Jaminjung language

Jaminjung is a moribund Australian language spoken around the Victoria River in the Northern Territory of Australia. There seems to be a steady increase in the number of speakers of the language with very few people speaking the language in 1967, about 30 speakers in 1991, and between 50 and 150 speakers in 2000.[4][5]

Native toAustralia
RegionVictoria River (Northern Territory)
Native speakers
  • Ngaliwuru
Language codes
ISO 639-3djd
AIATSIS[3]N18 Jaminjung, N19 Ngaliwurru



Jaminjung has 4 vowels:[6]

Front Central Back
Close i /i/ u /u/
Close-mid e /e/
Open a /a/

Vowel length is not distinctive. The close-mid vowel /e/ only appears in a small number of words, and is probably a loan from surrounding languages.[6]


Jaminjung has 18 consonants:[6]

Peripheral Laminal Apical
Bilabial Velar Palatal Dental Alveolar Retroflex
Plosive p /p/ k /k/ j /c/ th /t̪/ t /t/ rt /
Nasal m /m/ ng /ŋ/ ny /ɲ/ n /n/ rn /
Trill rr /r/
Approximant ly /ʎ/ l /l/ rl /
w /w/ y /j/ r /



  1. "Census 2016, Language spoken at home by Sex (SA2+)". stat.data.abs.gov.au. ABS. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Jaminjung-Ngaliwurru". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. N18 Jaminjung at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies  (see the info box for additional links)
  4. Schultze-Berndt 2000, pp. 13–14
  5. Ethnologue
  6. Schultze-Berndt 2000, p. 41


  • Schultze-Berndt, Eva F. (2000), Simple and Complex Verbs in Jaminjung - A Study of event categorisation in an Australian language

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