Languages

Kaurna

Fact corner

Introduction

Kaurna is no longer spoken as a native language, but it is being revived with the aid of a remarkable dictionary of Kaurna compiled by two German missionaries in the 1840s. Kaurna is the language of the Kaurna people, an indigenous ethnic group, in South Australia.

The verb

Indicative

  • The Present Tense is expressed by the termination, -ndi, which remains in all persons and numbers the same
  • The Preterite, or Aorist, -tti, throughout all persons and numbers
  • The Perfect, a, i, or o, in all persons and numbers
  • The Future, ta (and, according to the dialects, in ita, ota, ngutt*,) throughout all persons and numbers

Imperative

There occurs no common termination for the imperative, neither does there appear to be any distinction of time in it.

Prohibitive

  • This terminates in urti, rti, ngutti, oti, or tit, in all persons and numbers the same.

Optative

  • This mood, named thus because it expresses the wish or the will of a person, is not marked by a particular termination.

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