Ngarla language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Native to Port Hedland area of Western Australia
Native speakers
0 (2015)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 nrk
Glottolog ngar1286[2]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Ngarla is a Pama–Nyungan language of Western Australia. It is possibly mutually intelligible with Panyjima and Martuthunira, but the three are considered distinct languages.

Ngarla is classified as a member of the Ngayarda branch of the Pama–Nyungan languages. Dench (1995) believed there was insufficient data to enable it to be confidently classified, but Bowern & Koch (2004) include it without proviso.

According to the Australian Indigenous Languages Database (AUSTLANG), 6 speakers are older than 60, 4 are between the ages of 49-59, 4 are between 20-39, and 4 are younger than 19 years, indicating a total of only about 18 speakers. The NILS gives Ngarla an endangerment grade of 1, on a scale of 0-5 with 5 being the least endangered and 0 being nearly extinct.[4]

Ngarla is spoken near Port Hedland. The "Ngarla" on the Ashburton River is a dialect of a different, though possibly related, language, Yinhawangka.



Bilabial Dorso-velar Lamino-palatal Apico-alveolar Retroflex
Nasal m ŋ ɲ̻ ɳ
Stop p k ʈ
Lateral ʎ̻ ɭ
Rhotic ɾ ɽ
Semivowel w j


Front Back
High i iː u uː
Low a aː

The long vowels are rare.[citation needed]


Tense markers[edit]

Ngarla tense markers for verbs:[5]

Tense marker Tense
-n past
-ngkaya present
-kuRa future


  1. ^
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Ngarla". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Ngarla at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  4. ^ "AUSTLANG". Retrieved 2015-09-12. 
  5. ^ Languages of the World: Indo-Pacific Fascicle Six”, Geoffrey O’Grady, C. F. Voegelin and F. M. Voegelin (1966:82)


  • ”A grammatical sketch of Ngarla: A language of Western Australia”, Torbjörn Westerlund, 2007 (PDF version).

External links[edit]