BANYJIMA (A53 ) in Handbook of Kimberley Languages (1988).
8.17 Warlpiri / Walbiri / Waljbiri
Names of the language and different spellings that have been used:
Wailbri (Capell, Hansen, Wurm, Reece), Wailbry, Waljbiri (Hale, Capell, AIAS), Walpari (Tindale, Mountford, Stanner), 'Walpari (O'Grady), Walpiri (Hale), Walbiri (O'Grady, Hale), Warlpiri (Jagst, Hale), Nambutj(u) (said to be Pintupi name).
Dialects: The various names of different types of Warlpiri are not clearly understood (Menning & Nash 1981). There appear to be four divisions, represented in the literature by the following names (note however that there is little consistency across the literature: different works frequently make variant distinctions, and/or employ different names for the same divisions): 1. Ngalia, Ngalia (Tindale, Capell, Wurm, O'Grady, Oates & Oates, AIAS), Ngaliya (Jagst), Identified by Tindale as a separate group south of Warlpiri. The Yuendumu settlement is in this area, though the Warlpiri spoken at Yuendumu may also represent dialects traditionally spoken further north. This name is quite separate from the name Ngalea applied to a Western Desert language in South Australia. 2. Lajamanu (Hooker Creek), Ngardilba (AIAS), Ngardilpa (Jagst) ("language of Warnayaka tribe, division of the Warlpiri"), Wanayaka, Wanayaga (Wurm, AIAS, O'Grady, Oates & Oates), Wanajaga (Capell), Waneiga (Capell), Warnayaka (Jagst), Warrnayaka (Jagst), Traditionally this Warlpiri was spoken further to the south and south-east of the location of Lajamanu settlement. 3. Warrabri (Ali-Curung), The Warrabri settlement is outside traditionally Warlpiri country. Warlpiri from the Hanson River area is the major Warlpiri dialect now spoken at Warrabri. 4. Willowra, Willowra, Wirliyajarrayi (Nash), Willowra is located on the Lander River. Lander River Warlpiri is apparently intermediate between the Warlpiri now spoken to its west and north-west (e.g. at Yuendumu, Lajamanu) and to its east (e.g. at Warrabri)., The term Eastern Warlpiri has been applied to the Warlpiri traditionally spoken on the Lander and Hanson Rivers, i.e. to the Warrabri and Willowra dialects. It has been also used to mean the Warlpiri as now spoken at Warrabri. According to Simpson (1985a), the term Wakirti is used by speakers at Kunayungku, Tennant Creek and Ali Curung in referring to their own dialect of Warlpiri. This may be identified with Eastern Warlpiri.
Classification of the language:
Central Western Desert type, Ngarrka (Ngarga) subgroup
Oates 1973: 58.2 (Wanayaka, 58.4, Ngalia 58.5))
Capell: C23 (Ngalia, C20)
Present number and distribution of speakers:
About 3000 speakers of all ages, including children. Most live in the NT at Yuendumu, Lajamanu (Hooker Creek), Willowra, Warrabri (Ali-Curung), Tennant Creek, Papunya, Alice Springs; a few live in the Kimberley region, in Halls Creek and Balgo.
Milliken (1976) - 2712, 13 Ngalia (Papunya, Yuendumu)
Black (1979) - 1400, or twice that by one estimate
Nash (1980) - at least 2500
Swartz (1985) - 3000
People who have worked intensively on the language:
Edith Bavin, 1982 to present, mainly at Yuendumu
Ken Hale, from 1959, Yuendumu
Lothar Jagst, 1969-1976, Lajamanu
Adam Kendon, 1978 to present, mainly Yuendumu
Mary Laughren, 1974 to present, Yuendumu
David Nash, since early 1980s, Yuendumu and Tennant Creek
Timothy Shopen, 1982 to present, mainly at Yuendumu
Jane Simpson, since early 1980s, Yuendumu and Tennant Creek
Stephen Swartz, 1978 to present, Lajamanu
A number of others are involved in literacy work, Bible translation, and theoretical linguistics.
A practical orthography has been established since 1974. This is a variant of the South Kimberley orthography (see pages 4-6 above).
