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Marrgu language

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(Redirected from ISO 639:mhg)
Native toAustralia
RegionCroker Island, Northern Territory
Extinct1 speaker reported in 2000;[1] 2 reported to partly understand it in 2008[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3mhg
Marrgu language (purple arrow), among other non-Pama–Nyungan languages (grey)

Marrgu (Marrku) is a recently extinct Aboriginal language of northern Australia. Additional names include Ajokoot, Croker Island, Raffles Bay, Terrutong (Terutong), Yaako (Jaako, Yako).[1]



Marrgu had been assumed to be an Iwaidjan language like its neighbours. However, Evans (2006) has produced evidence that it was a language isolate,[2] with possible connection to the extinct and poorly attested Wurrugu. This connection however is merely theoretical.



Consonant inventory

Marrgu consonants[3]
Peripheral Laminal Apical
Bilabial Velar Palatal Dental 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⟩ 𝼈 ⟨rld⟩



Marrgu had the three-vowel (/a/, /i/, /u/) system typical of Iwaidjan languages (Evans 1998).

Front Back
High i u
Low a


  1. ^ a b Marrgu language at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c N45 Marrgu at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  3. ^ 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.