Yarli language

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RegionNorthwestern New South Wales
EthnicityMalyangapa, Yardliyawara, Wadikali, Karenggapa
Native speakers
possibly extinct; 2 speakers in 1987 (2004)[1]
Malyangapa extinct 1976 with the death of Laurie Quayle. Wadikali extinct before that.[1]
  • Malyangapa
  • Yardliyawarra
Language codes
ISO 639-3Variously:
yxl – Yardliyawarra
yga – Malyangapa
wdk – Wadikali (Malyangapa dialect)
AIATSIS[3]L8 Malyangapa, L7 Yardliyawara
Yardli languages.png
Yardli languages (green) among other Pama–Nyungan (tan)

Yarli (Yardli) was a dialect cluster of Australian Aboriginal languages spoken in northwestern New South Wales and into Northeastern South Australia individually Malyangapa (Maljangapa), Yardliyawara, and Wadikali (Wardikali, Wadigali). Bowern (2002) notes Karenggapa as part of the area, but there is little data.

Tindale (1940) groups Wanjiwalku & Karenggapa together with Wadikali & Maljangapa as the only languages in NSW that are behind the 'Rite of Circumcision' border - which suggests Wanjiwalku to also be part of the Yarli area.


The three varieties are very close. Hercus & Austin (2004) classify them as the Yarli branch of the Pama–Nyungan family. Dixon (2002) regards the three as dialects of a single language. Bowern (2002) excludes them from the Karnic languages, where they had sometimes been classified.


  1. ^ a b Yardliyawarra at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Malyangapa at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Wadikali (Malyangapa dialect) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Yarli". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ L8 Malyangapa at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies  (see the info box for additional links)
  • Dixon, R. M. W. (2002). Australian Languages: Their Nature and Development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. xxxvii.
  • Hercus, Luise; Austin, Peter (2004). "The Yarli Languages". In Claire Bowern and Harold Koch (ed.). Australian Languages: Classification and the Comparative Method. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 207–222.