Nunggubuyu language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Wubuy)
Jump to: navigation, search
Region Numbulwar, Northern Territory
Native speakers
from 44 (2005) to 110 (2006 census)[1]
perhaps 400 semi-speakers and L2 speakers
  • East Arnhem
    • Nunggubuyu
Language codes
ISO 639-3 nuy
Glottolog nung1290[2]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Nunggubuyu, Wubuy or Yingkwira is an Australian Aboriginal language, the traditional language of the Nunggubuyu people. It is the primary language of the community of Numbulwar in the Northern Territory.[3]


The classification of Nunggubuyu is "problematic". Heath (1997) postulates that Nunggubuyu is most closely related to Ngandi and Anindilyakwa. However, Evans (2003) believes that the similarities are shared retentions rather than shared innovations, and that Nunggubuyu is closest to the eastern Gunwinyguan languages.[4]



Peripheral Laminal Apical
Bilabial Velar Palatal Dental Alveolar Retroflex
Nasal m ŋ ɲ n ɳ
Stop p k c t ʈ
Tap ɾ
Lateral l ɭ
Approximant w j ɻ

/n̪/ is rare. /ɾ/ may optionally be pronounced as a trill when it occurs word-initial position, which is rare.[5]


Front Back
High i iː u uː
Low a aː


Nunggubuyu uses a quinary number system.[6]

1 anjbadj
2 wulawa
3 wulanjbadj
4 wulawulal
5 marangandjbugidj
6 maralibalinala mari anjbadj
7 maralibalinala mari wulawa
8 maralibalinala mari wulanjbadj
9 maralibalinala mari wulawulal
10 wurumulumara ngandjabugidj
15 wurumulumbulanbadj
20 wurumulumbulalwulal


  1. ^ a b Nunggubuyu at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Nunggubuyu". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Numbulwar Numburindi Community Government Council (2007). "Numbulwar's Profile & Information". Retrieved 2007-11-11. The major language spoken in Numbulwar is Noongabuyu (Noon-ga-boy-you) along with creole. English is generally regarded as a third language in the community. 
  4. ^ Nicholas Evans, 2003, Bininj Gun-wok: a pan-dialectal grammar of Mayali, Kunwinjku and Kune, vol. 1
  5. ^ Heath (1984): p. 12.
  6. ^ Capell, A. "A New Approach to Australian Linguistics", Oceania linguistic monographs 1 (1956), Sydney: University of Sydney, p. 68. Cited in John Harris, "Facts and Fallacies of Aboriginal Number Systems", SIL work paper series B, volume 8 (1982), p. 161.


  • Heath, Jeffrey (1984). Functional Grammar of Nunggubuyu. Canberra: AIAS. ISBN 0-85575-157-6. 
  • Ladefoged, Peter (2005). Vowels and Consonants (Second ed.). Blackwell. 

External links[edit]

  • [1] Nunggubuyu language books available in the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages