Family: Western Worrorran

Comments on subclassification

William B. McGregor and Alan Rumsey 2009

Retired in ISO 639-3: Split into Worrorra [wro] and Unggumi [xgu].

  • Change request: 2011-091
  • ISO 639-3: unp
  • Name: Worora
  • Reason: split
  • Effective: 2012-02-03

Excerpt from change request document:

Unggumi and Worrorra have been considered separate languages for some time now. In McGregor's 1988 Worrorran classification in his "Handbook of Kimberley Languages," he lists them both as separate languages. In 2009, McGregor and Alan Rumsey also list both Unggumi and Worrorra as independent languages within the Western Worrorran group (7).

The Australian Phylum classification by O'Grady, Voegelin and Voegelin also treats Unggumi and Worrorra as separate languages (1966: 35). They explain that "the primary verbal distinction is between realis and irrealis in all languages in the Wororan family (except Worora, which distinguishes many moods and tenses)" (1966: 79). Presumably this further sets Worora apart from Unggumi.

Both languages are listed independently in AUSTLANG, with Unggumi given the AIATSIS code K14 and Worrorra given the separate code K17. AUSTLANG classifies them both within the Worrorric subgroup of the Worrorran family.

Dr. Bowern's documentation on Australian language locations also places the Unggumi and Worrorra languages in different areas, which one may see by consulting the following map: clb3/PamaNyungan/CCAL1.2.k mz

We believe that Dr. Bowern's research and expertise on languages of Australia, as well as the support of the sources listed below are sufficient to define Unggumi and Worrorra as languages distinct from one another.

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