Maung language

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Native to Australia
Region Goulburn Island, Arnhem Land
Native speakers
260 (2006 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 mph
Glottolog maun1240[2]

Maung (Mawung, Mawng, Gun-marung) is an Australian aboriginal language spoken on the Goulburn Islands, off the north coast of Arnhem Land, in the Northern Territory of Australia. Maung is closely related to Iwaidja language which occupies the northwestern corner of the opposite mainland. This is a language that belongs to the Iwaidjan language family of Non-Pama–Nyungan languages. [3] As of 1983, there were 200 speakers of the language.(Ethnologue)

Maung has been developed to the point where there is a language Dictionary, Grammar, and Bible portions from 1960. [4]Maung is taught in local schools alongside English and other languages such as Iwaidja or Gunwinggu. Children are still acquiring it as a first language,[5] making it somewhat healthier than most other aboriginal languages.


Consonant inventory


Peripheral Laminal Apical
Bilabial Velar Postalveolar Alveolar Retroflex
Plosives p k t ʈ
Nasals m ŋ n ɳ
Laterals l ɭ
Flaps ɾ ɽ
Approximants w ɣ j ɹ

Vowel inventory

Front Central Back
High i u
Mid ɛ ɔ
Low a

The phonemic inventories provided here are from Capell's well-known 1970 work on Maung.[3] More recent papers (Singer 2006;[6] Teo 2007 [7]) have only two rhotics to Capell's three. Teo lacks the alveolar flap, and Singer the retroflex flap. (In a minor difference, both describe the approximant as retroflex, whereas Capell describes it as alveolar.)


  1. ^ a b Maung at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Maung". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ a b c Capell, A. & Hinch, H. E. 1970 Maung grammar; texts and vocabulary / A. Capell and H.E. Hinch Mouton, The Hague :
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Singer, R. 2006 Agreement in Mawng: Productive and lexicalised uses of agreement in an Australian language: The University of Melbourne Melbourne :
  7. ^ Teo, A. 2007 Breaking up is hard to do: teasing apart morphological complexity in Iwaidja and Maung: