Ngura languages

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Ngura
Ngurawarla
(spurious?)
Ethnicityvarious (Wongkumara, Ngandangara, Punthamara, Kalali, ?Bidjara, ??Thereila, Karendala, Ngurawola, etc.)
Geographic
distribution
Northwest New South Wales, southwest Queensland, Australia
Linguistic classificationPama–Nyungan;
some languages may be Karnic, some Maric, some unclassified or spurious
Subdivisions
ISO 639-3ekc
Glottologngur1261  (Ngura)[1]

Ngura is a disputed and possibly spurious ethnic and language designation of central Australia. The name 'Nura', short for Ngurawarla, means 'empty camp', referring to lands abandoned after a massacre. It is not a language or ethnic designation.[2]

Of the various language varieties that have gone by this name, all of which are extinct, Bowern (2001) classifies the Wilson River language of the 'modern' Galali/Garlali and Wangkumara-plus-Bundhamara/Punthamara (also known as or closely related to Ngandangara/Yarumarra) peoples as an Eastern Karnic language, while the Bulloo River language of the 'old' Garlali and Wangkumara remains an unclassified Karna–Mari 'fringe' language. Bidjara or less ambiguously 'Bitharra' (not to be confused with the Bidjara language of the Maric languages) may be another variety of Bulloo River, but there is not enough data to be sure. Bowern believes that Badjiri was probably a Maric language. Bowern (2001) said the data is too sketchy to be sure, but Bowern (2011) simply assigned it to Maric.

There seems to be enough data to establish three "Ngura" languages, which do not form a coherent group:

  • The Bulloo River language (unclassified language of the Karna–Mari 'fringe'), including 'Old' Garlali and Wanggumara, plus possibly Bidjara (Bitharra) and Mingbari (Minkabari).[3]
  • The Wilson River language (East branch of the Karnic family), including 'modern' Garlali and Wanggumara, Punthamara (Bundhamara), Ngandangara, Yarumarra (Eromarra), Karenggapa and Gungadidji (Kungadutji). Mambangura / Dhiraila (Thereila) may also belong here.
  • The Badjiri language (Maric family?)

In 2013 the old ISO code for 'Ngura', [nbx], was split, with new codes established for these languages, namely for (old?) Garlali, Punthamara, (old and modern?) Wangkumara and Badjiri. A fifth code, ekc (the 'Eastern Karnic' language, not to be confused with the 'Eastern Karnic' languages of Bowern, which are Wilson River), was assigned to those names that were too poorly attested to establish as actual language varieties.[4] Besides those covered above, there is no data associated with the name 'Garandala' (Karendala), apart from a few words of 'Kunandaburi' that may be Kungadutji (Wilson River).[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Ngura". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ L24 Ngurawala at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  3. ^ L57 Minkabari at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  4. ^ L19 Dhiraila at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  5. ^ L29 Kunandaburi at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies