C17: Warlmanpa

AIATSIS code: 
AIATSIS reference name: 


Thesaurus heading language
Thesaurus heading people
ABN name
ABS name
Horton name
Ethnologue name
ISO 639-3 code
Tindale name
Walpiri (Walmanba)
Tindale (1974)
Albura (Jangkundjara name since contact made), Alpira (Iliaura name), Alpiri (eastern pronunciation), Elpira, Ilpara (Aranda name), Ilpir(r)a, Ilpira (chiefly Anmatjera and Aranda term), Ilpirra, Nam-bulatji (Ngalia name), Njambalatji (name given by Djaru tribe), Ulperra, Wailbri (post-1945 European school taught form),Walbiri, Walbrai, Wal-bri, Waljbiri, Waljpiri, Walmala (general term), Walmanba, Walpari, Wanaeka (name given by Ngardi also Djaru), Wanajaga., Wanajaka (Djaru name), Wanajeka, Waneiga, Waringari (implication of cannibalism; name given by other tribes), Warrabri, Wolperi, Wolpirra
O'Grady et al (1966)
Other sources
Walmanba, Wanmampa, Walmamba, Warlmanpa; Walmanba, Walmunba, Wanmanpa, Warlmanba, Walmala, Walmanpa, Walpiri, Albura, Alpira, Alpiri, Elpira, Ilpara, Ilpira, Ilpirra, Nam bulatji, Njambalatji, Ulperra, Wailbri, Walbiri, Walbrai, Wal bri, Waljbiri, Waljpiri, Walpari, Wanaeka, Wanajaga, Wanajaka, Wanajeka, Waneiga, Waringari, Warrabri, Wolperi, Wolpirra
Warlmanpa is a Pama Nyungan language, of the Yapa sub-group (also called Ngarrka) and a close relative of Warlpiri C15 (Simpson, 1991:xv).
  • Harvey, Mark. 2008. Non-Pama-Nyungan Languages: land-language associations at colonisation. AILEC 0802.
  • Koch, Harold, Grace Koch, Petronella and James Wafer. 1981. A claim to areas of traditional land by the Kaytej, Warlpiri, and Warlmanpa. Alice Springs, NT : Central Land Council.
  • Nash, David. 1979. Preliminary vocabulary of the Warlmanpa language, ms. (PMS 3030).
  • Nash David. 1980. A traditional land claim by the Warlmanpa, Warlpiri, Mudbura and Warumungu traditional owners. Alice Springs, NT : Central Land Council.
  • Nash, David. 1995. In Peter Sutton, Country: Aboriginal boundaries and land ownership in Australia. Canberra: Aboriginal History Inc.
  • Simpson, Jane. 1991. Warlpiri morpho-syntax : a lexicalist approach. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
State / Territory: 
Location information: 
Eastward limit: The Ashburton Range south from Mt Grayling, The Whittington Range, The Short Range. Kartijirarrakanya Claypan appears to have been associated with Warlmanpa. Warrego Mine and Kunayungku OS were associated with Warumungu. The eastern associations extended south to approximately the level of the Davenport Ranges. Northward limit: In the east, Renner Springs was associated with Warlmanpa. Powell Creek and Lake Woods were associated with Jingulu. There is no precise information on the western part of the northern associations of Warlmanpa. They are extrapolated as roughly level with the eastern part of the northward associations. Westward limit: There is no precise information on the westward limit. Green Swamp was associated with Warlmanpa. Winnecke Creek drainage was associated with Kartangarurru. Southward limit: There is no precise information on the southward limit. Warlmanpa was not associated with either the Hanson or Lander River drainages. As such, it appears that Warlmanpa associations extended south to approximately level with the Davenport Ranges (Harvey ASEDA 802).
Sourcebook for Central Australian Languages (1981): 

Palyku (A55 ) in Sourcebook for Central Australian Languages (1981).


Names of the language and different spellings that have been used:
Walmala (T), Walmanba (AC, SAW, AIAS, O'GV, RLS), Walmunba (Stanner), Wanmanpa (Reece), Warlmanba (McConvell), Warlmanpa (Nash) Warnmanpa is the Warlpiri pronunciation.
Classification of the language:
Pama-Nyungan Family O'GV: Southwest Group, Ngarrka Subgroup RLS: Central Western Desert Type
Identification codes:
Oates '73: 58.1
AIAS: C.017
Capell: C23
Present number and distribution of speakers:
Several families; young people understand but speak English, Warumungu or Warlpiri.
Milliken, 1972 -- 36
Black, 1979 -- not listed
Banka Banka, Tennant Creek, Elliott, Warrabri
People who have worked intensively on the language:
David Nash
Practical orthography:
Nash uses a practical orthography.
Word lists:
Nash 1979
Grammar or sketch grammar:
Nash 1979
Material available on the language:
Capell, A. 1952. The Wailbri through their own eyes. Oceania 23.2,110-132.
---------- 1962. Waljbiri grammar, p.15-50 in Some Linguistic Types in Australia. Handbook of Australian Languages, Part II. Oceania Linguistic Monographs No. 7. Sydney: University of Sydney.
Hale, Kenneth L. 1966. (Warlmanpa field notes.) about 70p. ms.
---------- 1973. Person marking in Walbiri, pp. 308-344 in A Festschrift for Morris Halle, ed. by tephen Anderson and Paul
Kiparsky. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Inc. [pronouns]
Nash, David. 1977-78. (Field notes and transcriptions) (some at AIAS)
---------- 1978. Flora terms in the Warlpiri, Warlmanpa and Warumungu languages. 16p. typescript. AIAS.
---------- 1979. A preliminary vocabulary of the Warlmanpa language. Grammatical Preface. Warlmanpa verbs. 41+13p. typescript, M.I.T. (revised June 1981)
----------- (to appear) Warlpiri Preverbs and Verb Roots. In Work-Papers of SIL-AAB, ed, by Stephen Swartz. Berrimah, N.T.: Summer Institute of Linguistics. (lists Warlmanpa verb roots)
---------- & Bunny Napurrula. 1978. Brief expressions of use to medical people in the Warumungu, Warlmanpa and Warlpiri languages as spoken at Tennant Creek, N.T. 3p. typescript. AIAS.
Stanner, W.E.H. 1979. Report on field work in north central and northern Australia 1934-5. Microfiche No. 1. AIAS.
Literacy material:

Kathy Menning (comp.) and David Nash (ed.) 1981. © IAD Press

AIATSIS gratefully acknowledges IAD Press for permission to use this material in AUSTLANG.

David Nash, Papulu Apparr-Kari Language Centre
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).

TypeDocumentation StatusDocumentation Score
Word listSmall (20-100 pages)2
Text CollectionNone0
GrammarA few articles1
Manuscript note: 
tape transcription/field note available
Nash, David. 1979. Preliminary vocabulary of the Warlmanpa language, ms. [with brief introduction to grammar]
Ethnologue (2005)Pama-NyunganSouth-WestNgargaWarlmanpa
Dixon (2002)NORTHERN DESERT FRINGE SUBGROUPYapa subgroup*WarlmanpaWarlmanpa
Wurm (1994)Pama-NyunganSouth-WestWarlmanpa
Walsh (1981)Pama-NyunganSouth-WestNgargaWarlmanpa
Oates (1975)Pama-NyunganCentral Western Desert TypeNgargaWalmanba
Wurm (1972)Pama-NyunganSouthwest (or Nyungic)NgargaWalmanba
O'Grady, Voegelin and Voegelin (1966)Pama-NyunganSouthwestNgargaWalmanba