Y3: Meriam Mir

AIATSIS code: 
Y3
AIATSIS reference name: 
Meriam Mir

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Name
ABN name
-
ABS name
Meriam Mir
Horton name
Meriam Mir
Ethnologue name
Meriam
ISO 639-3 code
ulk
Tindale name
-
Thesaurus heading language
Meriam Mir language Y3
Thesaurus heading (old)
Meriam Mir / Miriam Mer language (Y3) (Qld TSI SC55-05)
Tindale (1974)
-
O'Grady et al (1966)
-
Glottocode
meri1244
Other sources
-
Synonyms
East Torres, Miriam, Meryam Mir, Meriam, Boigu, Buibatyalli, Errob, Erub, Garamir, Gaurareg, Maer, Maralaig, Mer, Meryam, Morolag, Sabai, Saibai, Tagota, Ugar
Comment
Comments: 
Meryam Mir (Y3) is a traditional language from the Torres Strait Islands, specifically throughout the Eastern Islands of Erub (Darnley Island), Ugar (Stephen Island) and Mer (Murray Island). The name is constructed with the word mir 'word, language' and the name of a clan living on Mer, the Meryam people: Mer + -yam '(? ) of a clan, of a place'. Meryam Mir has agglutinative morphology, and extensive system of cross-reference markers on the verb encoding information about the number, person and syntactic nature of the arguments and inflections on nouns to indicate syntactic function. In typological terms it is a double-marking language. It is classified by Wurm (in Piper) as a Papuan language of the Trans-Fly group, in close genetic relationships with the Eastern Trans-Fly family languages Bine, Gidra and Gizra (Piper, 2013:1). The Meryam people are ethnically Melanesian; they won Native Title for Mer in the historical Mabo case of 1992 (Passi and Piper 1994:321). The spelling 'Meriam Mir' is used in this database in accordance with common practice. See also Kala Lagaw Ya Y1, Kala Kawaw Ya Y2 and Torres Strait Creole P2.
References: 
  • Passi, Gamalai Ken and Nick Piper. 1994. Meryam Mir. In Nick Thieberger; William McGregor (eds). Macquarie Aboriginal Words. Macquarie Library. pp. 320 - 351.
  • Piper, Nick. 2013. A sketch grammar of Meryam Mir. Muenchen : LINCOM Europa.
Status: 
Confirmed
Location
State / Territory: 
QLD
TSI
Location information: 
Meryam is one of three languages spoken in the Torres Strait ... throughout the eastern islands of Erub ... Darnley Island, Ugar ... Stephen Island and Mer or Murray Island (Passi & Piper 1994:320).
Maps: 
-
Catalogue
Links
Programs
Activities: 
-
People: 
Wolfgang Laade, Margaret Elizabeth Lawrie, Nick Piper, Anna Shnukal, Ray Sidney, Lamont West, Magani Malu Kes -
Indigenous organisations: 

Erub Le Traditional Land and Sea Owner (Torres Strait Islanders) Corporation
C/- Darnley Island Council
Darnley Island QLD 4875:

Speakers
Year Source Speaker numbers
1975Oates-
1984Senate700?
1990Schmidt100+
1996Census324
2001Census182
2004NILSmany
2005Estimate160
2006Census212
2011Census186
2016Census217

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 Small (20-100 pages) 2
Text Collection None 0
Grammar Large grammar (more than 200 pages) 4
Audio-visual More than 10 3
Manuscript note: 
tape transcription/field note available
Grammar: 

Piper, Nick. 1989. A sketch grammar of Meryam Mir, Australian National University: MA.

Dictionary: 
Ray, Sidney. 2003. Dictionary of Torres Strait languages (2nd ed.). Kuranda, QLD: Rams Skull Press. Passi, Gamalai Ken and Piper, Nick. 1994. Meryam Mir. In Macquarie Aboriginal words, eds. N Thieberger, W McGregor. Macquarie University, NSW:The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd.
Classification
Source Family Group Sub-group Name Relationship
Ethnologue (2005) Meriam
Dixon (2002) TORRES STRAIT GROUP East Torres (or Miriam or Meryam Mir) East Torres (or Miriam or Meryam Mir) Piper (1989)
Wurm (1994) Trans-Fly Eastern Trans-Fly Miriam
Walsh (1981) Eastern Trans-Fly Miriam
Oates (1975) Pama-Nyungan Miriamic Miriam
Wurm (1972)
O'Grady, Voegelin and Voegelin (1966)