Hale (1974, 1982), O'Grady (1959), Reece (1975, 1979), Warlpiri Dictionary (1982, 1985)
Grammar or sketch grammar:
Capell (1962), Hale (1967, 1974), Nash (1980), Reece (1970), Simpson (1983, 1985a, 1985b)
Material available on the language:
AIAS Selected reading list, Central and Western Desert: The Aranda, Bidjandjarra, Bindubi, Waljbiri. 17pp. mimeo. AIAS. 197?
Baarda, W.N. 1978. It's a slow consumption killing you by degrees. 16pp. mimeo. NT Department of Education: Yuendumu.
_____ .1978. Warlpiri reading (a collection of papers). 10+5p. NT Department of Education: Yuendumu.
Bavin, E. 1986. Review of S. Swartz (ed.), Papers in Warlpiri grammar. Oceania 56. 236-237.
_____ .1987. Anaphora in children's Warlpiri. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics 10. 1-11.
_____ .1988a. Some lexical and morphological changes in Warlpiri. In Dorian, N. (ed.), Investigating language obsolescence: studies in language contraction and language death. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
_____ .1988b. Teaching Warlpiri as a community language. In Wales, L. (ed.), Language programmes in primary schools: some Australian experiences. Geelong: Deakin University Press.
Bavin, E. & Shopen, T. 1983. An initial report on children's Warlpiri at Yuendumu. 39pp. typescript.
_____ .1984. Warlpiri children's comprehension of discontinuous word order. 25pp. typescript.
_____ .1985a. Children's acquisition of Warlpiri: comprehension of transitive sentences. Journal of Child Language. 12.3. 597-610.
_____ .1985b. Warlpiri and English: languages in contact. In Clyne, M. (ed.), Australia, meeting place of languages. Canberra: PL, C-92. 81-94.
_____ .1985c. Change in progress in Warlpiri: cross-reference clitics in the auxiliary. typescript.
_____ .1985d. Warlpiri children's development of narrative. Berkeley Linguistic Society 11. 1-13.
_____ .1987. Innovations and neutralizations in the Warlpiri pronominal system. Journal of Linguistics 23. 149-175.
_____ .forthcoming a. Acquisition of cues to sentence interpretation in a non-configurational language. In MacWhinney, B. & Bates, E. (eds.), Cross linguistic studies in sentence comprehension. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
_____ .forthcoming b. Warlpiri in the 80's: an overview of research into language variation and child language. In Rigsby, B. & Romaine, S. (eds), The languages of Australia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bouma, G. 1985. A categorial grammar for Warlpiri. 35pp. typescript.
Capell, A. 1952. The Wailbri through their own eyes. Oceania 23 (2). 110-132.
_____ .1962. Waljbiri grammar. In Some linguistic types in Australia. Handbook of Australian Languages, Part II. (Oceania Linguistic Monographs, 7) Sydney: University of Sydney. 15-50
Carrier, J. 1976. Grammatical relations in Warlpiri. manuscript. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Cleland, J.B. & Johnson, T.H. 1933. The ecology of the Aborigines of Central Australia. Royal Society of South Australia. Transactions 57. 113-124.
Dowling, W.F. 1980. A lambda-categorial description of simple sentences in Warlpiri. 9pp. typescript. Department of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania.
Duncan, D. 1976. A proposal for adjunction in Walbiri. manuscript. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Glasgow, D. 1984. Report on survey of the central Northern Territory. In Hudson, J. & Pym, N. (eds), Language survey. (Work Papers of SIL-AAB, B-11) Darwin: SIL. 113-152.
Granites, R. nd. Short essays in Warlpiri and English. manuscript. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
_____ .1976. Short essays in Warlpiri linguistics. manuscript. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Granites, R., Hale, K.L. & Odling-Smee, D. 1976. Survey of Warlpiri grammar. manuscript. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Guerssel, M., Hale, K., Laughren, M., Levin, B. & White Eagle, J. 1985. A cross-linguistic study of transitivity alternations. Causatives and agentivity. Papers from the Chicago Linguistic Society. CLS. 21 (2). 56-59.
Hale, K.L. 1960. Introduction to vocabulary and domains. typescript.
_____ .1967. Preliminary remarks on Walbiri grammar. manuscript. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
_____ .1973a. Person marking in Walbiri. In Anderson S. & Kiparsky, P. (eds), A Festschrift for Morris Halle. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. 308-344.
_____ .1973b. Deep-surface canonical disparities in relation to analysis and change: an Australian example. In Sebeok, T. (ed.), Current Trends in Linguistics, 11. The Hague: Mouton. 401-58.
_____ .1974. Warlpiri-English vocabulary, prepared for use in the Yuendumu Warlpiri language program. 97pp. mimeo. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
_____ .1975. Gaps in grammar and culture. In Kinkade, M.D., Hale, K.L. & Werner, O. (eds), Linguistics and Anthropology. In Honor of C.F. Voegelin. Lisse: Peter de Ridder. 295-315.
_____ .1976. The adjoined relative clause in Australia. In Dixon, R.M.W. (ed.), Grammatical categories in Australian languages. Canberra: AIAS. 78-105.
_____ .1977. Elementary remarks on Walbiri orthography, phonology and allomorphy. manuscript. 34pp. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
_____ .1981a. On the position of Walbiri in a typology of the base. Bloomington: Indiana University Linguistics Club.
_____ .1981b. Preliminary remarks on the grammar of part-whole relations in Warlpiri. In Hollyman, J. & Pawley, A. (eds), Studies in Pacific linguistics in honor of Bruce Biggs. Auckland: Linguistic Society of New Zealand. 333-344.
_____ .1981c. Preliminary remarks on configurationality. In Pustejovsky, J. & Sells, P. (eds), NELS 12. 86-96.
_____ .1982. Some essential features of Warlpiri verbal clauses. In Swartz, S. (ed.). 217-315.
_____ .1983. Warlpiri and the grammar of non-configurational languages. Natural language and linguistic theory 1. 5-47.
_____ .1984. Remarks on creativity in Aboriginal verse. In Kassler, J.C. & Stubbington, J. (eds), Problems & solutions: occasional essays in musicology presented to Alice M. Moyle. Sydney: Hale & Iremonger. 254-262.
_____ .nd a. Walbiri kinship problem. 15pp. mimeo.
_____ .nd b. Walbiri conjugations. mimeo.
Harkins, J. 1982. Toward a semantic description of propositional particles. 27pp. typescript. Australian National University.
_____ .1986. Semantics and the language learner. Warlpiri particles. Journal of Pragmatics. 10. 559-573.
Jagst, L. 1972. A tentative description of Ngarilpa (Warlpiri - Wanayaka tribe) verbs. 82p. SIL.
_____ .1975. Ngardilpa (Warlpiri) phonology. Papers in Australian Linguistics, 8. Canberra: PL, A-39. 21-57.
_____ .1982. A tentative description of Ngardilpa (Warlpiri) verbs. In Swartz, S. (ed.). 1-68.
Jelinek, E. 1984. Empty categories, case, and configurationality. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 2. 39-76.
Kendon, A. 1982a. A study of sign language among the Warlpiri at Yuendumu: summary of progress. typescript.
_____ .1982b. Iconicity in Warlpiri sign language. Paper presented at annual meeting of the Semiotic Society of America. typescript.
_____ .1983a. A study of the sign language in use among the Warlpiri of central Australia. Final Report to the National Science Foundation. Part I: Background, description of project, and summary of findings to April 1983. 71pp. Part II: A list of signs from the sign language in use among the Warlpiri at Yuendumu. lii+348pp. typescript.
_____ .1983b. Speaking and signing simultaneously in Warlpiri sign language users. 79pp. typescript. Connecticut College.
_____ .1984. Knowledge of sign language in an Australian Aboriginal community. Journal of Anthropological Research 40. 556-576.
Kuipers, L. 1976-77. (Dutch version of IAD Warlpiri learning material) typescript. Hooker Creek.
Larsen, R. 1972. Restrictive modification: relative clauses and adverbs. PhD thesis, University of Madison.
Laughren, M. 1977. Pronouns in Warlpiri and the category of number. typescript. NT Department of Education.
_____ .1978. Directional terminology in Warlpiri, a Central Australian language. Working Papers in Language and Linguistics, 8.
_____ .1980. Warlpiri kinship terminology. 70p. typescript.
_____ .1981a. Number strand - Warlpiri. manuscript. NT Department of Education.
_____ .1981b. Warlpiri kin terminology and the lexicon. 20p. typescript. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
_____ .1981c. Choosing the appropriate word in Warlpiri. typescript.
_____ .1982a. Warlpiri kinship structure. In Heath, J., Merlan, F., & Rumsey, A. (eds), Languages of kinship in Aboriginal Australia. (Oceania Linguistic Monographs, 24) Sydney: University of Sydney. 72-85.
