In previous trips I haven’t been able to get any information about Bardi baby talk, but this time the women were using more Bardi to toddlers. I haven’t recorded any of this, and for ‘official’ Bardi people felt that baby talk wasn’t to be encouraged, but they were happy to talk about it. Here are some features of the register:
- It’s faster and higher than regular speech (unsurprising)
- It has a lot more repetition (also unsurprising);
- there’s some r > l substitution (roowil > loowil ‘walk’);
- Preverbs can be used without their light verb, which is not true for the regular language;
- There are some lexical substitutions (e.g. nyamnyam for aarlimay ‘food’);
- The ergative case marker seems to be omitted quite a bit.