Jones (2002:12-20) says it appears that the term Wangkajunga was introduced sometime in the early 1970s by the Western Desert people at Christmas Creek and Fitzroy Crossing as a means to identify themselves as desert people and to distinguish themselves from Walmajarri A66 and Yulparija A67. The term is now used as both the name of a particular dialect of the Western Desert language A80 and as a cover term for several of these dialects.
Wangkajunga has a complex system of pronominal clitics which cross-reference subject, object and dative arguments; also clitics for cross-referencing animate allative and ablative participants. The clitics mark the first word or consituant of the clause. The compulsory nature of this complex feature is shared with other north west varieties of Western Desert Languages A80, including Kukatja A68, Manyjilyjarra A51.1, Yulparija A67, and Pintupi C10, distinguishing them from the southern languages Pitjantjatjara C6 and Yankunytjatjara C4. This type of clitic cluster is not as compex in Ngaanyatjarra, and is not obligatory in Yankunytjatjara (Jones, 2011:9-10).
... north-eastern section of the Great Sandy Desert and the Canning Stock Route (Jones 2002). South and west of Lake Gregory (Oates 1975:126).
Contemporary location: Fitzroy Crossing, Christmas Creek Station, Bohemia Downs Station Fitzroy Valley (Jones 2002).
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McGregor, William. 1988 Handbook of Kimberley Languages. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. © Author.
AIATSIS gratefully acknowledge William McGregor for permission to use his material in AUSTLANG.
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).
Jones, Barbara. 2002. A grammar of Wangkajunga: a language of the Great Sandy Desert of North Western Australia, University of Sydney: PhD.
Jones, Barbara et al.. 2001. Ngaapa wangka Wangkajunga: this language is Wangkajunga language. Halls Creek: Kimberley Language Resource Centre.