Yolŋu (Yolngu) or Murngin Sign Language is a ritual sign language used by the Yolngu, an Aboriginal community in the Arnhem Land region of Australia. As with other Australian Aboriginal sign languages, YSL was developed by the hearing for use when oral speech is forbidden, as during mourning or between certain family relations. (See speech taboo.) However, "YSL is not a signed version of any spoken Yolngu language... YSL also serves as a primary means of communication for a number of deaf members in Yolngu communities... YSL functions as both an alternate and primary sign language". That is, it is used for communicating to the deaf, but also when communicating at a distance, when hunting, or when ceremonies require silence. It was acquired from birth by the hearing population. YSL is now considered an endangered language.
^Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Yolngu Sign Language". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
^Maypila, Elaine and Dany Adone. 2012. Yolngu Sign Language: A sociolinguistic profile. Sign Languages in Village Communities: Anthropological and Linguistic Insights ed. by Ulrike Zehan and Connie De Vox, pp. 401-404. Berlin: De Gruyter.
^a Sign-language names reflect the region of origin. Natural sign languages are not related to the spoken language used in the same region. For example, French Sign Language originated in France, but is not related to French.