Worrorran languages

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northern Australia
Linguistic classification One of the world's primary language families
Glottolog worr1236[1]
Worrorran languages (purple), among other non-Pama-Nyungan languages (grey)

The Worrorran (Wororan) languages are a small family of Australian Aboriginal languages spoken in northern Western Australia.

The Worrorran languages fall into three dialect clusters:


There has been debate over whether the Worrorran languages are demonstrably related to one another, or constitute a geographical language group.

Dixon (2002) considers them to be language isolates with no demonstrable relationship other than that of a Sprachbund.

However, more recent literature differs from Dixon:

  • Rumsey and McGregor (2009) demonstrate the cohesiveness of the family and its reconstructibility, and;
  • Bowern (2011) accepts the Worroorran languages as a family.[2]


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Worrorran". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  2. ^ Bowern, Claire. 2011. "How Many Languages Were Spoken in Australia?", Anggarrgoon: Australian languages on the web, December 23, 2011 (corrected February 6, 2012)