N35: Wardaman

AIATSIS code: 
N35
AIATSIS reference name: 
Wardaman

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Name
Thesaurus heading language
Thesaurus heading people
ABN name
-
ABS name
Wardaman
Horton name
Wardaman
Ethnologue name
Wardaman
ISO 639-3 code
wrr
Tindale name
Wardaman
Tindale (1974)
Wartaman, Warduman, Wadaman, Wadderman, Wordaman, Waduman.
O'Grady et al (1966)
Wadaman, Wartaman, Warduman, Waderman, Wordaman, Waduman
Glottocode
ward1246
Other sources
Wardaman, Warda?man, Wadaman, Waduman [Top End Handbook]
Synonyms
Wadaman, Wadderman, Waderman, Waduman, Warduman, Wartaman, Wordaman, Wardeman
Comment
Comments: 

Wardaman (N35) belongs to the non-Pama Nyungan language family of the Northern Territory. Wardaman, Dagoman N38 and Yangman N68 are considered to be dialects of a single language (Merlan, 1994:2).

Various linguistic surveys have classified Wardaman, Dagoman and Yangman as members of the Gunwiynguan language family, but Evans reports they have been 'provisionally excised' due to a lack of evidence of close relatedness (2003:13).

 

References: 
  • Evans, Nicholas, 2003. Introduction. In The Non-Pama-Nyungan languages of Northern Australia, ed Nicholas Evans, 353-367. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
  • Harvey, Mark. 2008. Non-Pama-Nyungan Languages: land-language associations at colonisation. AILEC 0802.
  • Merlan, Francesca. 1994. A grammar of Wardaman. Berlin : Mouton de Gruyter.
Status: 
Confirmed
Location
State / Territory: 
NT
Location information: 

Scott creek (Wugimadgun) as an approximate northern boundary, the junction of Scott Creek and the Katherin River (Mululeyn) as the north-western extent, Romula Knob as an approximate south-easterly extent, the road crossing of the Victoria River (Langgay) a south-westerly one, and the rough country rising to to the Dry River plateau an approxmiate eastern side. Most Wardaman now live in and around Katherine (Merlan 1994:7-8).

The general associations were to the drainages of Aroona Creek, Hayward Creek, Delamere Creek, and the headwaters of Scott Creek. Eastward limit: The drainage of Dry River was largely associated with Yangman. Drainages to the west of the Dry River drainage were associated with Wardaman. Northward limit: The crossing of the Victoria Highway on Scott Creek marks the northern limit of Wardaman associations. Westward limit: There was no precise information on the westward limit in 2007. Innesvale homestead was associated with Wardaman. Southward limit: Romola Knob marked the southern limit of Wardaman associations (Harvey AILEC 0802).

 

Maps: 
-
Links
Programs
Activities: 

Wardaman Aboriginal Corporation and Diwurruwurru-jaru Aboriginal Corporation made a number of recordings early 2000.

People: 
Francesca Merlan, Bethwyn Evans, Katherine Regional Aboriginal Language Centre
Speakers
Year Source Speaker numbers
1975Oates-
1984Senate-
1990Schmidt50-
1996Census-
2001Census-
2004NILS24
2005Estimate24
2006Census89
2011Census8
2016Census50

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).

Documentation
Type Documentation Status Documentation Score
Word list Small (20-100 pages) 2
Text Collection Large (more than 200 pages) 4
Grammar Large grammar (more than 200 pages) 4
Audio-visual More than 10 3
Manuscript note: 
tape transcription/field note available
Grammar: 

Merlan, Francesca. 1994. A grammar of Wardaman: language of the Northern Territory of Australia. Berlin:Mouton de Gruyter.

Dictionary: 

Merlan, Francesca. 1990. Wardaman vocabulary, ms. Merlan, Francesca. Wardaman vocabulary, ASEDA 0254.

Classification
Source Family Group Sub-group Name Relationship
Ethnologue (2005) Gunwingguan Yangmanic   Wardaman Wardaman [dialects: Close to Yangman and Dagoman, which are extinct.]
Dixon (2002)   ARNHEM LAND GROUP Wagiman-Wardaman subgroup* Wardaman Wardaman Merlan (1994) further dialects: Dagoman, Yangman
Wurm (1994) Gunwinyguan Yangmanic   Wardaman  
Walsh (1981) Gunwinyguan Yangmanic Yibwan Wardaman  
Oates (1975) Gunwingguan Yangmanic Yibwan Wardaman  
Wurm (1972) Gunwingguan Yangmanic Yibiwan Wardaman  
O'Grady, Voegelin and Voegelin (1966) Gunwingguan Yangmanic Yibiwan Wardaman