Yir-Yoront language

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Yir-Yoront
Yir
Native to Australia
Region Cape York Peninsula, Queensland
Ethnicity Yir-Yoront
Extinct by 2005[1]
Pama–Nyungan
Dialects
Yir Yoront Sign Language
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
yyr – Yir Yoront
yrm – Yirrk-Mel
Glottolog yiry1247[2]
yiry1245  (bookkeeping with bibliography)[3]
AIATSIS[1] Y72 Yir Yoront, Y214* Yirrk-Thangalkl
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Yir-Yoront was a Paman language spoken in two settlements, Kowanyama and Pormpuraaw on the southwestern part of the Cape York Peninsula, Queensland in Australia, by the Yir-Yoront people. In 1991 only 15 speakers remained,[4] with the rest of the Yir-Yoront people speaking English or even Kuuk Thaayorre as many speakers of Yir-Yoront apparently are using Kuuk Thaayorre in daily conversation.[5] At present it is thought to be extinct.[6] There are two sister dialects, Yir-Yoront proper and Yirrk-Thangalkl, which are very close. The shared name Yir is sometimes used for both taken together.

Names[edit]

The first part of both of the name, Yir, is from the word yirrq meaning speech or language. Following is the ethnonym.[7]

Yir-Yoront is written hyphenated as a way of indicating that the syllable following the hyphen is stressed. In the standard orthography, it is correctly spelled Yirr-Yorront, with "rr" representing the consonant /r/. There is a valid alternative pronunciation with stress on the first syllable; this can be written YirrqYorront. Other spellings encountered include Yir Yoront and Jir Joront.

Other names for the language include:

  • Yirr-Thuchm: Meaning "from the sandridges"
  • Kok-Minychen: The name of the Yir-Yoront in the Koko-Bera language
    • Koko-Minychena: Alternative spelling
    • Kokomindjen: Alternative spelling
    • Mandjoen: Alternative spelling
    • Mind'jana: Alternative spelling
    • Mundjun: Alternative spelling
    • Myunduno: Alternative spelling
  • Kuuk-Thaanhon: The name of the Yir-Yoront in the Kuuk Thaayorre language
  • Gwandera: A name incorrectly applied to the Yir-Yoront people and their language
  • Millera: No source available

Phonology[edit]

The following description is for Yir-Yoront proper. For another dialect, see Yirrk-Thangalkl dialect.

Vowels[edit]

Yir-Yoront has 6 vowels:

Front Central Back
Unrounded Unrounded Rounded
Close i u
Close-mid e o
Mid ə
Open a

Consonants[edit]

Yir-Yoront has 20 consonants:

Peripheral Laminal Apical Glottal
Bilabial Velar Postalveolar
/Palatal
Dental Alveolar Retroflex
Nasal m /m/ ng /ŋ/ ny /ɲ/ nh /n̪/ n /n/ rn /ɳ /
Plosive p /p/ k /k/ ch /c/ th /t̪/ t /t/ rt /ʈ / q /ʔ/
Trill rr /r/
Tap r /ɾ/
Approximant w /w/ y /j/ lh /l̪/ l /l/ rl /ɭ /

Sign language[edit]

The Yir Yoront have (or had) a well-developed signed form of their language.[8]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Yir Yoront at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies  (see the info box for additional links)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Yir Yoront". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Yir Yoront (retired)". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  4. ^ Ethnologue
  5. ^ Gaby, Alice Rose (2006). A Grammar of Kuuk Thaayorre. p. 6. 
  6. ^ Moseley, Christopher (ed.). 2010. Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, 3rd edn. Paris, UNESCO Publishing. Online version: http://www.unesco.org/culture/en/endangeredlanguages/atlas
  7. ^ Alpher, Barry (1991). Yir-Yoront Lexicon: Sketch and Dictionary of an Australian Language. p. 3. 
  8. ^ Kendon, A. (1988) Sign Languages of Aboriginal Australia: Cultural, Semiotic and Communicative Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

General[edit]

Alpher, Barry (1991). Yir-Yoront lexicon: Sketch and dictionary of an Australian language. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.