"Bungi" redirects here. For other uses, see Bungi (disambiguation).
Bungee, Bungay, the Red River Dialect
Native to Canada
Region Red River Colony and Assiniboia, present-day Manitoba
Native speakers < 500 likely extinct  (date missing)
Language family
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)
Linguist List
Geographical distribution of Bungee

Bungi (also Bungee, Bungie, Bungay, or the Red River Dialect) is a creole of Scottish English strongly influenced by Orcadian, Gaelic, Cree and Ojibwe,[1] and spoken by the Red River Métis in present-day Manitoba, Canada.

Bungi has been categorized as a post-creole,[2] with the distinctive features of the language gradually abandoned by successive generations of speakers in favour of standard Canadian English. Today the creole mostly survives in the speech of a few elders, and the use of non-standard pronunciations and terminology by a wider population.


The name derives from either Ojibwe: bangii, or Cree: pahkī, both words signifying “a little bit” in English. In addition to describing the language, Bungi can refer to First Nations persons generally, or those with mixed European and First Nations ancestry (regardless of perceived cultural affiliation).[3] In these colloquial uses the term may have mildly pejorative connotations, even when used by speakers to describe themselves.[4]


The lexicon is mostly English with words from Cree and Ojibwa interspersed throughout.

Social context

Many speakers in Blain’s studies were ashamed to speak the dialect as the speech community members were discriminated against by other groups.

The major difference with other dialects is in the phonology (sound system & pronunciation). Voice quality differences are noticeably apparent.


The main linguistic documentation of this dialect lies within Blain (1987, 1989) and Walter (1969–1970).

See also

Aboriginal peoples in Canada portal

Notes and references



  • Bakker, Peter & P. Grant. Atlas of Languages of intercultural communication in the Pacific, Asia, and the Americas. Interethnic Communication in Canada, Alaska, and adjacent areas.
  • Barkwell, Lawrence J., Dorion, Leah; & Hourie, Audreen. (2006). Metis legacy: Michif culture, heritage, and folkways. Métis legacy series (Vol. 2). Saskatoon: Gabriel Dumont Institute. ISBN 0-920915-80-9
  • Barkwell, Lawrence J., Dorion, Leah; & Préfontaine, Darren R. (n.d.). Annotated bibliography and references in .
  • Blain, Eleanor M. (1987). Speech of the lower Red River settlement. In W. Cowan (Ed.), Papers of the eighteenth Algonquian Conference (pp. 7–16). Ottawa: Carleton University.
  • ––– (1989). The Bungee dialect of the Red River settlement. (MA thesis, University of Manitoba).
  • ––– (1994). The Red River dialect. Winnipeg: Wuerz Publishing.
  • ––– (n.d.). Bungee. The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  • Cansino, Barbara. (1980, March 26). Bungi in Petersfield: An 81 year old writes about the Red River dialect. Winnipeg Free Press.
  • Carter, Sarah. Aboriginal people and colonizers of Western Canada to 1900.
  • Dollinger, Stefan. New-dialect formation in Canada: evidence from the English modal auxiliaries.
  • Gold, Elaine. (2007). Aspect in Bungi: Expanded Progressives and Be Perfects. Congrès de l’ACL 2007 / CLA Conference 2007. Toronto: University of Toronto.
  • Pentland, David H. (1985, March 9). Métchif and Bungee: Languages of the fur trade. (Paper presented in the series Voices of Rupert's Land: Public Lectures on Language and Culture in Early Manitoba.
  • Scott, S. Osborne; & Mulligan, D. A. (1951, December). The Red River dialect. The Beaver, 42–45.
  • ––– (1951). The Red River dialect. In J. K. Chambers (Ed.), Canadian English: Origins and structures (pp. 61–63). Toronto: Methuen.
  • Stobie, Margaret. (1967–1968). Backgrounds of the dialect called Bungi. Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba, 3 (24), 65–67.
  • ––– (1971). The dialect called Bungi. Canadian Antiques Collector, 6 (8), 20.
  • Swan, Ruth Ellen. (1991). Ethnicity and the Canadianization of Red River politics (p. 133). (MA thesis, Winnipeg, University of Manitoba).
  • Walters, Frank J. (1969–1970). Bungee as she is spoke. Red River Valley Historian and History News. The Quarterly Journal of the Red River Valley Historical Society, 3 (4), 68–70.
  • Wurm, Stephen A.; Mühlhäuser, Peter; & Tryon, Darrell H. (Eds.). (1996). Atlas of languages of intercultural communication in the Pacific, Asia, and the Americas (Vol. II.2). Trends in linguistics: Documentation (No. 13). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.