Yayaa (Alphabet)

This word Yayaa is from the names of the first two sounds ya and yaa in the same way the English word ‘alphabet’ developed from Greek names alpha and beta for α and β. (The names of the English alphabet are ‘ay’, ‘bee’ etc. but we almost never write them down.) 

In GYY (Gamilaraay, Yuwaalaraay and Yuwaalayaay) we need to add ‘y’ to the name of the sounds we write with the letters ‘a’  and ‘aa’ because GYY words cannot start with a vowel sound. Some of the sounds are written with two letters, so we are using ‘sounds’ rather than ‘letters’ in the GYY Yayaa.

Unlike English, the GYY sound system is standardised - so once you know the sounds you can pronounce any word. This means learning to read GYY is more like a phonics approach, but much more straightforward!

See also the section on Dhaalan ('pronunciation')..


Our poster features artwork by Gamilaraay artist Anthony (Jack) Conlan.
Download a file suitable for printing in A3 or A4 here: Alphabet-poster-GY-01SEPT2020_A3.pdf
Please contact Winaga-Li for a larger A2 size poster.