Yi-djenmarnburren ba yi-wernhwokdi

Yi-djenmarnburren ba yi-wernhwokdi.

Organise your tongue so you can speak properly!

In a recent lesson we looked at the various sounds of Bininj Gunwok and the letters used to represent them. In this lesson we will look at some of the combinations of sounds including what are known as double stops, and combinations of two vowel sounds (or a vowel and a glide such as y or w) known as diphthongs.

Double stops

You will notice that some of the words listed in previous lessons had double letters as in:

dedded red-collared.lorikeet dedded

gukku (KW= kukku) water gukku

ngabbard father ngabbard

These double stop sounds only appear in the middle of words. They can never appear at the start or end of a word. This is because they straddle a syllable boundary and effectively the first of the two consonants closes off one syllable and the second commences the next one. When you pronounce these words you need to clearly articulate each of the two stops. All of the stop consonsants in Bininj Gunwok can be doubled:

bb, dd, rdd, djdj, kk

The retroflex sound rd when it is doubled is usually just written rdd. Here are some examples of each double stop:

nganabbarru buffalo nganabbarru

dabbarrabbolk ancestors, elderly people dabbarrabbolk

bedda them bedda

gaddum (KW= kaddum) above, up high

dardda younger brother dardda

gun-durddu (KW= kun-durddu) heart

godjdjan (KW= kodjdjan) a skin name godjdjan

yirridjdja a moiety name yirridjdja

gakkak (KW= kakkak) mother’s mother, mother’s mother’s brothers and sisters and converse (e.g. a woman’s daughter’s child) gakkak

bokko type of spear with uniserial barbs bokko

Whilst these double stops usually appear between vowels, there are also 6 consonants that can combine with a long stop:

with rr

lorrkkon hollow log coffin lorrkkon

with r

njarlkkan kind of orchid njarlkkan

with rl

warlkkarra ox-eye herring (Kuninjku dialect) warlkkarra

with l

Balbbun Escarpment near Jim Jim Creek, which is the home of the spirit being Algaihgo Balbbun

gubuldjdjarn in the middle gubuldjdjarn


Kunwinjku      iw, ew, aw, ow, ey, ay, oy, uy

Gun-djeihmi    iu, eu,  au,  ou, ei,  ai,  oi,  ui

These sounds are pronounced exactly the same in Gundjeihmi and in Kunwinjku. They are spelt differently because Gundjeihmi has a different orthography or spelling system to Kunwinjku.

Gundjeihmi / Kunwinjku

iu / iw iw

gun-diu / kun-diw liver gun-diu

eu / ew ew

an-djeuk / man-djewk rain an-djeuk

deudeu / dewdew dollar bird (Eurystomus orientalis) deudeu

au / aw aw

wurdyau / wurdyaw child wurdyaw

bauh / bawh be quiet, shush! bauh

ou / ow ow

an-bouk / man-bowk seasonal swamp an-bouk

rouk / rowk all rouk

ei / ey ey

ba-mei / mey he/she got it ba-mei

na-beiwurd / na-beywurd a man's son or woman's brother's son na-beiwurd

ai / ay ay

maih / mayh meat, animals maih

malaiwi / malaywi tomorrow malaiwi

oi / oy oy

gun-boi termite mound gun-boi

doidoih / doydoyh great grandparent doidoih

ui / uy uy

ba-rui / ruy it got cooked ba-rui

bi-rrui / bi-rruy he/she swore at him/her bi-rrui

Bonj. That is all.

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