Peerapper language

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Northwestern Tasmanian
RegionNorth-western coast of Tasmania
EthnicityNorthwestern tribe of Tasmanians
Extinct19th century
Northern–Western Tasmanian?
  • West Point?
Language codes
ISO 639-3xpw
west2205  included
AIATSIS[1]T3 North-western (Tasmania), T6 Macquarie Harbour, T11 Robbins Island, T12 Circular Head

Northwestern Tasmanian, or Peerapper ("Pirapa"), is an aboriginal language of Tasmania in the reconstruction of Claire Bowern.[2] It was spoken along the west coast of the island, from Macquarie Harbour north to Circular Head and Robbins Island.

Northwestern Tasmanian is poorly attested from four word lists: The "west coast" vocabularies of Charles Robinson and George Augustus Robinson, with 246 words combined; the Robbins Island list of George Augustus Robinson, with 162 words; and the Macquarie Harbour vocabularies of Allan Cunningham (222 words), collected in 1819.[3]

The list collected by George Augustus Robinson at West Point ("Western Tribes") is divergent, and falls out as a separate language in Bowern. However, it includes only 28 words, so little definitive can be said.


  1. ^ T3 North-western (Tasmania) at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies  (see the info box for additional links)
  2. ^ Claire Bowern, September 2012, "The riddle of Tasmanian languages", Proc. R. Soc. B, 279, 4590–4595, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2012.1842
  3. ^ Bowern (2012), supplement