_____ .1982b. A preliminary description of propositional particles in Warlpiri. In Swartz, S. (ed.). 129-163.
_____ .1983. A note on Anna Wierzbicka's comments on the Warlpiri Dictionary Project. In Austin, P. (ed.), Papers in Australian linguistics, No.15: Australian Aboriginal lexicography. Canberra: PL, A-66. 145-148.
_____ .1984a. Remarks on the semantics of body part terminology in Warlpiri. Language in Central Australia 1. 1-9.
_____ .1984b. Warlpiri baby talk. Australian Journal of Linguistics 4.73-88.
_____ .1985a. The split case hypothesis reexamined: the Warlpiri case. Paper presented at Australian Linguistic Society Conference.
_____ .1985b. Case assignment across categories in Warlpiri. Paper presented at Linguistics Society of America winter meeting.
Laughren, M. & Nash, D. 1983. Warlpiri dictionary project: aims, method, organisation, and problems of definition. In Austin, P. (ed.), Papers in Australian linguistics, No. 15: Australian Aboriginal lexicography. Canberra: PL, A-66. 109-133.
Leeding, V.J. 1971. Kinship - subsections for Gurindji, Wailbri and Negaliwuru. 4p. xeroxed typescript. SIL.
Levin, B.C. 1983. On the nature of ergativity. PhD thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Marker, I. & Hockaday, M. 1967-1968. Walpiri vocabulary and notes, Wailbri phonology.
_____ .1967-1968. Wailbri language learning course.
Meggitt, M. 1962. Desert People: a study of the Walbiri aborigines of Central Australia. Sydney: Angus & Roberston. Reprinted 1965, Chicago, London: University of Chicago Press; Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
_____ .1984. Initiation among the Walbiri. In Charlesworth, M., Morphy, H., Bell, D. & Maddock, K. (eds), Religion in Aboriginal Australia: an anthology. St. Lucia: Queensland University Press. 241-266.
Munn, N.D. 1984. The transformation of subjects into objects in Walbiri and Pitjantjatjara myth. In Charlesworth, M., Morphy, H., Bell, D. & Maddock, K. (eds), Religion in Aboriginal Australia: an anthology. St. Lucia: Queensland University Press. 56-82.
Nash, D. 1980. Topics in Warlpiri Grammar. PhD. thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
_____ .1981. Eskimo and Warlpiri without pre-affixal syntax. Paper presented to Australian Linguistics Society Conference.
_____ .1982. Warlpiri verb roots and preverbs. In Swartz, S. (ed.). 165-216.
_____ .1983. An etymological note on Warlpiri /kurdungurlu/. (Paper presented to the Symposium on Aboriginal Land Rights, AIAS Biennial Conference, May 1980.) In Heath, J., Merlan, F., & Rumsey, A. (eds), Languages of kinship in Aboriginal Australia. (Oceania Linguistic Monographs, 24) Sydney: University of Sydney. 141-159.
_____ .1982a. Warlpiri preverbs and verb roots. In Swartz, S. (ed.), Papers in Warlpiri grammar: in memory of Lothar Jagst. (Work Papers of SIL-AAB, A-6) Darwin: SIL. 165-216.
_____ .1982b. Warlpiri auxiliary gapping. Paper presented to Australian Linguistics Society Conference. 7pp. typescript.
_____ .1983. TESL and Warlpiri children. N.T. Bilingual Education Newsletter 83/1. 6-24, 83/2. 47.
Nash, D. & Simpson, J. 1981. "No-name" in central Australia. In Miller M.F. et al. (eds), Papers from the Parasession on language and behaviour. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society. 165-177.
O'Grady, G.N. 1959. Significance of the circumcision boundary in Western Australia. BA (Hons) thesis, University of Sydney.
Reece, L. 1970. Grammar of the Wailbri language. (Oceania Linguistic Monographs, 13) Sydney: University of Sydney.
_____ .1975. Dictionary of the Wailbri (Warlpiri, Walpiri) language. Part I. (Oceania Linguistic Monographs, 19) Sydney: University of Sydney.
_____ .1979. Dictionary of the Wailbri (Warlpiri, Walpiri) language. Part II. English-Wailbri. (Oceania Linguistic Monographs, 22) Sydney: University of Sydney.
Riemsdik, H. van. 1982. Locality principles in syntax and phonology. The Linguistic Society of Korea (ed.), Linguistics and the morning calm. Seoul: Hanshin Publishing Company. 693-708.
Rose, P.N. 1985. Some problems of translation: Warlpiri and English. Language in Central Australia 3. 14.
Simpson, J. 1983a. Aspects of Warlpiri morphology and syntax. PhD thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
_____ .1983b. Discontinuous verbs and the interaction of morphology and syntax. Barlow, M., Flickinger, D.P., Wescoat, M.T. (eds), WCCFL 2 (Procedings of the West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, Volume 2) Stanford: Stanford Linguistics Association. 275-286.
_____ .1985a. Wakirti Warlpiri (a short dictionary of Eastern Warlpiri with grammatical notes). draft. typescript.
_____ .1985b. Wakirti Warlpiri vocabulary (Eastern Warlpiri). typescript
_____ .1988. Case and complementiser suffixes in Warlpiri. In Austin, P. (ed.), Complex sentence constructions in Australian languages. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 205-218.
Simpson, J. & Bresnan, J. 1982. Control and obviation in Warlpiri. Flickinger, D.P., Macken, M., & Wiegand, N. (eds), WCCFL, 1 (Procedings of the West Coast conference on formal linguistics, Volume 1) Stanford: Stanford Linguistics Association. 280-291.
_____ .1983. Control and obviation in Warlpiri. Natural language and linguistic theory 1. 49-64.
Steele, S. 1985. Disagreement about agreement. Paper presented at Linguistics Society of America, winter meeting.
Swartz, S. 197?. Warlpiri syntactic cases. draft. SIL.
_____ .1982a. Syntactic structure of Warlpiri clauses. In Swartz, S. (ed.). 69-127.
_____ .(ed.). 1982b. Papers in Warlpiri grammar: in memory of Lothar Jagst. (Work Papers of SIL-AAB, A-6) Darwin: SIL.
_____ .1983. Warlpiri topicalised clauses. typescript.
_____ .1984. Perfectivity vs. imperfectivity in Warlpiri. Paper presented to Top End Linguistic Circle, NT.
_____ .1985. Pragmatic structure and word order in Warlpiri. typescript.
Tindale, N.B. 1932. Journal of an expedition to Mt Leibig, Central Australia, to do anthropological research. Aug 1932. manuscript.
_____ .1931-37. Vocabulary of Pitjandjara, the language of the natives of the Great Western Desert. (Adelaide). 138p. typescript.
_____ .1933. Journal of an anthropological expedition to the Mann and Musgrave Ranges, May-July 1933. manuscript.
Warlpiri Dictionary. Various versions. Especially 1982 version in three parts: verbs (42+109pp), body part domain (6+73pp), fauna (2+86pp). 1985 version in two parts: flora (2+80pp), manufacture (2+36pp). Under revision. Xeroxed computer printout.
Wierzbicka, A. 1983. Semantics and lexicography: some comments on the Warlpiri Dictionary Project. In Austin, P. (ed.), Papers in Australian linguistics, No.15: Australian Aboriginal lexicography. Canberra: PL, A-66. 135-144.
Wild, S. 1984. Warlpiri music and culture: meaning in a Central Australian song series. In Kassler, J.C. & Stubbington, J. (eds), Problems & solutions: occasional essays in musicology presented to Alice M. Moyle. Sydney: Hale & Iremonger. 186-203.
Wright, C.D. 1980. Walpiri hand talk: an illustrated dictionary of hand signs used by the Warlpiri people of Central Australia. Darwin: Northern Territory Department of Education.
Young, E. 1979. Willowra: an overview. 25p. typescript. ANU.
Bilingual programs have been running for a number of years at Yuendumu, Willowra, and Lajamanu.
Language learning material:
IAD Warlpiri Language Course (booklets, cassette tapes)
A large number of primers, writing books, etc. have been produced at Yuendumu since about 1974. Others have been produced at Willowra (since 1980) and at Lajamanu. There are two Christian scripture booklets produced by Reece (1950s or 1960s), and others produced by SIL (1970s to date). Translation of the gospels is under way; that of Mark is about to be published.
McGregor, William. 1988 Handbook of Kimberley Languages. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. © Author.
AIATSIS gratefully acknowledge William McGregor for permission to use his material in AUSTLANG.