Waanyi language

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RegionNorthern Territory and Queensland, Australia
ExtinctLate 20th century
  • Wanyi
Language codes
ISO 639-3wny

Wanyi (also spelled Waanyi, Wanji, Waanji) is an extinct Australian Aboriginal language formerly spoken by the Waanyi people of the lower gulf area of Northern Queensland, Australia.

Words and phrases from this language are used by novelist Alexis Wright in her 2013 novel, The Swan Book.


Phoneme inventory [3]

Bilabial Velar Apical Palatal Open
Stop b k d j
Nasal m ng n ny
Lateral l ly
Tap rr
Glide w r y
Short Vowel u i a
Long Vowel uu ii aa

Phonemic long vowels are rare.[3]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Wanyi". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ G23 Wanyi at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  3. ^ a b Breen, Gavan (2003)."Wanyi and Garrwa comparative data" in Evans, N., ed. "The Non-Pama-Nyungan Languages of Northern Australia: comparative studies of the continent’s most linguistically complex region". Studies in Language Change, 552. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, pp.425-462