Guwij is a non-Pama-Nyungan language of the Worrorran language group - specifically Eastern Worrorran along with Ngarinyin K18, Wurla K43, Andajin K64, Guwij K19, Wolyamidi K26, Munumburru K25. These languages are geographically contiguous (in the northern Kimberley region, Western Australia) and all have five noun classes and gender distinction (McGregor and Rumsey 2009:5-7).
McGregor and Rumsey (2009:1) report that Guwij is 'nowadays more or less equated with Wurla K43.' McGregor (2004:42) classifies this as a member of the Ngarinyinic group, adding Walajangarri K24 to the above list.
Coate and Oates (1970) say that Guwidj (K19) is a dialect of Ngarinjin K18 but it is not clear whether they treat Ngarinjin itself as a language or dialect name. Hence, it is not clear whether his description of Ngarinjin is on the Ngarinjin dialect or the Ngarinjin language (which includes Guwidj).
Guwidj is described as a dialect of Ngarinjin in Capell (1963). Ngarnawu K52, Walajangarri K24, Wurla K43 and Guwij (K19)are considered to be types of Ngarinjin K18 by knowledgeable people; Andajin K64 is regarded as a separate language (McGregor, 2004:43).
About Mt Barnett began the dialect known as Guwidj, which extends to Gibb River and Gorandji. (Coate & Oates 1970).
McGregor, William. 1988 Handbook of Kimberley Languages. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. © Author.
AIATSIS gratefully acknowledge William McGregor for permission to use his material in AUSTLANG.
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).