Barunga Kriol

The language of daily interaction in the communities of south-western Arnhem Land, where speakers of Bininj Gun-wok, Dalabon, Jawoyn and Rembarrga speakers reside is a variety of Kriol (an Australian creole) called Barunga Kriol. Kriol is an English-based creole that developed, starting in the early 20th century, throughout the Top End of the Northern Territory (coastal areas excepted) and across, up to the Kimberleys. It is spoken by up to 30,000 Indigenous people nowadays (Lee and Obata 2010) throughout a vast portion of Central Northern Australia. Speakers of Barunga Kriol now identify it as a proper language and as an identity marker they are proud of.

Since 2014, I have been working on Barunga Kriol, focusing on the language of emotions in particular. One of the purposes of my research is to measure and explain the resemblance between Barunga Kriol and its substrates – Bininj Gun-wok, Dalabon, Jawoyn, and Rembarrnga – with respect to the language of emotions.

Some literature on Kriol and Barunga Kriol
Dickson, Gregory F. 2015. Marra and Kriol: The loss and maintenance of knowledge across a language shift boundary. Linguistics, SCHL, CAP. Canberra: The Australian National University.
Munro, Jen. 2004. Substrate language influence in Kriol: The application of transfer constraints to language contact in Northern Australia. Linguistics. Armidale: University of New England.
Nicholls, Sophie. 2009. Referring expressions and referential practice in Roper Kriol. Armidale: University of New England.
Ponsonnet, Maïa. 2011. “Brainwash from English”? Barunga Kriol speakers’ views on their own language. Anthropological Linguistics 52(2). 24.
Ponsonnet, Maïa. 2012. Body-parts in Barunga Kriol and Dalabon: Matches and mismatches. In Maïa Ponsonnet, Loan Dao & Margit Bowler (eds.), Proceedings of the 42nd Australian Linguistic Society Conference – 2011, 351–387. Canberra: ANU Research Repository.
Ponsonnet, Maïa. 2016. Reflexive, reciprocal and emphatic functions in Barunga Kriol. In Meakins F. and O’Shanessy C. eds., Loss and renewal. Australian languages since contact, 297-332. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Rhydwen, Mari. 1995. Kriol is the color of Thursday. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 113. 113–119.
Schultze-Berndt, Eva, Felicity Meakins & Denise Angelo. 2013. Kriol. In Susan M Michaelis, Matthew Maurer, Martin Haspelmath & Magnus Huber (eds.), The atlas of pidgin and creole language structures (APiCS), 241–251. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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