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ORTHOGRAPHY & PRONUNCIATION

Published onOct 12, 2020
ORTHOGRAPHY & PRONUNCIATION

The Yolŋu words in this book are from Dhay’yi (Dhalwaŋu) and Dhuwal (Djambarrpuyŋu) languages. The following guide to orthography and pronunciation is adapted from multiple sources.1

A long ‘a’ like in the English word ‘bath’.

Pronounce an English ‘d’ sound while curling the tongue back so the underside of the tip just touches the roof of the mouth behind the teeth.

dh

Sounds almost like an English ‘d’ but pronounced with the tip of the tongue poking out between the teeth.

dj

Sounds similar to the English ‘j’ as in ‘jug’. The tongue is pushed forward so that the tip of the tongue is down behind the bottom teeth.

Pronounced with tongue curled back. See d.

Pronounced with tongue curled back. See d.

nh

An ‘n’ sound made with the tongue between the teeth.

ny

Similar to the English ‘n’ in the word ‘new’. The tongue is in the same position as for dj.

ŋ

The sound of the ‘ng’ in the the word ‘sing’. It is made with the back of the tongue against the roof of the mouth in the velar position. If you don’t have the special font to make this letter, then you can simply write ‘ng’.

o

Pronounced with tongue curled back. See ḏ.

Pronounced with tongue curled back. See ḏ.

th

Like a hard ‘t’ but with the tongue protruding between the teeth.

rr

A short flapped or rolled ‘r’ sound.

Glottal stop. Brings the word to a quick finish by choking off the air to the syllable.

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