There is varying opinion in the literature as to the identity of the languages to the south of Malgana: Targuda/Daguda W15, Buluguda W17, Damala W16 and Watjanti W13.
O'Grady, Voegelin and Voegelin (1966:37) group them as dialects/communalects with Malgana.
Tindale (1974) equates them with Nhanda W14 as alternative names or place names.
According to Blevins (2001), Buluguda W17 and Daguda W15 are local groups of Malgana.
Gargett (2011:2-3) ventures that they are likely groups of Malgana, the names referring to locations rather than distinct groups, but he cautions that more evidence is needed to substantiate this claim. Gargett (2011:3) notes that no comparison of Malgana with surrounding languages has previously been undertaken, and that the results of his comparison are only 'suggestive' due to the very limited amount of data available (330 items - comparative wordlists are given in an appendix to his grammar). He gives scores of lexical similarity for Nhanda W14 (46%), Wajarri A39 (58%), Yingkarta W19 (46%), and Badimaya A14 (43%). Gargett remarks that the slightly higher score for Wajarri may reflect that the data is relatively more recent than for the other languages, the data is skewed in terms of semantic category coverage, and that there was traditionally a close connection and bilingualism between these two groups.
Nhanda people in the Northampton area certainly refer to all of (Malgana, Buluguda and Daguda) as Malgana, and this classification is consistent with Playford (1996:212), where the Malgana-Nhanda boundary is situated close to Gee Gie, about halfway between the Murchison River and Tamala Station (Blevins 2001:2).
... in and around the Shark Bay (Gathaagudu) peninsula, at Carrarang, Tamala (Thaamarli) and Nanga Stations, and possibly even as far south as Gie Gie Outcamp (Blevins 2001:5).
... to the Murchison River area near Ajana, and from Wooramel River south to Hamelin Pool (Gargett 2011:2).
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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).
Gargett, Andrew. 2011. A salvage grammar of Malgana: the language of Shark Bay, Western Australia. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
Mackman, Doreen. 2003. Malgana wangganyina = talking Malgana : an illustrated wordlist of the Malgana language of Western Australia. Geraldton, WA: Yamaji Language Centre.