Pama-nyungan Definition

pämə-nyo͝onggən
noun
A large family of Australian aboriginal languages, spoken throughout Australia except in the extreme north, and including Pitjantjatjara and Warlpiri.
American Heritage
pronoun

A proposed language family encompassing most Australian Aboriginal languages, including Pitjantjatjara and Warlpiri, but excluding those spoken in the northwest. [from 1960s]

Wiktionary

Origin of Pama-nyungan

  • From pama (“man, person") (in several northeast Australian Aboriginal languages) + nyungaa (“man, person") (in several southwestern Australian Aboriginal languages) +"Ž -an. Apparently coined by American linguist Kenneth L. Hale (1934-2001).

    From Wiktionary

  • pama man (in northeast languages) nyunga man (in southwest languages)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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