Djab Wurrung

Language Name:

Various historical pronunciations for Djab Wurrung are:
“Chaap wuurong, Chaa wuurong [presumably a mistranscription], Chaap wurru, Tyapwurru, Chap wurong, Tyapwurong, Chapwurong, Tjapwurrun, Tyapwuron, Djabwurung, Tjap, Chaap-Warrong, Djabwuru, Tjapwurung, Chaap-wurra, Thapwurong, Jab wurrung, Tjap-wurrung, Tijapwurong, [mistranscription], Tjap-wurong, Jab Wurrong, Tjapwuurong, Chap wurrung, Chaapwuurong, Dyabwurung, Tyapawurru, Dyapwurong, Djab wurung.” (Clark, 1990, p.106)

First Recorded:

Earliest reference to dialect name: Dawson 1881


“According to Dawson ‘chaap wurrong’ means ‘soft’ or ‘broad lip’. Elsewhere he lists ‘Ta’ap’ at the ‘Chaap wuurong word for soft”. (Clarke, 1990, p.106)

General Description of Language Area:

“Djab wurrung language is spoken in western Victoria and is centred between and around the townships of Stawell, Ararat and parts of Gariwerd (Grampians).”(Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages, 2011), authorised by Tim Chatfield, Djab wurrung Traditional Owner, 2012.

Key Landmarks:
  • Dunkeld
  • Lake Bolac
  • Lake Boloke
  • Stawell
  • Salt Creek
  • Mt. Langi Ghiran
  • Hexham
  • Halls Gap
  • Germantown
  • Penshurst
  • Wickliffe
  • Mt. Rouse
  • Great Western
  • Hamilton
  • Caramut
  • Mortlake
  • Glenn Thompson
  • Pomonal

Sourced from (Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages Placenames Database, 2002)

Dialects of Djab Wurrung:

According to Clarke’s 2005 ‘Aboriginal Language Areas in Victoria- a reconstruction’, there are three dialects of Djab Wurrung:

‘Djabwurrung, Pirtpirttwurrung, and Knenknenwurrung’

“On the basis that Dawson identified Djabwurrung as one of four primary languages spoken in Western Victoria, we can regard the Djabwurrung dialect name as the probable language name. The Djabwurrung language shared 80 percent common vocabulary with Djadjawurrung, 70 percent with Wergaia and Wembawemba, 48 percent with Dhauwurdwurrung and 42 percent with Buandig.” (Clark, 2005)

Pronunciation Chart:

(Simplified pronunciation chart, based on 1996 unpublished work by Margaret Sholl)

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