Panyjima language

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Native toAustralia
RegionPilbara region of Western Australia
EthnicityPanyjima people
Native speakers
104 (2016 census)[1]
  • Pantikura
  • Mitjaranjpa
Language codes
ISO 639-3pnw
AIATSIS[3]A53 Banyjima (cover term)
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Panyjima is an Australian Aboriginal language spoken in the Hamersley Range, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It is the traditional language of the Panyjima people. The name has also been spelled Bandjima, Banjima, Banyjima, Paanjima, Pandjima, Panjima, Panjtjima, and Panytyima.

Like most indigenous Australian languages, Panyjima is endangered. Younger generations have English as a first language and make little distinction between Panyjima and its closely related neighbouring languages. There's a formal language register known as padupadu.


Panyjima is classified as a member of the Ngayarta branch of the Pama–Nyungan languages. Under Carl Georg von Brandenstein's 1967 classification, Martuthunira was classed as an Inland Ngayarda language, but the separation of the Ngayarda languages into Coastal and Inland groups is no longer considered valid.



Peripheral Laminal Apical
Bilabial Velar Palatal Dental Alveolar Retroflex
Stop p k c t ʈ
Nasal m ŋ ɲ n ɳ
Lateral ʎ l ɭ
Rhotic r ɻ
Semivowel w j


Front Back
High i iː u uː
Low a aː

The long vowels are rare.


Accusative alignment[edit]

Accusative alignment. A = subject of a transitive verb; S = subject of an intransitive verb; O = object of a transitive verb.

Unlike most Australian languages, which exhibit ergativity, Panyjima and the other Ngayarta languages have an accusative alignment. That is, the subjects of transitive verbs are treated the same as the subjects of intransitive verbs, while the objects are treated differently.


  1. ^ ABS. "Census 2016, Language spoken at home by Sex (SA2+)". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2017-10-29.
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Panytyima". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ A53 Banyjima (cover term) at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • Dench, Alan (1991). "Panyjima". In R.M.W. Dixon and Barry J. Blake (ed.). The Handbook of Australian Languages, Volume 4. Melbourne: Oxford University Press Australia. pp. 125–244. ISBN 0-19-553097-7.

External links[edit]