Originally, von Brandenstein (1972) described Nyiyaparli as being the name of a language, and Palyku A55 as the name of the people who speak this language. Since then, many researchers have considered Nyiyaparli and Palyku to be very closely related languages or the same language.
Dench says 'all work to date suggests that Nyiyaparli and Palyku are different names for what is essentially the same language' (1998). Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre 2012 describes 'Palykutharri' (being the language of the Palyku) as a dialect of Nyiyaparli, along with Nankilakuthu A108, Martuyitha A109 (referred to as 'high' and 'low' dialects, respectively) and Ngulipartu A72, though the treatment of Ngulipartu and Palyku as dialects of Nyiyaparli is not widely reported among the sources. The dictionary contains details about these dialects including their locations.
Tindale (1974) lists Jana as an alternative name of Niabali (A50). However, Oates (1975:373) says that, from von Brandenstein's 1967 map, Jana appears to be part of Bidungu A40, which Oates equates with Ngaia-wangga A30.
The ABS does not distinguish between Nyiyaparli and Palyku A55 and thus census data may combine information on both of these.
Headwaters of Oakover and Davis rivers above their junction; middle waters of the Fortescue River; northwest to Roy Hill; on Weedi Wolli Creek north of the Ophthalmia Range; east to Talawana (Tindale 1974).
Contemporary location: Marble Bar, Port Hedland, Tom Price, Newman, Nullagine (Dixon 2011:40).
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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. 2004. Nyiyaparli 2004 interim dictionary and finderlists. South Hedland, WA: Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre. Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre. 2008. Nyiyaparli dictionary. South Hedland, WA: Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre.