Tiwi Language (tiw)

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Tiwi is an Australian Aboriginal language spoken on the Tiwi Islands, within sight of the coast of northern Australia. It is one of about 10% of Australian languages still being learned by children. Traditional Tiwi, spoken by people over the age of fifty by 2005, is polysynthetic. However, this grammatical complexity has been lost among younger generations. According to Dixon (1980) there are around one hundred nominals that can be incorporated into verbs, most of them quite different from the corresponding free forms. Unlike other Australian languages, which were once lumped together in a single language family, Tiwi has long been recognized as a language isolate, although recent evidence using the experimental historical linguistic technique of structural phylogenetics suggests that Tiwi may in fact be related to the Gunwinyguan language family.

As do most Australian languages, Tiwi has four phonetically distinct series of coronal stops. (See Indigenous Australian languages#Coronal consonants.) There are contrasting alveolar and postalveolar apical consonants, the latter often called retroflex. However, the two laminal series are in complementary distribution, with postalveolar..... full article at Wikipedia

Location of Tiwi Language Speakers


Rosetta Document Collection

Detailed Description:
Genesis Translation:
Vernacular Text:


Main Country: Australia
Spoken In:

Regions: Oceania

ISO 639-3 Code: tiw

Classification Taxonomy

All Languages

  Australian Group

    Tiwian Group

      Tiwi Language