S68: GUNAI / KURNAI

AIATSIS code: 
S68
AIATSIS reference name: 
GUNAI / KURNAI

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Name
ABN name
Kurnai languages (Previously Ganai language)
ABS name
Kanai
Horton name
Kurnai
Ethnologue name
-
ISO 639-3 code
-
Tindale name
Kurnai
Thesaurus heading language
Gunai / Kurnai language S68
Thesaurus heading (old)
Kurnai / Gunai language group (S68) (Vic SJ55)
Tindale (1974)
Kurmai (typographical error), Guna
O'Grady et al (1966)
Glottocode
-
Other sources
Kurnai, Kunnai, Ganai, Cunni, Gooni, Gunna [Gardner 1996:6] Gunnai [VACL]
Synonyms
Kanai, Muk thang, Gaanay, Kurnai, Kunnai, Brabralung, Braiakaulung, Bratauolung, Ganai, Krauatungalung, Tatungalung, Gunai group, Gurnai, Kurmai, Muk Thang, Kurnai, Cunni, Gooni, Gunna, Guna
Comment
Comments: 
According to Clark (2005), Ganai (S68) has five dialects: Brataulung S39, Braiakaulung S41, Tatungalung S42, Krauatungalung S48 and Brabralung S45. Gardner (1996:5) and Hercus (1969), however, treat all of these as the names of groups whose language is Kurnai (S68). On the other hand, Howitt (1996:73) gives distinct names for the dialects spoken by each of the clans of the Kurnai group: Muk-thang by the Brabralung S45, Thangquai by the Krauatungalung S48, and Nulit S91 by the Brayakaulung S41, Brataualung S39 and Tatungalung S42. Walsh (1981) largely follows this analysis, differing in his use of Muk-thang as the cover term S68 (as does Wesson (2002:106-7)) as well as one of the dialects S45, and with the addition of Bidhawal S49 as a fourth dialect. Of Bidawal S49, Howitt (1996:79-81) comments that it is a mixture of Kurnai, Ngarigo S46 and 'Murring' (i.e. a Yuin language).
References: 
  • Clark, Ian. 2005. Aboriginal language areas in Victoria - a reconstruction: a report to Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages. Melbourne: Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages.
  • Gardner, P. D. 1996. The language of the Kurnai tribes of Gippsland, with notes on grammar and pronunciation, by R. H.
  • Hercus, L.A. 1969. The languages of Victoria. Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies.
  • Howitt, Alfred William. 1904. The native tribes of south-east Australia. London: Macmillan.
  • Mathews, and Kurnai-English, English-Kurnai vocabulary, compiled by P. D. Gardner. Ensay, VIC: Ngarak Press.
  • Walsh, Michael. 1981. Maps of Australia and Tasmania. In Language atlas of the Pacific area Pt 1, eds S. A. Wurm and Shirô Hattori. Canberra: Australian Academy of the Humanities.
  • Wesson, Sue C. 2002. The Aborigines of eastern Victoria and far south-eastern New South Wales, 1830 to 1910: an historical geography, Monash University: PhD.
Status: 
Confirmed
Location
State / Territory: 
VIC
Location information: 
... almost all of Gippsland from Inverloch to Cann River (Gardner 1996:5).
Maps: 
-
Catalogue
Links
Programs
Activities: 
The Yirruk-Tinnor Gunnai/K?rnai Language Program ran for about 10 years. (2007) A short documentary by Suzanne Taylor has been made about the school language lessons for Gunnai. It is being shown on ABC Open television. (2012)
People: 
Luise Hercus, Alfred Howitt (Gippsland & East Gippsland Aboriginal Cooperative Ltd)
Speakers
Year Source Speaker numbers
1975Oates-
1984Senate-
1990Schmidt-
1996Census-
2001Census-
2004NILS-
2005Estimate-
2006Census21
2011Census3
2016Census4

Speaker numbers were measured differently across the censuses and various other sources listed in AUSTLANG. You are encouraged to refer to the sources.

Speaker numbers for ‘NILS 2004’ and ‘2005 estimate’ come from 'Table F.3: Numbers of speakers of Australian Indigenous languages (various surveys)' in 'Appendix F NILS endangerment and absolute number results' in McConvell, Marmion and McNicol 2005, pages 198-230 (PDF, 2.5MB).

Documentation
Type Documentation Status Documentation Score
Word list Less than 20 pages 1
Text Collection None 0
Grammar A few articles 1
Audio-visual 1-10 2
Manuscript note: 
tape transcription/field note available
Grammar: 
-
Dictionary: 
-
Classification
Source Family Group Sub-group Name Relationship
Ethnologue (2005)
Dixon (2002) Muk-thang (Gaanay, Kurnai, Kunnai) Muk-thang (Gaanay, Kurnai, Kunnai) further dialects: Nulit, Thangquai, Bidhawal
Wurm (1994) Pama-Nyungan Ganay Muk-Thang
Walsh (1981) Pama-Nyungan Ganay Muk-Thang Muk-Thang [dialects: Muk-Thang (Brabiralung), Thangguai, Bidhawal, Nulit (spoken by the Braiakaulung, Bratauolung, Tatungalung tribes)]
Oates (1975) Unclassified Gurnai
Wurm (1972)
O'Grady, Voegelin and Voegelin (1966)