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).
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).
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Wardaman Aboriginal Corporation and Diwurruwurru-jaru Aboriginal Corporation made a number of recordings early 2000.
Diwurruwurru-jaru Katherine Regional Language Centre
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).
Merlan, Francesca. 1994. A grammar of Wardaman: language of the Northern Territory of Australia. Berlin:Mouton de Gruyter.
Merlan, Francesca. 1990. Wardaman vocabulary, ms. Merlan, Francesca. Wardaman vocabulary, ASEDA 0254.