Yugambeh (or Mibanah, from Mibanah gulgun, lit. "language of men" or "sound of eagles"), also known as Tweed-Albert Bandjalang, is an Australian Aboriginal language spoken by the Yugambeh living in South-East Queensland between and within the Logan River basin and the Tweed River basin, bounded to the east by the Pacific Ocean (including South Stradbroke Island) and in the west by the Teviot Ranges and Teviot Brook basin.
Yugambeh is dialect cluster of four dialects, one of four such clusters of the Bandjalangic branch of the Pama–Nyungan language family. A poorly attested variety called Ngarahgwal may belong to Yugambeh or to one of the other Bandjalang clusters.
In the Yugambeh language, the word Yugambeh means an emphatic "no", "never" i.e. "very much no" and is a common exonym for the people and their language. Language speakers use the word Miban which means "Man", "Human", "Wedge-Tailed Eagle" and is the preferred endonym for the people; they call their langauage Mibanah meaning "of man", "of human", "of eagle" (the -Nah suffix forming the genitive of the word "Miban").
Yugambeh may also be referred to as:
- Yugambir, Yugambeh (Yugambal/Yugumbal was evidently a separate language located further west)
- Jugumbir, Jukamba
- Tweed-Albert language
- Manaldjali (a variant of Mununjali, the name of a Yugambeh-speaking clan)
- Minjanbal (probably from Minjungbal, an alternate language term)
Yugambeh has a vowel system of 4 vowels that also contrast in length, resulting in 8 phonemic vowels in total. The letter "h" is used after the vowel to indicate a long vowel.
|High||i i:||u u:|
The low central vowel /a/ is fronted and raised between palatal consonants and a lateral/rhotic consonant.
Compared to other Pama-Nyungan languages, Yugambeh has a smaller inventory of consonants. There are four places of articulation, with the consonants consisting of 4 obstruents, 4 nasals, 2 liquids, and 2 semivowels.
|Obstruent||p p||k k||c ť||t t|
|Nasal||m m||ŋ g||ɲ ň||n n|
|Semivowel||w w||j j|
Obstruents do not have a voicing contrast, and can appear as fricative allophones. Obstruents are phonetically voiceless, except when following a homorganic consonant.
The grammar of the Yugambeh language is highly agglutinative, making use of over 50 suffixes on nouns, verbs, adjectives and demonstratives.
Syntax in the Yugambeh language is fairly free ordered, with a tendency towards SOV (Subject Object Verb) structures. Adjectives and demonstratives part of noun phrases e.g. that man, a red car, stay adjacent to the noun they qualify.
Nouns take a number of suffixes to decline for grammatical case.
Noun suffixes are placed into 10 orders, a noun may not take more than one suffix from any order, and if more than one suffix is attached they must always be in the set order of the suffix orders, e.g. an order 7 suffix must always come after an order 5 suffix.
Ergative, Instrumental, Comitative
'X' stands for a homorganic obstruent.
'N' stands for a homorganic nasals.
#The comitative, purposive, desiderative, ablative and aversive suffixes are preceded by -bah on animate nouns.
1st order suffixes
-gali (typified by) – Used to indicate an association or link
Jinanggali 'Shoe' lit. Typified by foot
Dubaygali 'Womaniser' lit. Typified by women
2nd order suffixes
-gan (feminine) – Used to form feminine nouns and some astrological terms
Yarabilngingan 'Female Singer'
3rd order suffixes
-bur (diminutive) – Used to form the diminutive of a noun, referring to a smaller version
Baraganbur 'Toy Boomerang'
4th order suffixes
-Nah (possessive) – Indicates current possession
Gibamah 'of the moon/moon's'
-Nahjil (past possessive) – Indicates past possession
Bilinahjil 'was of the parrot' (Billinudgel)
Verb suffixes are placed in 6 orders, a verb may not take more than one suffix from an order, and similar to nouns, suffixes are attached in a set order. Combinations of these suffixes express all possible conjugations of Yugambeh verbs, with only a small number of combinations possible, Yugambeh verb stems are commonly 2 syllables in length and always in a vowel.
|-hn 'imperfective aspect'||-du 'habitual mood'|
|-hny 'potential mood'||-i 'preconditional'|
|-h 'imperative'||-de 'preconditional'|
|-hla 'continuous aspect'|
|-nah 'antechronous aspect'|
|-nyun 'synchronous aspect'|
|-luru 'historical past'|
|-jin 'synchronous aspect'|
Adjectives can be marked with a suffix to indicate the gender of the noun they qualify.
