Yaygir people

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The Yaygir, Yuraygir, or Yaegl,[a] were an Australian Aboriginal tribe who traditionally lived in and around Coffs Harbour, New South Wales.

Language[edit]

Yaygir was one of the two Gumbaynggiric languages, closely related to Gumbaynggir, both of which split from the same proto-language, though in developing their differences, their lexical cognate count was reduced to half, 46%.[2] It is considered by Terry Crowley to be the most 'aberrant' of New South Wales languages for its phonology and acceptance of initial vowels, as opposed to the standard formation of words,[3] which normatively begin with consonants, the latter feature something it shares with Nganjaywana. The last speaker was Sandy Cameron of Yamba (d.1973). It had a voicedless trill unique to Australian languages.[4]

Country[edit]

Yaygir country stretched from Coffs Harbour northwards to Evans Head, and inland to Cowper on the Clarence River. They were a coastal people.[3] Some reports state that the tribe or horde local to Coffs Harbour itself was called 'Womboyneralah', meaning 'where the kangaroos camped.'[5]

People[edit]

The Yaygir were bounded by the Bandjalang to the north, and the Gumbaynggirr to the south.[3]

Alternative names[edit]

  • Yiegera
  • Jeigir
  • Yegera
  • Youngai
  • Jungai[6]
  • Yagir
  • Yegera
  • Yegir
  • Yaegl[1]

Some words[edit]

  • abl (wallaby)
  • dalga (sing)
  • dulbay (language)
  • duwo (boomerang)[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 'In 2008, the Lower Clarence Elders use the preferred spelling of 'Yaegl'. In 1977, the spelling of 'Yuraygir' was considered the closest reflection of the Aboriginal usage of the word, allowing it to be phonetically accurate and easy for visitors to pronounce.[1]'[1]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kijas 2009, p. 15.
  2. ^ Crowley 1979, p. 371.
  3. ^ a b c Crowley 1979, p. 364.
  4. ^ Crowley 1979, pp. 363,369.
  5. ^ Lunney, Wells & Miller 2016, p. 4.
  6. ^ Tindale 1974, p. 194.
  7. ^ Crowley 1979, p. 380.

Sources[edit]