S10: Ngawadj

AIATSIS code: 
S10
AIATSIS reference name: 
Ngawadj

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Name
Thesaurus heading language
Thesaurus heading people
ABN name
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ABS name
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Horton name
Meru (Ngawait)
Ethnologue name
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ISO 639-3 code
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Tindale name
Ngawait
Tindale (1974)
Ngawaitjung, Nyauaitj, Nauait, Nanait (misprint), Ngawaitjung (language name), Ngawijung, Narwejung, Nar-wijjong, Narwijjerook, Eritark (Nganguruku term), Nja-watjurk (Maraura term), Meru (general term means man, applied to several tribes), Wem:ara (Ngaiawang term), Barmerara Meru (horde at Barmera), Muljulpero maru (a horde).
O'Grady et al (1966)
Nauait, Nunait, Niawoo, Ngawaijung, Narwejung, Eritark, Njawatjurk
Glottocode
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Other sources
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Synonyms
Meru, Ngawait, Erawirungand, Rankbirit, Ngintait, Ngaralta, Nganguruku, Ngaiawung, Barmerara Meru, Binjali, Eritark, Muljulpero maru, Nanait, Narwejung, Narwijjerook, Narwijjong, Nauait, Ngawaijung, Ngawaitjung, Ngawijung, Niawoo, Njawatjurk, Nyauaitji, Wem:ara, Nunait, Nyauaitj, Nar wijjong, Nja watjurk
Comment
Comments: 

There is some uncertainty around the nature of the relationship between languages around the lower Murray River.

McDonald (2002:15) comments that Ngawait (S10), Nganguruku S6, Ngaiawang S7 and Ngaralti S4 seem to be closely related each other, and Wafer and Lissarrague (2008) group them together under the 'Lower Riverland language'. Wafer and Lissarrague (2008:31) also note that these names are likely to be dialects rather than 'alternative designations', citing the distinct locations and differences in kinship terms described in Radcliffe-Brown (1918:243).

The  Mobile Language Team treats Ngawadj, Ngangaruku and Ngayawang S7 each as distinct languages, while Walsh (1981) treats Ngawait as one of four dialects of Yuyu S19, the other dialects being Erawirung S12, Ngintait S18 and Ngarkat S9It appears that the only available resource on Ngawadj is kinship terms in Radcliffe-Brown (1918:243).

The term Meru is sometimes applied to Ngawadj and several other languages in the area, being the word for 'man' in those languages. Radcliffe-Brown (1918:246) notes that this includes the 'Nganguruku and Ngaiyan S7? languages, and probably those of the Nanait (S10)?, Yiran S12, Yuyu and Ngintait also'. Dowling (1990:25) remarks that 'the Jirawirung S12 and Ngawait were part of a major linguistic group, the Meru, which extended west along the Murray River from the Pyap Bend and south towards Lake Alexandrina (Tindale 1974) and included the Ngaiawang, Nganguruku and Ngintait speakers.'

 

References: 
  • Dowling, Peter J. 1990. Violent epidemics: disease, conflict and Aboriginal population collapse as a result of European contact in the Riverland of South Australia, Australian National University, MA. (MS 2837)
  • McDonald, Maryalyce. 2002. A study of the phonetics and phonology of Yaraldi and associated dialects. München: Lincom Europa.
  • Radcliffe-Brown, Alfred R. 1918, 1923. Notes on the social organization of Australian tribes. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 48:222-253; 53:424-447.
  • Tindale, Norman B. 1974. Aboriginal tribes of Australia: their terrain, environmental controls, distribution, limits, and proper names. Berkeley: University of California Press/Canberra: Australian National University Press.
  • Wafer, Jim, and Amanda Lissarrague. 2008. A handbook of Aboriginal languages of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Nambucca Heads: Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Co-operative.
  • Walsh, Michael. 1981. Maps of Australia and Tasmania. In Language atlas of the Pacific area Pt 1, eds S. A. Wurm and Shirô Hattori. Canberra: Australian Academy of the Humanities.
Status: 
Potential data
Location
State / Territory: 
SA
Location information: 

Banks of Murray River from between Boggy Flat and Penn Reach to near Loxton; on western side of Barmera Lake (Tindale 1974). the banks of the Murray River between Boggy Flan and Loxton (Radcliffe-Brown 1918:247).

Maps: 
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Links
Programs
Activities: 
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People: 
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Indigenous organisations: 
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Speakers
Year Source Speaker numbers
1975Oates-
1984Senate-
1990Schmidt-
1996Census-
2001Census-
2004NILS-
2005Estimate-
2006Census-
2011Census-
2016Census-

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 None 0
Text Collection None 0
Grammar None 0
Audio-visual None 0
Manuscript note: 
not available
Grammar: 
-
Dictionary: 
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Classification
Source Family Group Sub-group Name Relationship
Ethnologue (2005)          
Dixon (2002)          
Wurm (1994)          
Walsh (1981) Pama-Nyungan Ngarinyeric-Yithayithic   Ngawait Yuyu [dialects: Ngawait, Erawirung, Ngintait, Ngarkat]
Oates (1975) Pama-Nyungan Narrinyeric Mirili Ngawadj  
Wurm (1972) Pama-Nyungan Narrinyeric Mirili Ngawait  
O'Grady, Voegelin and Voegelin (1966) Pama-Nyungan Narrinyeric Mirili Ngawait