*N stands for a homorganic nasal.
Yugambeh possesses a complicated set of demonstratives that make a three-way distinction, with proximal, medial, and distal sets, there is a further distinguishing of demonstrative adjectives and location demonstratives. The adjective set can be additionally suffixed to create demonstrative pronouns', the adjective set has three forms for "things in sight", "things hidden or not in sight" and "things not there anymore", while the location set has forms to indicate the general area and definite area, whether in sight or not in sight, and past and present forms.
|Demonstratives||Proximal (this)||Medial (that)||Distal (that over there)|
|In sight (sg)||Gali||Mali||Gili|
|In sight (plrl)||Gahny||Mahny||Gahm|
|Not in sight (sg)||Gunah||Munah||Gilah|
|Not in sight (plrl)||Gunyeh||Munyeh||Gilyeh|
The above set can be suffixed with order 7 noun suffixes to form demonstrative pronouns that function like ordinary independent nouns. e.g. Yanindeh galini wungahbaia! 'Take this with you!'
The 'not in sight' and 'not here anymore' forms can take the order 2 noun suffix -gan to form time words. E.g. gunahgan 'recently'.
|Demonstratives||Proximal (here)||Medial (there)||Distal (over there)|
|In sight (definite area)||Gaji||Maji||Guh|
|In sight (general area)||Gunu||Munu||Gundeh|
|Not in sight (present)||Gayu||Mayu||Guhyu|
|Not in sight (past)||Gaye||Maye||Guhye|
Modern place names with roots in the Yugambeh language include:
- Billinudgel – from bilinahjil, 'was of the parrot'
- Canungra – from gungunga, a long flat or clearing
- Coomera/Upper Coomera – from kumera, a species of wattle
- Jumpinpi – Pandanus root
- Mundoolun – from Mundheralgun, the local name for the Common death adder
- Nindooinbah – from ninduinba, the remains of a fire
- Pimpama – from pimpimba, a place of soldier birds
- Tabragalba – from dhaberigaba, a place of clubs
- Tallebudgera – rotten or decayed logs
- Wongawallan – from the words wonga (pigeon) and wallan (water)
- E17 Yugambeh at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
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- Sharpe, Margaret C. (2005). "Nouns, Adjectives and their Suffixes". Grammar and texts of the Yugambeh-Bundjalung dialect chain in Eastern Australia. Muenchen: Lincom Europa. pp. 77–96. ISBN 3895867845. OCLC 62185149.
- Sharpe, Margaret C. (2005). "The Verbs". Grammar and texts of the Yugambeh-Bundjalung dialect chain in Eastern Australia. Muenchen: Lincom Europa. pp. 57–74. ISBN 3895867845. OCLC 62185149.
- Sharpe, Margaret C. (2005). Grammar and texts of the Yugambeh-Bundjalung dialect chain in Eastern Australia. LINCOM. pp. 97–102. ISBN 3-89586-784-5.
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- "Yugambeh App on the App Store". App Store. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
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- Dictionary of Yugambeh Including Neighbouring Dialects, compiled by Margaret Sharpe, Pacific Linguistics: Australian National University, 1998. hdl:1885/145959 doi:10.15144/PL-C139
- Borobi and His Friends, virtual book, read in Yugambeh language by Axel Best. From the State Library of Queensland virtual book collection. (requires Adobe Flash)
- Linguist List (2005) Synopsis of Grammar and Texts of the Yugambeh-Bundjalung Dialect Chain in Eastern Australia Accessed 20 May 2008