A9: Mirniny

AIATSIS code: 
AIATSIS reference name: 


Thesaurus heading language
Thesaurus heading people
ABN name
ABS name
Horton name
Ethnologue name
ISO 639-3 code
Tindale name
Tindale (1974)
Mining (valid alternative pronunciation), Meening, Minninng, Mininj [sic], Ngandatha (valid alternative), Ngandada, Wanbiri (basic meaning = 'sea coast'), Warna-birrie, Wonbil also Wonburi (Kokata names for the Jirkala-mirning), Wonunda-meening (['wonunda], basic meaning 'low country,' hence the name aptly applies to the section of the tribe living around Eyre and south of the Hampton cliff scarp), Wonunda-minung, Warnabinnie, Wanmaraing (MS), Jirkala-Mining (['jirkala] = buck bush, an indirect reference to those who live on the cliff top and open plateau. Williams (p. 40) has another explanation for the name), Yirkla, Yirkala-Mining, Yerkla-mining, East Meening (term coined by P. W. Schmidt; for West Mining, see Ngad-junmaia), East Mining, Ikala, Ikula, Ngadjudjara and Ngadjuwonga (hearsay names applied by Jangkundjara), Ngadjadjara, Julbari (means 'south,' term applied by tribes to north), Julbara, Ba:duk ('circumcised' also can mean 'ignorant' because they had not received all the rites accompanying subincision to which they had been introduced only recently.
O'Grady et al (1966)
Mirnin, Mining, Meening, Wanbiri, Warnabirrie, Warnabinnie, Wanmaraing, Yirkla, Ikala, Ikula
Other sources
Mirningj [von Brandenstein 1980]
Meening, Mining, Minninng, Mirniny, Ba:duk, Baaduk, Bardok, East Meening, East Mining, Eucla, Ikala, Ikula, Jirkala Mining, Jirkla mirning, Julbara, Julbari, Jurgala, Jurgula, Minal njunga, Mininj, Minnal yungar, Minning, Mirin, Mirningj, Murram, Ngadjadjara, Ngadjudjara, Ngadjuwonga, Ngandada, Ngandatha, Wanbiri, Wanmaraing, Warnabinnie, Warnabirri, Warnabirrie, Wonbil, Wonburi, Wonunda meening, Wonunda minung, Wonunda Mirning, Yerkla Mining, Yircla, Yirkala Mining, Yirkla, Yirkla Mining, Yurgala, Mirnin, Mirninj, Warna birrie, Wonbil also Wonburi, Jirkala Mining has another explanation for the name, Yerkla mining

The Mirniny spelling is often used to refer to a group of languages including Mirning (A9), Kalaako A2 and Ngatjumaya A3.

Von Brandenstein (1980:2) identifies Mirningj [sic] (A9) as one of six language varieties in the Dundas District area (the others being Marlba A110, Fraser Range A74, Norseman A99, Windaga A111 and Kallaagu A2), commenting that 'it will be difficult to extract the different components of the Dundas District languages ... from the mixed language now called Ngadju A3 which is still spoken...'

O'Grady, Voegelin and Voegelin (1966), on the other hand, consider Karlaku A2 and Mirning (A9) to be the same language ('West Mirning' and 'East Mirning', respectively). Further, Tindale (1974) lists Minning (A9) and West Mining/Meening (among others) as alternative names for Ngadjunmaia A3.


  • Brandenstein, Carl G. von. 1980. Ngadjumaja: an Aboriginal language of south-east Western Australia. Innsbruck: Institut für Sprachwissen-schaft der Universität Innsbruck.
  • Brandenstein, Carl G. von. 1970. Report [to A.I.A.S.] on field work conducted July/August 1970 as part of the 1969/1970 project Western Desert fringe study. (PMS 2140).
  • Oates, Lynette F. 1975. The 1973 supplement to a revised linguistic survey of Australia. Armidale: Armidale Christian Book Centre.
  • O'Grady, Geoffrey N. 1959-68. [Language field notes]. (MS 4389)
  • O'Grady, G. N., C. F. Voegelin and F. M. Voegelin. 1966. Languages of the world: Indo-Pacific fascicle six. Anthropological Linguistics 8(2).
  • Tindale, Norman B. 1974. Aboriginal tribes of Australia: their terrain, environmental controls, distribution, limits, and proper names. Berkeley: University of California Press/Canberra: Australian National University Press.
State / Territory: 
Location information: 

From east of Port Culver to White Well, So. Aust., at head of Great Australian Bight; inland normally only to edge of the treeless karst plateau of the Nullarbor Plain, but after big rains they ventured far inland to the inner edge of the open country (Tindale 1974). (This covers a larger area (to the West) compared to von Brandenstein's location quoted by Oates 1975).


  • Tindale, Norman. 1974. Tribal boundaries in Aboriginal Australia. Canberra: Division of National Mapping, Department of National Development.
  • Douglas, Wilfrid. 1976. The Aboriginal languages of the south-west of Australia, 2nd edn. Canberra: AIAS
Luise Hercus, David Nash, Geoffrey O'Grady, Hale & O'Grady
Indigenous organisations: 
Year Source Speaker numbers

Speaker numbers were measured differently across the censuses and various other sources listed in AUSTLANG. You are encouraged to refer to the sources.

Speaker numbers for ‘NILS 2004’ and ‘2005 estimate’ come from 'Table F.3: Numbers of speakers of Australian Indigenous languages (various surveys)' in 'Appendix F NILS endangerment and absolute number results' in McConvell, Marmion and McNicol 2005, pages 198-230 (PDF, 2.5MB).

Type Documentation Status Documentation Score
Word list Less than 20 pages 1
Text Collection Less than 20 pages 1
Grammar None 0
Audio-visual 1-10 2
Manuscript note: 
tape transcription/field note available

Velichova-Rebelos, Margareta. 2005. Draft: word list of the Mirning (Mirniny) language: extracted from notes by Geoff O'Grady & Alix O'Grady 1959/1968. Adelaide: Discipline of Linguistics, School of Humanities, University of Adelaide.


Velichova-Rebelos, Margareta. 2005. Draft: word list of the Mirning (Mirniny) language: extracted from notes by Geoff O'Grady & Alix O'Grady 1959/1968. Adelaide: Discipline of Linguistics, School of Humanities, University of Adelaide.

Source Family Group Sub-group Name Relationship
Ethnologue (2005)          
Dixon (2002)   WESTERN BIGHT GROUP   Mirning Mirning
Wurm (1994) Pama-Nyungan South-West   Mirning  
Walsh (1981) Pama-Nyungan South-West Mirning Mirning  
Oates (1975) Pama-Nyungan Pilbara-Nyungar (Southwest) Mirninj (Ngadju) Mirninj  
Wurm (1972) Pama-Nyungan Southwest (or Nyungic) Mirniny Mirniny (Mirning)  
O'Grady, Voegelin and Voegelin (1966) Pama-Nyungan Southwest Mirniny Mirning