Alawa
Native toAustralia
RegionNorthern Territory; Arnhem Land, Roper River.
EthnicityAlawa
Native speakers
4 (2016 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3alh
Glottologalaw1244
AIATSIS[2]N92
ELPAlawa
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.

Alawa (Galawa) is a moribund Indigenous Australian language spoken by the Alawa people of the Northern Territory. In 1991, there were reportedly 18 remaining speakers and 4 semi-speakers.[3]

Phonology

Consonants

Alawa has a typical consonant inventory for an Indigenous Australian language, with five contrastive places of articulation, multiple lateral consonants, and no voicing contrast among the stops.[4]

Consonant phonemes
Alveolar Palatal Peripheral
Alveolar Retroflex Alveo-palatal Velar Bilabial
Prenasalised Stop ⁿd ⁿɖ ⁿd̠ʲ ᵑɡ ᵐb
Devoiced Stop t ʈ t̠ʲ k p
Nasals n ɳ n̠ʲ ŋ m
Laterals l ɭ l̠ʲ
Vibrants r
Glide ɹ j w

Note: there are no standardised IPA symbols for alveopalatal stops.

Vowels

The vowel system of Alawa is made up of four vowel phonemes: the high front vowel /i/, the high back vowel /u/, the mid front vowel /e/, and the low central vowel /a/.[4]

Vowel phonemes
Front Central Back
High i u
Mid e
Low a

There are no rounding contrasts or length contrasts in this language.[4]

Vocabulary

Capell (1942) lists the following basic vocabulary items:[5]

gloss Alawa
man lilmi
woman girija
head guɽuguɽu
eye gulur
nose gujumur
mouth ŋaːndal
tongue djeːjälŋ
stomach gundjäl
bone galawa
blood ŋulidji
kangaroo girimbọ
opossum gudjaɳi
emu djinaliri
crow waŋgunaji
fly wuɳɖil
sun marawaɭbaɭ
moon aɖaŋari
fire wubu
smoke guŋuŋu
water ŋọgọ

References

  1. ^ "Census 2016, Language spoken at home by Sex (SA2+)". stat.data.abs.gov.au. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  2. ^ N92 Alawa at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  3. ^ "Ethnologue: Alawa". Ethnologue.
  4. ^ a b c Sharpe, Margaret C (1972). Alawa Phonology and Grammar. Canberra: Australian Institute for Aboriginal Studies.
  5. ^ Capell, Arthur. 1941–1942, 1942–1943. Languages of Arnhem Land, North Australia. Oceania 12: 364–392, 13: 24–51.