Learner's Guide to Bardi
Learner's Guide to Bardi
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Learner's Guide to Bardi

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Completed on 2015-08-23

About the Book

About the Author

Claire Bowern
Claire Bowern

Claire Bowern is Associate Professor of Linguistics. Following graduation from Harvard University in 2004, she spent four years in Rice University’s Department of Linguistics before coming to Yale in 2008. Her research focuses on the languages and history of Indigenous Australia. She has been working with speakers of endangered, Indigenous languages since 1998, both through fieldwork with the last speakers of several languages from Northern Australia and through archival work with historical records, ranging from the 1770s to the mid 1960s. Her work combines traditional methods of language documentation and reconstruction with computational methods more familiar from work in biology. She is associate editor at Language and Diachronica, past chair of the Linguistic Society of America’s Ethics Committee, and a current LSA media liaison. Her work is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements....................................................................... vi

Preface............................................................................................................................ vi

Acknowledgements........................................................................................................... vi

How to use this book........................................................................................................ vii

Chapter 1: About the Bardi language............................................................... 1

1    Where Bardi is spoken...................................................................................................... 1

Dialects of Bardi............................................................................................................... 2

2    Differences between Bardi and English................................................................................ 2

Different meanings............................................................................................................. 2

New words........................................................................................................................ 2

3    What other books in Bardi are there?................................................................................... 3

4    The Bardi KirrKirr dictionary............................................................................................. 4

5    Bardi culture................................................................................................................... 5

Kinship............................................................................................................................ 5

6    The seasons..................................................................................................................... 8

Chapter 2: Bardi Sounds and Spelling............................................................. 10

1    Vowels, consonants, and syllables.................................................................................... 10

2    Bardi vowel sounds........................................................................................................ 12

3    Consonant sounds.......................................................................................................... 14

Stop consonants............................................................................................................... 14

Nasal consonants............................................................................................................. 17

L‑sounds......................................................................................................................... 20

R‑sounds........................................................................................................................ 22

Glides............................................................................................................................ 23

Sounds that Bardi doesn’t have.......................................................................................... 24

4    Notes on spelling & pronunciation.................................................................................... 24

5    Practice words................................................................................................................ 25

Chapter 3: Simple Sentences in Bardi............................................................... 27

1    Vocabulary (“Words”).................................................................................................... 27

Words for people.............................................................................................................. 27

Words for natural features, plants, and wildlife..................................................................... 29

Words for other places and things....................................................................................... 30

Words for actions............................................................................................................. 32

2    Basic sentences.............................................................................................................. 35

A whole sentence in one word............................................................................................. 35

Describing people and things............................................................................................. 38

“this” and “that”............................................................................................................ 39

Naming people................................................................................................................ 39

Questions........................................................................................................................ 40

3    Simple transitive sentences............................................................................................... 41

Summary........................................................................................................................ 44

Chapter 4: Intransitive verbs (1)....................................................................... 46

1    More about intransitive verbs: verbs with one participant...................................................... 47

2    Things happening right now............................................................................................ 47

3    Talking about things that already happened....................................................................... 52

4    Vowel harmony (that is, vowel changes)............................................................................ 55

Summary........................................................................................................................ 58

5    Plural verb forms for present tense..................................................................................... 58

6    Plural verb forms for past tense......................................................................................... 61

Chapter 5: Pronouns and some more vocabulary.................................... 65

1    Bardi pronouns.............................................................................................................. 65

2    Using pronouns.............................................................................................................. 66

3    More vocabulary: a Bardi story........................................................................................ 67

Chapter 6: Intransitive verbs (2)....................................................................... 70

1    Intransitive B/J/G verbs................................................................................................... 70

Past tense forms............................................................................................................... 70

Present tense forms........................................................................................................... 72

Plural forms.................................................................................................................... 73

Summary........................................................................................................................ 75

2    Irregular intransitive verbs............................................................................................... 75

Chapter 7: Questions and Commands................................................................ 78

1    Yes‑no questions............................................................................................................ 78

How do you answer yes‑no questions in Bardi?..................................................................... 80

2    Question‑Word Questions................................................................................................. 81

Vocabulary for question words........................................................................................... 81

3    Commands (telling someone to do something).................................................................... 84

How to form verbs which tell someone to do something......................................................... 84

More commands.............................................................................................................. 88

Chapter 8: Transitive verbs................................................................................. 89

