Bardi language

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Region Australia
Ethnicity Bardi
Native speakers
30 (2005) to 150 (2006 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
djw – Jawi
Glottolog bard1254[2]

Bardi (also Baardi, Baard) is a moribund Australian Aboriginal language. There are approximately 20 speakers out of an ethnic population of 380.


Bardi is a member of the Nyulnyulan language family. It is a member of the Western branch of the family.

According to R. M. W. Dixon (2002), the following dialects are mutually intelligible with Bardi:

Ethnologue (206) treats all but Ngumbarl as distinct languages, and this view is supported by those linguists who have worked on the languages, including Claire Bowern and William McGregor. It is also the view of Bardi speakers.

There is considerable documentation of the Bardi language, but most of it is unpublished. The earliest work on the language dates from the 1880s, although that has been lost. The earliest records are from the very early 20th century. Gerhardt Laves spent some time on Sunday island in the late 1920s and recorded extensive textual materials, and steady documentation has progressed since the late 1960s.


  1. ^ a b Bardi at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Bardic". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.