S89: Waywurru / Pallanganmiddang

AIATSIS code: 
AIATSIS reference name: 
Waywurru / Pallanganmiddang


Thesaurus heading language
Thesaurus heading people
ABN name
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Horton name
Ethnologue name
ISO 639-3 code
Tindale name
Tindale (1974)
O'Grady et al (1966)
Other sources
According to Clark (2005:18), Waywurru is the name of the language spoken by the Pallanganmiddang. Blake and Reid (1999) use Pallanganmiddang as the language name. They describe its phonology and provide a word list. Clark (1996:17) says Waywurru has two 'sub-dialects', Kwart Kwart S97 and Mogullumbidj S90, the latter of which is treated as an alternative name of both Minjambuta S90 and Taungurong S37 by Tindale (1974). Clark (2005:18) later changes his position, however, listing Minjambuta S90 as the only dialect of Waywurru: Mogullumbidj is listed separately as an 'unnamed' Kulin language (apparently Mogullumbidj is a description, not a language name), and Kwart Kwart is listed under Yorta Yorta as a variant. Later still (2011:9), Clark says that Minjambuta is likely to be a variant of Minubuddong and, as such, is possibly a Wiradjuri D10 exonym for Pallanganmiddang. Eira (2008:153-154) discusses the issue of establishing the identity of the historical data assembled for the programs, much of which is identified by location, rather than language name. For example, data being treated as Waywurru is variously labelled Pallanganmiddang, Upper Murray, Minubuddong, Kilure, Yackandandah, Wangaratta, Robertson, Andrews and Yackandandah Bank Museum. Data treated as Dhudhuroa is variously labelled Dhudhuroa and 'Barwidgee, from Wodonga along Upper Murray'. She points out that, 'given the likely reality of linguistic relationships prior to colonisation as well as the status of the 19th century records ... similarities between the lists and dissimilarities between the groups are sufficient to assert a basic division into two language groups without controversy.' Lloyd (1985:1) mentions the name 'Whroo' (referencing Andrews 1920) which he says is 'a group of the Kwat Kwat, a branch of the Bangerang', noting that Lake Moodemere was their gathering place. Andrews (1920:35) locates the Whroo at Wahgunyah, a couple of kilometres to the north of Lake Moodemere. While Whroo may appear to be a permutation of the name Waywurru (S89, but previously treated as part of S40 with the former reference name Bangerang / Kwat Kwat / Waveroo), and the location would fit, Eira (2016 p.c.) suggests that 'whroo' is simply cognate with 'wurru/wurrung' meaning 'mouth' or 'language', a common component of language names in Victoria, and thus likely a mistake. (Note that there is a place called Whroo, though it is over 80 kilometres to the south-west of Lake Moodemere.) Robinson (in Clark 2003:160), the earliest source for Kwat Kwat, considered it a subgroup of Waveroo, but contemporary sources tentatively link it to Yorta Yorta (D2) as either a subgroup (Hagen 1997), dialect (Bowe 2002) or alternative name (Clark 2011). Eira also notes (2016 p.c.) that she has studied the Pallanganmiddang records (identified by the contemporary Waywurru (S89) community as Waywurru language) and they are not Yorta Yorta (D2) or Bangerang (S40). She suggests including Whroo as a possible alternative name for Kwat Kwat (S97) on the basis of Lloyd's description.
  • Andrews, Arthur. 1920. The first settlement of the Upper Murray, 1835 to 1845: with a short account of over two hundred runs, 1835 to 1880. North Sydney, NSW: Library of Australian History. (B A565.18/F1)
  • Blake, Barry, and Julie Reid. 1998. Classifying Victorian languages. In Wathawurrung and the Colac language of southern Victoria, ed. B. Blake. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
  • Blake, Barry, and Julie Reid. 1995. Classifying Victorian languages. La Trobe University Working Papers in Linguistics 8:1-59.
  • Blake, Barry, and Julie Reid. 1999. Pallanganmiddang: a language of the Upper Murray. Aboriginal History 23:1-14.
  • Bowe, Heather. 2002. Linguistics and the Yorta Yorta native title claim. In Nash & Henderson (eds), Language in native title, pp. 101-159. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press.
  • Clark, Ian. 1993. Aboriginal spatial organization in northeast Victoria: a preliminary investigation. (PMS 5339).
  • Clark, Ian. 1996. Aboriginal language areas in Victoria: a reconstruction. Melbourne: Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages.
  • Clark, Ian d. 2003. Place names and land tenure : windows into Aboriginal landscapes: essays in Victorian Aboriginal history. Ballarat, Vic: Ballarat Heritage Services. (B C593.37/P2)
  • Clark, Ian. 2005. Aboriginal language areas in Victoria - a reconstruction: a report to Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages. Melbourne: Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages.
  • Clark, Ian. 2011. Aboriginal languages in north-east Victoria - The status of 'Waveru' reconsidered. Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues ; Volume 14, number 4 (2011), pages: 2-23.
  • Clark, Ian D. 2011. Birrdhawal language and territory: a reconsideration. Australian Aboriginal Studies 1:34-50.
  • Eira, Christina. 2008. Not tigers - sisters! Advances in the interpretation of historical source spellings for Dhudhuroa and Waywurru. Aboriginal History 32:151-164.
  • Hagen, Rod. 1994-97. Yorta Yorta native title claim: report on anthropological and socio-historical issues. (MS 4982)
  • Lloyd, B.E. 1985. Rutherglen, a history of town and district. Wangaratta, Vic: Shoestring Press. (B L793.08/R1)
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Location information: 
... the exact location is obscure, but it was spoken on the upper Murray and seems to have been close to Dhudhuroa (Blake & Reid 1995:5). ... it was probably spoken to the south of Wodonga (Blake and Reid 1998:4). Robinson states that 'Pal ler an mit ter belong to the Noer.rar called Little River where Mr Huon station' (30 Septermeber 1844) and 'Country of the Bul ler an mit ter extend from W Bank of Hume to Ovens River N to Punderambo and then up towards the mountains' (MLA 7086, vol. 65, part3, p13). The Little River was subsequently renamed the Kiewa River and Huon's property included the area of the present town of Wodonga (Fels 1997:31). The Hume River is the Murray River. Curr (1886) places List No 213 to the east of Albury and Wodonga in the map contained in volume 4, and Smyth places Pallungan Middah close to Wodonga and east-southeast. Howitt includes a Balaung Karar on his map of the area west-southwest of Wodonga (1904:827). It is likely that Balaung equates with Pallang and it may be that Pallanganmiddang extended from east-southeast of Wodonga through Tangambalanga to an area west-southwest of Wodonga (Blake and Reid 1999:16). (Clark's map (1996) includes the area for Minjambuta (S90).
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).

Manuscript note: 
Source Family Group Sub-group Name Language-dialect relationships
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