Kalkatungu language

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Native toAustralia
RegionCloncurry area, Queensland
EthnicityKalkadoon people
Kalkutungu Sign Language
Language codes
ISO 639-3ktg
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Kalkatungu (also written Kalkutungu, Galgadungu, Kalkutung, Kalkadoon, Galgaduun) is an extinct Australian Aboriginal language formerly spoken around the area of Cloncurry, Queensland.


Apart from the closely related language, Wakabunga, Kalkatungu is sometimes grouped with Yalarnnga as the Kalkatungic (Galgadungic) branch of the Pama–Nyungan family. O'Grady et al.,[3] however, classify it as the sole member of the "Kalkatungic group" of the Pama-Nyungan family, and Dixon (2002)[4] regards Kalkatungic as an areal group.



Front Back
High i iː u uː
Low a aː



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
Vibrant r
Approximant w j ɻ

It is not clear if the vibrant is a trill or a tap.


Like in English, word stress is realised in terms of loudness. Sentence stress is also organised similar to English with the first syllable in the final word of a phonological phrase getting the main stress.(tonic stress) Moreover,if there are more than two words in a phrase, the first syllable of the first word receives more stress than the non-final words.

Kalkatungu Sign Language[edit]

Kendon (1988) shows that Kalkatungu also had a developed signed form of their language.[6]


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kalkutung". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ G13 Kalkatungu at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  3. ^ O'Grady G.N, Voegelen C.F, Voegelen F.M (1966) Languages of the Indo-Pacific, Fascicle six, Anthropological linguistics 8/2
  4. ^ Dixon, R. M. W. (2002). Australian Languages: Their Nature and Development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  5. ^ *Blake, B. J. (1979). A Kalkatungu grammar. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
  6. ^ Kendon, A. (1988) Sign Languages of Aboriginal Australia: Cultural, Semiotic and Communicative Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Roth, Walter E. (1897). The expression of ideas by manual signs: a sign-language. (p. 273–301) Reprinted from Roth, W.E. Ethnological studies among the North-West-Central Queensland Aborigines. London, Queensland Agent-Generals Information Office, 1897; 71–90; Information collected from the following tribes; Pitta-Pitta, Boinji, Ulaolinya, Wonkajera, Walookera, Undekerebina, Kalkadoon, Mitakoodi, Woonamurra, Goa. Reprinted (1978) in Aboriginal sign languages of the Americas and Australia. New York: Plenum Press, vol. 2.