2 AN AUSTRALIAN LANGUAGE.
Tlie other consonants are sounded as in English.
Europeans often confound J with ^, because of a middle sound which the natives use in speaking quickly ; so also they confound t with y, from the same cause.
The language requires but one marked accent, wdiich serves for the prolongation of the syllable ; as, b 6 n, ' him' ; bun, the root of ' to smite.' The primitive sound is thus retained of the vowel, which otherwise would be affected by the closing consonant ; as, bun, the root of the verb 'to be ' accidental, rhymes with the English word 'bun,' bat biin, 'to smite,' rhymes with ' boon.'
In forming syllables, every consonant may be taken separately and be joined to each vowel. A consonant between two vowels must go to the latter ; and two consonants coming together must be divided. The only exception is Ng, which is adopted for w^ant of another character to express the peculiar nasal sound, as heard in hanger, and, consequently, is never divided. The following are general rules : —
1. A single consonant between two vowels must be joined to the
latter; as, ku-ri, 'man'; yu-rig, 'away'; wai-ta, 'depart.'
2. Two consonants coming together must always be divided ;
as, tet-ti, 'to be dead,' ' death' ; b u g-g ai, ' new.'
3. Two or more vowels are divided, excepting the dipthongs ; as,
gato-a, 'it is I ' ; yu-aip a, 'thrust out.' A hyphen is the mark when the dipthong is divided ; as, ka-uw^a, 'may it be ' (a wish) ; ka-am a, 'to collect together, to assemble.'
4. A vowel in a root-syllable must have its elementary sound ;
as, b u n k i 1 1 i, ' the action of smiting ' ; t a, the root-form of the verb, ' to eat.'
In general, dissyllables and trisyllables accent the first syllable ; as, p u n t i m a i, ' a messenger ' ; p i r i w a 1, 'a chief or king.'
Compound derivative words, being descriptive nouns, have the accent universally on the last syllable; as, wiyellikan, 'one who speaks,' from wiyelli, 'the action of speaking'; so also, from the same root, wiyelli-gel, 'a place of speaking,' such as, ' a pulpit, the stage, a reading desk.'
Verbs in the present and the past tenses have their accent on those parts of the verb which are significant of these tenses ; as, tatan, 'eats'; wiyan, 'speaks'; wiya, 'hath told.' This must be particularly attended to; else a mere affirmation will become an imperative, and so on; as, ka-uwa, 'be it so, (a wish) ; k a-u w a, ' so it is ' (an affirmation).