S19: Yuyu

AIATSIS code: 
AIATSIS reference name: 


Thesaurus heading language
Thesaurus heading people
ABN name
ABS name
Horton name
Ethnologue name
Narrinyeri [Yuyu]
ISO 639-3 code
Tindale name
Erawirung (Yuyu)
Tindale (1974)
Jirau (valid alternative), Eraweerung, Eramwir-rangu, Erawiruck, Jeraruk (name of a horde), Yerraruck, Yirau, Yiran (misprint), Pomp-malkie, Meru (['meru] = man, a general term). Juju (of the Maraura ['ju:] = no), Yuyu, You-you, Rankbirit (name of a horde), Wilu (name of a horde), Willoo.
O'Grady et al (1966)
Other sources
Ngarrket, Narrinyeri, Jarijari, Jere jere, Juju, Nyerri nyerri, Yairy yairy, Yari yari, Yariki luk, Yarikiluk, Yariyari, Yarre yarre, Yarree Yarree, Yarreyarre, Yerre Yerre, Yerreyerre, Yerri yerri, Yerriyerri, Yerry yerry, YurraYurra, Yu Yu, Erawirung, Jirau, Eraweerung, Eramwir rangu, Erawiruck, Jeraruk, Yerraruck, Yirau, Yiran, Pomp malkie, Meru, You you, Rankbirit, Wilu, Willoo

The identity of Yuyu has been interpreted variously by different sources. It is considered a distinct language by Capell (1963), a dialect/tribal name by Berndt and Berndt (1993), and as a cover term for four dialects (Ngawait S10, Erawirung S12, Ngintait S18 and Ngarkat S9) by Walsh (1981).

Various language names have been linked as alternative names for Yuyu: Ngarkat by Dixon (2002), Ngintait by Clark (1996) and Jari Jari S24 by Oates and Oates (1970).

Hope and Hercus 2009 also appear to treat Yuyu and Jari Jari S24 as either the same language or a very closely related dialect, together with Yitha Yitha D7.)

Yuyu is treated as an alternative name for Yirawirung S12 by the Mobile Language Team, and for Ngintait by the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages.

Wafer and Lissarrage (2008) treat Yuyu as one of three dialects of their 'Upper Riverland language', the other two being Ngintait and Yirawirung.

Horgen (2004) contains some grammatical description of Yuyu.


  • Berndt, Ronald, and Catherine Berndt. 1993. A world that was: the Yaraldi of the Murray River and the Lakes, South Australia. Capell, Arthur. 1963. Linguistic survey of Australia. Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies.
  • Carlton, VIC: Melbourne University Press at the Miegunyah Press.
  • Clark, Ian. 1996. Aboriginal language areas in Victoria: a reconstruction. Melbourne: Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages.
  • Dixon, R. M. W. 2002. Australian languages: their nature and development: Cambridge Language Surveys. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Hope, Jeanette & Luise Hercus. 2009. The surveys of F.P. MacCabe and his records of Aboriginal placenames at the junction of the Murray and Darling Rivers. Proceedings and Transactions of the Royal Society of Victoria, vol. 121, no. 1, pp. 193-204. (S 50/16)
  • Horgen, Michael. 2004. The languages of the Lower-Murray, Department of Linguistics, Latrobe University: MA. (MS 4456 CD).
  • Oates, William J., and Lynette F. Oates. 1970. A revised linguistic survey of Australia: Australian Aboriginal Studies 33, Linguistic Series 12. Canberra: AIAS.
  • 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.
State / Territory: 
Location information: 

Along Murray River covering Waikerie, Chowilla, west to Morgan, east to Lake Victoria, and south of Alawoona (Horgen's map 2004). On the Murray River above Paringa (Radcliffe-Brown 1918:247). Erawirung: On the eastern bank of Murray River from above Paringa to Loxton and about 15 miles (40 km.) farther south in sandy country, away from the river. On the western side of river from Rufus Creek west to near Overland Corner (Tindale 1974).

Michael Horgen
Indigenous organisations: 
Year Source Speaker numbers

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).

Type Documentation Status Documentation Score
Word list Less than 20 pages 1
Text Collection None 0
Grammar A few articles 1
Audio-visual None 0
Manuscript note: 
not available
Source Family Group Sub-group Name Relationship
Ethnologue (2005) Pama-Nyungan Ngarinyeric-Yithayithic   Narrinyeri [Yuyu] Narrinyeri [dialects: Related to Ngayawung and Yuyu (Ngarrket)]
Dixon (2002)   LOWER MURRAY AREAL GROUP   Yuyu (or Ngarrket) Yuyu (or Ngarrket)
Wurm (1994) Pama-Nyungan Ngarinyeric-Yithayithic   Yuyu  
Walsh (1981) Pama-Nyungan Ngarinyeric-Yithayithic   Yuyu Yuyu [dialects: Ngawait, Erawirung, Ngintait, Ngarkat]
Oates (1975) Unclassified     Juju  
Wurm (1972)          
O'Grady, Voegelin and Voegelin (1966)