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Yanyuwa: 'Men speak one way, women speak another'

CollectionsAboriginal Linguistics 1 / edited by Nicholas Evans & Steve Johnson. Armidale, NSW : University of New England, Dept. of Linguistics, 1988.
Title: Yanyuwa: 'Men speak one way, women speak another'
Author(s): Bradley, John
Date published: 1988
Publisher: University of New England, Department of Linguistics
Citation: Bradley, J. (1988). Yanyuwa: 'Men speak one way, women speak another'. In N. Evans & S. Johnson (Eds.), Aboriginal linguistics 1 (pp. 126-134). Armidale, N.S.W: Dept. of Linguistics, University of New England
This paper describes briefly the apparently unique system within the Yanyuwa language of having separate dialects for male and female speakers. I will highlight some of the social and ethnographic features of language as it is used in day-to-day speech and in such specific examples as song and ritual. The system is pervasive and distinctly marks the way in which men and women must speak. As a result the roles of men and women in Yanyuwa society are not only contrasted by their social roles, such as ritual life, hunting and nurturing, such as can be found other Aboriginal communities, but also explicitly by the use of different dialects by male and female speakers. The sex of the hearer has no relevance to the way the language is spoken: men speak their dialect to women and women speak their dialect to men.
ISBN: 085834857 G
ISSN: 1034-5140


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