka 78 when? amanæle ŋædekælædiɲ 79 what? nïgidæ nïgidæ 80 who? eyɛn aŋon 81 I ŋa ŋa 82 you waŋare niɲ 83 he yœndœn yœndœn 84 grass wæne wænœ 85 vegetable food mi miyɔ 86 tree čœŋ čuŋɔ 87 leaf dæmbæl wœR 88 pandanus murɔmurɔ narɔ 89 ironwood pawit æluRk 90 ripe moeŋœɲ damberæmæ 91 good yunbayan munbayɛn 92 bad yinat munætɔ 93 blind wuɲak wuɲ 94 deaf ɲabɔ ŋamama 95 saliva čalïlk čalulk
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