C21: Pinkangarna

AIATSIS code: 
AIATSIS reference name: 


Thesaurus heading language
Thesaurus heading people
ABN name
ABS name
Horton name
Ethnologue name
Mudbura (Pinkangama)
ISO 639-3 code
Tindale name
Tindale (1974)
Bin-gongina, Bugongidja (post-European name used by northern tribes).
O'Grady et al (1966)
Other sources
Mudbura, Pinkangama, Bingongina; Bin gongina, Bugongidja, Bin Gongina, Pinkangarna; Bin Gongina, Bingongina, Pinkangana, Bin gongina

Pinkangarna does not seem to be a language or dialect name. Nash (in Sutton 1995:105) considers that Binkangarna (C21) applies to Mudburra C25 people from the semi-desert, and distinguishing them from their south-eastern neighbours. According to McConvell (2006 p.c.), the term Pinkangarna is no longer used, and it is either an alternative name for Mudburra C25 or is a dialect. It means 'river people' but it is not very clear which river it refers to.


  • Capell, Arthur. 1963. Linguistic survey of Australia. Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies.
  • Oates, William J., and Lynette F. Oates. 1970. A revised linguistic survey of Australia: Australian Aboriginal Studies 33, Linguistic Series 12. Canberra: AIAS.
  • Oates, Lynette F. 1975. The 1973 supplement to a revised linguistic survey of Australia. Armidale: Armidale Christian Book Centre.
  • Sutton, Peter. 1995. Country: Aboriginal boundaries and land ownership in Australia. Canberra: Aboriginal History Inc.
  • Tindale, Norman B. 1974. Aboriginal tribes of Australia: their terrain, environmental controls, distribution, limits, and proper names. Berkeley: University of California Press/Canberra: Australian National University Press.
State / Territory: 
Location information: 

West of Lake Woods; east of upper Victoria River; principally in the parallel sand dune desert southwest to near a native place called Morerinju on Winnecke Creek (Tindale 1974:222).

Sourcebook for Central Australian Languages (1981): 

Nakako (A32 ) in Sourcebook for Central Australian Languages (1981).


Names of the language and different spellings that have been used:
Moodburra (RLS), Mootburra (Terry), Mudbara (T), Mudbura (AC, SAW, O'G, RLS, AIAS), Mutburra (Ray)
Possible dialects:
1. Kwaranga (Chadwick), Kwarandji (T)
2. Pinkangarna
Bin-Gongina (RLS), Bingongina (T), Pinkangana (Chakravarti), Pinkangarna (McConvell, Nash)
Virtually nothing is known of Pinkangarna.
Classification of the language:
Northern Western Desert type, Ngumbin subgroup
Identification codes:
Oates '73: 59.1 (Pinkangarna, 1 Cr.)
AIAS: C25 (Pinkangarna, C21)
Capell: C19 (Pinkangarna, C8)
Present number and distribution of speakers:
Elliott, Wave Hill, Katherine.
No remaining speakers of Pinkangarna.
Milliken, 1972 -- 280
Oates, 1973 -- at least 30 fluent speakers at Elliott, probably 40 or more altogether
Black, 1979 -- 50-250
People who have worked intensively on the language:
None. McConvell, Nash may resume work.
Practical orthography:
None established. Gurindji orthography probably suitable.
Word lists:
Hale, McConvell, Curnow, Leeding, Ray, Nash.
Grammar or sketch grammar:
Sketch: Parrish, 1980
Material available on the language:
Capell, A. 1940. The classification of languages in north and north-west Australia. Oceania 10.3:241-272, 10.4:404-433. tbls. maps. (brief comparative vocabularies, grammatical study,
outline phonetics)
---------- 1940. The languages of North-West Australia. Mankind 2.9:325. (analysis of suffixing languages, discusses Mudbura group centred around Wave Hill)
---------- 1952. The Wailbri through their own eyes. Oceania 23.2:110-132. (brief comparative vocabulary in 6 languages)
---------- 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. (reprints Capell, 1952)
---------- 1971. Word lists: Gurindji or Mudbura. 4p. SIL. (p10708, AIAS)
Chadwick, Neil 1972. Mathew's Chingalee vocabulary: appraisal and comments. Oceania 42.4:276-282. (commentary on Mathews, 1901 vocabulary of Jingilu; includes some Mudbura words)
---------- 1979. The West Barkly languages: an outline sketch, pp.653-711 in Australian Linguistic Studies, ed. by S.A. Wurm Pacific Linguistics C.54. (includes some Mudbura words)
Curnow, Ann. 1971. Mudbra AIAS word list. 19p. xerox ts. SIL. Hale, Kenneth L. 1959-60. Mutpurra and Tyingilu field notes. 27p. ms., ts. (pMs 3034, AIAS)
Leeding, Velma J. 1971. Word lists: Gurindji or Mudbura. 4p. SIL. (p 10708, AIAS)
---------- 1971. Word lists: Mudbura and Ngarinman. 14p. ts. SIL. (p 10707, AIAS)
McConvell, Patrick. 1974. Mudbura texts: tape transcriptions of field-work. ms. (p 10707, AIAS)
---------- 1975. Mudbura vocabulary and sentences. 324p. ms., xeroxed. Wattie Creek.
---------- 1976. The Aborigines of the northern Tanami area, Northern Territory. 22p. xeroxed ts. Darwin. (AIAS)
---------- 1980. Hierarchical variation in pronominal clitic attachment in the Eastern Ngumbin languages, in Australian Linguistic Studies. Papers in Australian Linguistics No. 13, ed. by S.A. Wurm. Pacific Linguistics A.59 (89p. ts. draft 1976)
Nash, David. 1978. Pinkangarna tape transcription. 1p. ts. (about 30 words said to be of Pinkangarna)
---------- 1980. Mudbura word list and tape transcription ms.
Parrish, Lucy. 1980. Mutpurra sketch grammar. (based on field notes by P. McConvell). 11p. ts. IAD.
---------- 1980. Mutpurra word list. (based on field notes by P. McConvell). 10p. ts. IAD.
Ray, Michael. 1976. Gurintji/Mutburra word list for a two-week survey. 8p. xeroxed ms. SIL.
Spencer, Baldwin & F.J. Gillen. 1904. The Northern Tribes of Central Australia. London: Macmillan & Co. Ltd. Reprinted 1969, Oosterhout, N.B., The Netherlands: Anthropological
Publications. (Bingongina subsection terms)
Sutton, Peter. 1980. (Field notes including material on Mudbura and Kwarandji.)
Terry, Michael. 1926. A surgical operation as performed by the Boonarra tribe of northern Australia, and a short vocabulary of the languages of some northern Australian tribes. Man
26:193-194. pls. (short list of words from Mootburra, Coorinji, Manoo and Boonarra)
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.

Neil Chadwick, Robert Pensalfini
Indigenous organisations: 
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).

Type Documentation Status Documentation Score
Word list None 0
Text Collection None 0
Grammar None 0
Audio-visual None 0
Manuscript note: 
not available
Source Family Group Sub-group Name Relationship
Ethnologue (2005) Pama-Nyungan South-West Ngumbin Mudbura (Pinkangama)  
Dixon (2002)   NORTHERN DESERT FRINGE SUBGROUP Edgar Range to Victoria River subgroup* Pinkangarna Mudbura further dialects: Karranga, Pinkangarna
Wurm (1994)          
Walsh (1981)          
Oates (1975) Unclassified     Bin-gongina  
Wurm (1972)          
O'Grady, Voegelin and Voegelin (1966)