Wik Mungkan language

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Native toAustralia
RegionCape York Peninsula, Queensland
EthnicityWik-Mungkan, Mimungkum
Native speakers
450 (2016 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3wim

Wik-Mungkan, or Wik-Mungknh, is a Paman language spoken on the northern part of Cape York Peninsula of Queensland, Australia, by around 1,650 Wik-Mungkan people, and related peoples including the Wikalkan, Wik-Ngathana, Wikngenchera language groups.[4] Wik Mungkan is healthier than most other languages on the peninsula, and is developing and absorbing other aboriginal languages very quickly.

Dixon thought there was a Wik-Iiyanh dialect, but it turned out to be the same as the Wik-Iiyanh dialect of Kugu Nganhcara.[3]

The English language has borrowed at least one word from Wik-Mungknh, that for the taipan, a species of venomous snake native to the region.[5]

A dictionary of Wik-Mungknh has been compiled by Christine Kilham.[6]



Front Central Back
High i u
Mid e o
Low a


Peripheral Laminal Apical Glottal
Labial Velar Palatal Dental Alveolar
Stop p k c (ch) t̪ (th) t ʔ (')
Nasal m ŋ (ng) ɲ (ny) n̪ (nh) n
Lateral l
Rhotic r
Approximant w j (ɹ)

/ɹ/ does not appear frequently, only in some words. The same symbol for /r/ is used.[6]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ ABS. "Census 2016, Language spoken at home by Sex (SA2+)". stat.data.abs.gov.au. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Wik-Mungkan". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b Y57 Wik-Mungkan at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  4. ^ "Wik-Mungkan". Ethnologue. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  5. ^ Sutton, Peter (1995). Wik-Ngathan Dictionary.
  6. ^ a b Kilham, Christine (1986). Dictionary and sourcebook of the Wik-Mungkan language.