Jiwarli dialect

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RegionWestern Australia
ExtinctApril 1986 with the death of Jack Butler.
Language codes
ISO 639-3dze
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Jiwarli (also spelt Djiwarli, Tjiwarli) is an Australian Aboriginal language formerly spoken in Western Australia. It is a variety of the Mantharta language of the large Pama–Nyungan family.

The last native speaker of Jiwarli, Jack Butler, died in April 1986. Prof Peter K. Austin (Linguistics Department, SOAS) collected all the available material on Jiwarli during fieldwork with Jack Butler 1978–1985. He has published a volume of texts on the language and a bilingual dictionary (Jiwarli-English with English-Jiwarli finderlist); both are currently out of print.[citation needed]



Front Back
High i, u,
Low a,


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


Word-initially, only non-apical stops, nasals and glides are allowed; that is, words may only begin with one of {/p k j th m ng nh w y/}. Words may not begin with vowels.

All words end in vowels. Roots may end on a consonant, however -pa is added to all roots ending in l rl rr and -ma is added to all roots ending in a nasal that would violate the vowel-final word constraint.


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Djiwarli". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ W28 Jiwarli at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

External links[edit]