Amurdag language

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RegionOenpelli, Goulburn Island, Northern Territory
Extinctby 2016, with the death of Charlie Mungulda[1]
  • Amurdag
  • Urrirk
  • Gidjurra
Language codes
ISO 639-3amg

Amurdag (also Amurdak, Amurag, Amarag, Wureidbug) is an Indigenous Australian language historically spoken in the Northern Territory of Australia. According to a report by the National Geographic Society and the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages, it is an endangered language. There was the last living speaker, Charlie Mungulda, who had been working with Australian linguists Nick Evans, Robert Handelsmann and others, over the past several decades to record his language.[4] The Amurdag language was featured in Language Matters with Bob Holman, a 2015 PBS documentary about endangered languages.[5]



Peripheral Laminal Apical
Bilabial Velar Palatal Alveolar Retroflex
Plosive p k c t ʈ
Nasal m ŋ ɲ n ɳ
Approximant w ɣ j ɻ
Trill r
Flap ɽ
Lateral (ʎ) l ɭ
Lateral flap ɺ ⟨ld⟩ ⟨rld⟩

Evans but not Mailhammer identifies a palatal lateral /ʎ/ in Amurdag.


Mailhammer (2009) does not provide a vowel inventory but Evans (1998) briefly discusses vowels in his paper, noting that Iwaidjan languages including Amurdak have a three vowel (/a/, /i/, /u/) system.

Further reading[edit]

  • Evans, Nicholas (1998). "Iwaidja mutation and its origins". In Anna Siewierska & Jae Jung Song. Case, Typology and Grammar: In honor of Barry J. Blake. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 115–149.
  • Handelsmann, R. (1991). Towards a description of Amurdak: a language of northern Australia. Honours thesis, University of Melbourne,
  • Mailhammer, R. (2009) 'Towards an Aspect-Based Analysis of the Verb Categories of Amurdak', Australian Journal of Linguistics, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 349–391.
  • Neidjie, B., Mulurinj, N., Mailhammer, R., & Handelsmann, R. (2009). Amurdak inyman : six stories in amurdak. Darwin:


  1. ^ "Census 2016, Language spoken at home by Sex (SA2+)". ABS. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Amurdak". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ N47 Amurdag at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  4. ^ Scientists: Many World Languages Are Dying Archived 5 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Associated Press via Fox News, 2007-09-18. Accessed 2007-09-19.
  5. ^ Language Matters with Bob Holman: A film by David Grubin, PBS, 2015-01-19. Accessed 2015-01-28.

External links[edit]