Barrow Point language

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Barrow Point
Region Queensland, Australia
Extinct by 2005, with the death of Urwunjin Roger Hart[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 bpt
Glottolog barr1247[3]
AIATSIS[1] Y63.1
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The Barrow Point language is a recently-extinct Australian Aboriginal language. According to Wurm and Hattori (1981), there was one speaker left at the time.[4]


Ethnologue (2005) classifies Barrow Point together with Guugu Yimidhirr as a branch of Pama–Nyungan, but this may be a geographical grouping from Dixon.


Unusually among Australian languages, Barrow Point has at least two fricative phonemes, /ð/ and /ɣ/. They usually developed from *t̪ and *k, respectively, when preceded by a stressed long vowel, which then shortened.[5]


  1. ^ a b Barrow Point at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  2. ^ Bowern, Claire. 2011. "How Many Languages Were Spoken in Australia?", Anggarrgoon: Australian languages on the web, December 23, 2011 (corrected February 6, 2012)
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Barrow Point". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. ^ Barrow Point language at Ethnologue (15th ed., 2005)
  5. ^ Dixon, R. M. W.; Dixon, Robert M. W.; Dixon, Adjunct Professor and Deputy Director of the Language and Culture Centre R. M. W. (2002-11-14). Australian Languages: Their Nature and Development. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521473781.

See also John Haviland and Roger Hart's Old Man Fog and the Last Aborigines of Barrow Point, ISBN 1-56098-928-9, a novel about the efforts of Hart, a native of the Cape York peninsula, to record and preserve Barrow Point language and culture.