1    Transitive nasal and sonorant verbs................................................................................... 89

Present tense verbs............................................................................................................ 91

2    Transitive BJG verbs....................................................................................................... 92

3    Object marking.............................................................................................................. 94

4    Irregular transitive verbs.................................................................................................. 96

Chapter 9: Two-word Verbs................................................................................... 98

1    Introducing two-word verbs.............................................................................................. 98

2    Using two-word verbs..................................................................................................... 98

Two-word verbs with inin “sit”.......................................................................................... 99

Two-word verbs with inyjiidigal “he’s going”.................................................................... 100

Two-word verbs with inamagal “he put it”........................................................................ 100

3    Other two-word verbs..................................................................................................... 101

Chapter 10: Numbers & counting...................................................................... 102

1    Bardi numbers.............................................................................................................. 102

2    Counting in Bardi........................................................................................................ 104

Chapter 11: Nouns: who’s doing what to who?.......................................... 107

1    Introduction................................................................................................................. 107

2    Vocabulary.................................................................................................................. 107

3    Endings on nouns......................................................................................................... 108

4    Revision: objects and transitive markers........................................................................... 112

Verb prefix patterns for transitive subjects........................................................................... 112

Object suffixes (endings).................................................................................................. 112

5    More people in the sentence............................................................................................ 113

6    A special case: semi-transitive verbs................................................................................ 117

Chapter 12: Places & Directions....................................................................... 119

1    Bardi place names........................................................................................................ 119

Place name practice........................................................................................................ 121

2    Talking about places in Bardi........................................................................................ 122

Compass points............................................................................................................. 122

3    Saying where people and things are located...................................................................... 124

Practising descriptions.................................................................................................... 128

Chapter 13: Location, Direction, and Association.................................. 132

1    Vocabulary.................................................................................................................. 132

2    Location Ending........................................................................................................... 132

More Vocabulary................................................................................................................ 135

3    Two ways of saying coming “from” somewhere................................................................ 137

“From”, “away from” or “out of”.................................................................................... 137

Being “from” somewhere................................................................................................ 140

4    Going “to” somewhere.................................................................................................. 141

5    Going “for” something................................................................................................. 144

6    Going “with” someone.................................................................................................. 145

7    Doing something “with” something................................................................................ 146

8    Summary.................................................................................................................... 148

Chapter 14: Possession (owning something)................................................. 150

1    Vocabulary.................................................................................................................. 150

2    Possessing (“owning”) something.................................................................................. 150

Forms........................................................................................................................... 152

3    Plural possession: owning more than one thing................................................................. 152

4    Talking about parts of the body...................................................................................... 154

Nouns that use the special prefix....................................................................................... 156

5    Knowing things In Bardi............................................................................................... 157

6    Summary.................................................................................................................... 158

Chapter 15: Talking about the Future.......................................................... 159

7    Talking about the future................................................................................................ 159

8    The tenses of Bardi....................................................................................................... 165

Chapter 16: Possibility & Saying No................................................................ 166

1    Possibility or potential: saying that something might happen............................................. 166

2    Forms......................................................................................................................... 168

3    Answering yes‑no questions with no................................................................................ 170

4    Saying you don’t know the answer to something............................................................... 173

5    Telling someone not to do something: don’t do it!............................................................. 174

Where to next?.......................................................................................................... 178

Answers to the exercises.................................................................................... 179

Index............................................................................................................................... 203

Bibliography............................................................................................................... 209

1    Language.................................................................................................................... 209

2    Anthropology and Material Culture................................................................................. 211

3    Other unpublished work................................................................................................. 211

4    Books on other languages which might be helpful............................................................. 211

Vocabulary List....................................................................................................... 213

1    Bardi – English............................................................................................................ 213

2    English – Bardi............................................................................................................ 220

Notes.............................................................................................................................. 228

 

Causes Supported

Endangered Language Fund

http://endangeredlanguagefund.org

ELF supports endangered languages all over the world.

ELF is a 501(c)3 founded in 1996 with the goal of supporting endangered language preservation and documentation projects. Our main mechanism for supporting work on endangered languages has been funding grants to individuals, tribes, and museums. ELF’s grants have promoted work in over 30 countries and have seen a wide range of projects, from the development indigenous radio programs in South Dakota, to recording of the last living oral historian of the Shor language of western Siberia, to the establishment of orthographies and literacy materials to be used by endangered language teaching programs all over the world.

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