Warnman is a Pama-Nungan language in the Nyungic South-West Group and a member of the Wati subgroup including the Western Desert languages A80 (Wangka Maya PALC, 2010: 4). Other language varieties in this group are Kartujarra A51, Manyjilyjarra A51.1, Nyiyaparli A50, Pintupi C10, Wangkajunga A87 and Yulparija A67. Warnman is closely related to Yulparija spoken at La Grange and to Kukatja A68, at Balgo (Wangka Maya PALC, 2010: 4). It is unknown if there are dialects of Warnman; there are reports of two possible dialects, one named Ngurlipartu Warnman (Thieberger 1993: 231 and Geytenbeek, 2003 in Wangka Maya PALC 2010: 6).
There is very little information about Warnman dialects. The WA Handbook says speakers recognise at least two dialects, one called Nyarnijarra (treated as an alternative name for Warnman in Tindale) from around Lake Auld and another, unnamed dialect to the south-west.
Oates and Oates (1970:81) mention that Warnman has a Padupadu (respect) language, though Oates (1975), referencing von Brandenstein, phrases it differently, saying the Padupadu is known to the Warnman.
There is a respect language in the form of a kinship avoidance style, incorporating indirect language in imperative constructions; the use of third person in place of second person subject bound pronouns is a reflection of this (Wangka Maya PALC 2010: 6).
Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre. 2010. Warnman Sketch Grammar. Port Hedland, WA: Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre.
From the Rudall River area (Karlamilyi) north-west almost to Telfer. It goes up to Coolbro Creek in the west, and shares Cotton Creek and Parnngurr to the south. It includes Lake Blanche, Winifred, George and Auld to the east. It also includes Punmuu and Lake Dora, and extends into the Great Sandy Desert to the north-east (Wangka Maya 2003:5)
... with their territory stretching east as far as Lake Auld and Lake George, to the Canning Stock Route between wells 29 and 30, with the Manyilyjarra to the east (Tonkinson in Sutton 1995:156)
Contemporary location: Strelley, Punmu, Parnngurr, Jigalong, Nullagine, Bidyadanga (Dixon 2011:53)
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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).
Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre. 2003. Warnman. Part one, Sketch grammar. Port Hedland, WA: Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre.
Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre. 2003. Warnman. Part two, Warnman-English wordlist, English-Warnman finderlist & topical wordlist. South Hedland, WA: Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre.
Burgman, Albert. 2006. Warnman dictionary 2006. South Hedland, WA: Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre. (CD ROM)