N20: Tiwi

AIATSIS Code: 
N20
AIATSIS Reference name: 
Tiwi

tab group

Name
ABN Name
Tiwi language (Australia) (Previously Tiwi language (Melville Island))
ABS Name
Tiwi
Horton Name
Tiwi
Ethnologue name
Tiwi
ISO 639-3 code
tiw
Tindale name
Tunuvivi
Thesaurus heading
Tiwi language (N20) (NT SC52-16)
Tindale (1974)
Tiwi (assigned name), Diwi (Capell conformists variant), Wonga:k (Iwaidja term), Wongak, Wunuk, Ni-mara, Woranguwe
O'Grady et al (1966)
Wunuk
Glottocode
tiwi1244
Other sources
Synonyms
Tunuvivi
Diwi
Nguiu
Nimara
Wonga:k
Wongak
Woranguwe
Wunguk
Wunuk
Yeimbi
Ni mara
Comment
Language comment
Traditional Tiwi is a non-Pama Nyungan (polysynthetic) language, typologically similar to the languages of north-west Australia, sharing similar sound, pronoun systems and verbal construction, although Tiwi is not known to be closely related to other Australian languages. Tiwi verbs have complex internal structure and carry affixes, mainly prefixes, indicating subject, object, indirect object; tense, aspect and mood; time and location. (1-2). In modern forms of Tiwi complex verbal inflection is absent, replaced by analytic verb forms and isolating morphology. Nominals, adverbs etc are expressed with free form words. (Lee, 1987: 1-3). Modern Tiwi incorporates influences from English and other languages, it is constantly evolving; Traditional Tiwi is spoken by older people; Tiwi Land Council Chairman Robert Tipungwuti expressed the view that “It is the Tiwi’s job to teach the Tiwi Language at home to their children not at school.” reinforcing the value of language to transmit culture, and the responsibility of the community to maintain Tiwi language .
References

Lee, Jennifer, 1987. Tiwi today : a study of language change in a contact situation. Canberra:Dept. of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies, The Australian National University.
Tindale, Norman B. 1974. Aboriginal tribes of Australia: their terrain, environmental controls, distribution, limits, and proper names. Berkeley: University of California Press/Canberra: Australian National University Press.

<http://tiwidesigns.com/pages/language> viewed 01/09/2106

Status
Confirmed
Location
State
NT
Location information
Melville and Bathurst islands (Tindale 1974).
Maps
-
Catalogue
Search MURA the AIATSIS catalogue, for items about this language
Speakers
Speaker table
Oates 1973 Senate 1984 Schmidt 1990 Census 1996 Census 2001 NILS 2004 2005 estimate Census 2006
1400 1400 1400 1822 2050 2000 2100 1716
Speaker NILS table
1-19 years 20-39 years 40-59 years 60+
- - - -
NILS endangerment grade
0
Documentation
Document Score: 
14
Documentation table: 
Type Documentation Status Documentation Score
Word list Large (more than 200 pages) 4
Text Collection Large (more than 200 pages) 4
Grammar Small grammar (100-200 pages) 3
Audio-visual More than 10 3
Manuscript Note: 
tape transcription/field note available
Grammar: 
Osborne, Charles. 1974. The Tiwi language : grammar, myths and dictionary of the Tiwi language spoken on Melville and Bathurst islands, northern Australia. Canberra: AIAS.
Dictionary: 
Lee, Jennifer. 1993. Ngawurranungurumagi nginingawila ngapangiraga: Tiwi - English dictionary. Bathurst Island, NT: Nguiu Nginingawila Literature Production Centre.
Programs
Activities: 
-
People: 
Arthur Capell, Helen Groger-Wurm, Jennifer Lee, Charles Osborne, Nguiu Nginingawila Literature Production Centre, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Darwin Community College
Indigenous organisations: 
-
Classification
Classification table: 
Source Family Group Sub-group Name Relationship
Ethnologue (2005) Tiwian     Tiwi  
Dixon (2002)       Tiwi Tiwi Osborne (1974), Lee (1987)
Wurm (1994) Tiwi     Tiwi  
Walsh (1981) Tiwian     Tiwi  
Oates (1975) Tiwian     Tiwi  
Wurm (1972) Tiwian     Tiwi  
O'Grady, Voegelin & Voegelin (1966) Tiwian     Tiwi