Karri-borlbme Kun-wok

ngahborrkke (W) ngahborrkge (Gdj)

ngahborrkke (W) ngahborrkge (Gdj)

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English Translation
I am dancing
(Bale ka-yime karri-ngeybun?)


The root of the verb sounds like: borrk-ge.


The related noun is kun-borrk (written gun-borrk in Gundjeihmi) which is a style or genre of song and foot stomping dance common in western Arnhem Land. The ngah- prefix is composed of nga- meaning 'I' (first person singular) and then the glottal stop, -h- which indicates something happening at this moment. You can leave the -h- out and just say nga-borrkke 'I am dancing'.


The root of the verb is -borrkke (spelt -borrkge in Gundjeihmi) and so you need to put something on the front to indicate who is doing the dancing. In Kunwinjku if you are talking about a singular person dancing in the past tense, you don't put any prefix on the root but leave it with a "zero" prefix" so that:

borrkkeng 'he danced/she danced'

But in Gundjeihmi there is a difference and you have to put ba- in front of the root of the verb as a prefix:

ba-borrkgeng 'he danced/she danced'

There are of course all the usual verb endings for different tenses and other grammatical functions e.g.:

(Kunwinjku = borrkke, Gundjeihmi = -borrkge)
nga-borrkke (non-past) I dance
nga-borrkkeng (past perfective) I danced
nga-borrkkeyi (past imperfective, depends on dialect, some differences) I was dancing
nga-borrkkemeninj (negative or irrealis i.e. didn't happen, should happen etc) I didn't/should/might dance.

(Bale kabirri-yime?)

Minj nga-borrkkemeninj.
I didn't dance.

Ma yawurrinj, karri-re karri-borrkke (Kunwinjku).
Ma yawurrinj, garri-re garri-borrkge (Gundjeihmi).
OK boys, let's go and dance.

Djagarna ga-borrkge (Gundjeihmi)
The jabiru dances.
Guwak ba-guyinyimarreni, mulil barri-manbuni, barri-borrkgeyi gobagohbanj. (Gundjeihmi)
When it started to get dark they'd arrange a ceremony, and all the old men would dance.

24 Apr 2015