The Ngarluma are an Indigenous Australian people of the western Pilbara area of northwest Australia. They are coastal dwellers of the area around Roebourne and Karratha inland to the Millstream-Chichester National Park.
The Ngarluma language belongs to the Ngayarda branch of the Pama-Nyungan family. It is a highly inflected suffixing language, with, unusually, a Nominative-Accusative case-marking system, with verbs inflected for Tense, Aspect and Mood. The Ngarluma on contact with whites and distant tribes appeared to have reserved their grammatically complex language for conversations among themselves while adopting a simplified version when interacting with strangers.
It would appear that the Ngarluma adapted quickly to the developing pearling industry along the northwest coast, perhaps travelling down to get work at Cossack 300 miles south. This hypothesis is based on the fact that the vocabulary list provided to a priest in 1875 by two Dalmatian Italian shipwreck survivors, Michele Bacich and Giovanni Iurich, after they returned to Italy, appears to be a creole with a strong but simplified component of Ngarluma. It is thought that they were extended hospitality for 3 months by the Yinikutira people who had picked up the creole from indentured Ngarluma labourers in the pearling industry.
The Ngarluma people have a four group skin system.
Notes and references
- "AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia". AIATSIS.
- "Tindale Tribal Boundaries" (PDF). Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Western Australia. September 2016.
- Brandenstein, Carl Georg; Churnside, Bob (1970). Narratives from the North-west of Western Australia in the Ngarluma and Jindjiparndi Languages: Narratives 1-36. Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies.
- Dixon, Sally; Deek, Eleonora (2010). "Language centre as language revitalization strategy: a case study from the Pilbara". In Hobson, John; Lowe, Kevin; Poetsach, Susan; Walsh, Michael. Re-awakening Languages: Theory and Practice in the Revitalisation of Australia's Indigenous Languages. Sydney University Press. pp. 119–139. ISBN 978-1-920-89955-4.
- Edmunds, Mary (2013). A Good Life: Human Rights and Encounters with Modernity. Australian National University. ISBN 978-1-922-14467-6.
- McConvell, Patrick; Simpson, Jane (2012). "Fictive Motion Down Under: The Locative-Allative Case Alternative in Some Australian Indigenous Languages". In Santos, Diana; Lindén, Krister; Ng'ang'a, Wanjiku. Shall We Play the Festschrift Game?: Essays on the Occasion of Lauri Carlson's 60th Birthday. Springer. pp. 159–179. ISBN 978-1-920-89955-4.
- Meakins, Felicity (2014). "Language contact varieties". In Koch, Harold; Nordlinger, Rachel. The Languages and Linguistics of Australia: A Comprehensive Guide. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 365–415. ISBN 978-3-110-27977-1.
- Ngarluma Dictionary:English-Ngarluma Wordlist and Topical Wordlists (PDF). Wanga Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre. 2008. ISBN 1 921312 73 4.