Dagoman (N38) belongs to the non-Pama Nyungan language family of the Northern Territory. Dagoman, Yangman N68 and Wardaman N35 are considered to be dialects of a single language (Merlan, 1994:2).
Various linguistic surveys have classified Dagoman, Yangman and Wardaman 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).
The area north of the junction of Scott Creek and the Katherine River, east to the King River, and north towards the Ferguson River and Pine Creek, is identified by Katherine Aborigines as Dagoman tribal territory. The northern extent of Dagoman country is now difficult to establish (Merlan 1994:7).
Pine Creek to Adelaide River (Top End Handbook). Northeast of the middle Daly River; south to the junction of the Flora and Katherine rivers; at Jindare (Tindale 1974).
The general association was to the Daly-Katherine Basin from the junction of the Daly with Stray Creek to and including the first gorge on the Katherine. There was little precise information on the limits of Dagoman in 2007. In the east Leech Lagoon marked the eastern limit of Dagoman associations. Durrinyan Creek was associated with Dagoman. Lake Duggan on Durrinyan Creek was associated with Dagoman. The drainage of King River, save for the headwaters, was associated with Dagoman. The headwaters, however, including King River homestead were apparently associated with Jawoyn. In the north, Copperfield Creek was associated with Dagoman. The Ferguson below its junction with the Cullen was associated with Dagoman. Stray Creek drainage was associated with Dagoman. In the west, Ejong billabong was associated with Dagoman, and appears to have been close to the western limit of Dagoman. It appears that Jinduckin Creek was associated with Wagiman. In the south, the Flora River was associated with Dagoman. Its southern tributaries were associated with Wardaman. Lower Scott Creek, below the Victoria Highway crossing and Limestone Creek were associated with Dagoman (Harvey AILEC 0802).
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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).