Gugu Thaypan language

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Awu Alaya
Native toAustralia
RegionCape York Peninsula, Queensland
EthnicityKuku Thaypan, Gugu Rarmul
Extinct2016 (with the death of Tommy George)[1]
  • Koko-Rarmul
Language codes
ISO 639-3typ
AIATSIS[3]Y84 Kuku Thaypan, Y71 Gugu Rarmul
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Kuku-Thaypan is an extinct Paman language spoken on the southwestern part of the Cape York Peninsula, Queensland in Australia, by the Kuku-Thaypan people. The language was sometimes called Alaya or Awu Alaya.[4] Koko-Rarmul may have been a dialect,[5] though Bowern (2012) lists Gugu-Rarmul and Kuku-Thaypan as separate languages.[6] The last native speaker, Tommy George, died 29 July 2016 in Cooktown Hospital.[7]



Kuku-Thaypan has six vowels and two marginal vowels possibly only in loan words.[8]


Kuku-Thaypan has 23 consonants.


  1. ^ A "legend", Indigenous Australian Leader, Knowledge Holder Tommy George Passes On.
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Thaypan". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Y84 Kuku Thaypan at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies  (see the info box for additional links)
  4. ^ Jean-Christophe Verstraete, Diane Hafner, Land and Language in Cape York Peninsula and the Gulf Country (ISBN 902726760X, 2016)
  5. ^ RMW Dixon (2002), Australian Languages: Their Nature and Development, p xxxii
  6. ^ Bowern, Claire. 2011. "How Many Languages Were Spoken in Australia?", Anggarrgoon: Australian languages on the web, December 23, 2011 (corrected February 6, 2012)
  7. ^ A "legend", Indigenous Australian Leader, Knowledge Holder Tommy George Passes On.
  8. ^ Rigsby, Bruce (1976). "Kuku-Thaypan descriptive and historical phonology". In Sutton, P. (ed.). Languages of Cape York. Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. pp. 68–77.

External links[edit]