Ngarnawu 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; Ngarnawu is also described as 'nowadays more or less equated with central and western Ngarinyin.' 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 classifies this as a member of the Ngarinyinic group, adding Walajangarri K24 to the above list. Ngarnawu K52, Walajangarri K24, Wurla K43 and Guwij K19are considered to be types of Ngarinjin K18 by knowledgeable people; Andajin K64 is regarded as a separate language (McGregor, 2004:42-43).
Vászolyi regarded Ngarna(w)u as a Ngarinjin K18 dialect (in Oates 1975:54).
[A part of Ngarinyin country]
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).