|Marrithiyel, Marri Tjevin, Marri Dan|
While neither Marri Tjevin nor Marri Ammu have been extensively documented, there is general agreement that there are only minor linguistic differences between them, with Tryon (1974) suggesting that their grammars are effectively identical and that they are only distinguished through vocabulary. Aboriginal experts that we have worked with have indicated that there may also be minor phonological differences. Tryon (1968, 1970, 1974) and Kofod (1986a, 1986b), together with sections of Ford (2007), are the only published sources on the language, although publications on plant and animal terminology (Northern Territory Government), and a learner’s guide (Batchelor College), appear to be under development.
It was previously thought that no full speakers of either dialect remained. However, a senior Marri Tjevin man, Clayver Dumoo, has recently begun work in Wadeye with Dr John Mansfield (University of Melbourne), and also Jeff Hartwick (Batchelor College), in the development of an extensive set of audio and visual recordings providing detailed documentation of Marri Tjevin language and material culture. The products of this work will be linked to from this website as they become available.
Marett, Allan & Linda Barwick. 2003. Endangered songs and endangered languages. In Joe Blythe & Robert McKenna Brown (eds.), Maintaining the Links: Language Identity and the Land. Seventh conference of the Foundation for Endangered Languages, Broome WA. 144-151. Bath, UK: Foundation for Endangered Languages