G34: Yukulta / Ganggalidda

AIATSIS code: 
AIATSIS reference name: 
Yukulta / Ganggalidda


Thesaurus heading language
Thesaurus heading people
ABN name
ABS name
Horton name
Ganggalida (Jokula)
Ethnologue name
Lardil [Yugulda]
ISO 639-3 code
Tindale name
Tindale (1974)
Jugul (valid variation), Jugulda, Jogula, Jokala, Jokul, Jokal, Iukala, Yukula, Yookala, Eugoola, Jungulda (Janggal term), Kanggaleida (Janggal term), Yangarella, Engarilla.
O'Grady et al (1966)
Other sources
Iukala (Sharpa), Eugoola (Curr), Jokulta (Tindale and Curr), Jakula (O'Grady) [Keen 1972]
Lardil, Yakula, Jugul, Jugulda, Jogula, Jokala, Jokul, Jokal, Iukala, Yukula, Yookala, Eugoola, Jungulda, Kanggaleida, Yangarella, Engarilla, Gangulida, Kangkalita

Kangkalita (G34) is cited as an alternative name for Yukulta, but this word simply means "language" (Keen, 1983: 192). Languages from the North Wellesley Islands and adjoining mainland include Yukulta (G34), Kayardild G35, Lardil G38 and Yangkaal G37 which O'Grady et al (1966) classify in the 'Tangkic' group (tangka means 'person' in all four languages).

Evans classifies Kayardild G35 and Yangkaal G37 as dialects of one language (South Wellesley), while Yukulta (G34) and Nguburindi G19 are dialects of a separate, but closely related language (Mainland). Lardil (Mornington Island) is further removed, having a historical relationship with Proto-Tangkic (1995:9, 12).

Breen also concludes that Ngubirindi G19 is a dialect of the same language as Yukulta (G34), based on his comparison of data (PMS 221).

The Tangkic languages have genetic affiliation with the non-Pama Nyungan languages of Arnhem Land, but long term contact with Pama Nyungan languages led to morphological and lexical borrowing, and a 'typological convergence ... away from the non-Pama-Nyungan headmarking, prefixing type to a fairly typical Pama-Nyungan type ... (Evans, 1995: 30, 38).

Blake defines the Tangkic group (Yukulta (G34) Lardil, G38, Kayardild G35) as non-Pama-Nyungan languages, based on the pronoun forms (1988:39).

Note: Ganggalidda G30 is a duplicated entry of (G34).


  • Blake, Barry. 1988. Redefining Pama-Nyungan in Evans, Nicholas and Steve Johnson (eds) Aboriginal Linguistics. Armidale: University of New England.
  • Breen, Gavan. 1973. A note on Ngubirindi. (PMS 221)
  • Dymock, John. 1977. The first whitemen. Journal of the Anthropological Society of South Australia, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 4-10. (SF 57.5/1)
  • Evans, Nicholas. 1995. A grammar of Kayardild, with historical-comparative notes on Tangkic: Mouton Grammar Library 15. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
  • Keen, S. 1983. "Yukulta" In Handbook of Australian languages, Dixon & Blake (eds). Vol 3. Canberra: The Australian National University Press.
  • Harvey, Mark. 2008. Non-Pama-Nyungan Languages: land-language associations at colonisation. AILEC 0802.
  • Holmer, N. 1988. "Gangulida" in Notes on some Queensland languages. Series title: Pacific Linguistics Series D-79. Canberra: RSPAS, ANU.
  • O’Grady, G. N., C. F. Voegelin and F. M. Voegelin. 1966. Languages of the world: Indo-Pacific fascicle six. Anthropological Linguistics 8(2).
  • Osborne, Charles Roland. 1966. Jugula elicited material. PMS 1358
  • 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: 

Gulf country of north-west Queensland opposite the Wellesly Islands. Did not stretch as far south as the Nicholson River but went south-west as far as the start of the hilly country and south-east as far as a series of creeks and waterholes - Wild Horse Creek, Lily waterhole, Flying-fox waterhole and Tarpot Creek. Burketown was not Yukulta country but Minkin country. For the eastern boundary, some say that it went to the western banks of the Albert River and others say that it did not cross the Nicholson river (Keen 1972).

... from about Westmoreland, east along the coast to Burketown (Osborne PMS 1358). The general associations extended on the coast from Massacre Inlet to just west of Gin Arm Creek.

From the coast, they extended inland to the boundary with the Nicholson drainage. Eastward limits: Gin Arm Creek and lower Lily Creek were associated with Minkin. Westward limits: Westmoreland homestead was associated with Gunindirri. Just to the east of this, associations changed to Ganggalida. Hell's Gate was associated with Ganggalida (Harvey ASEDA 802).

From Burketown to Hann Creek and Massacre Inlet; on the coast west of Cliffdale Creek; inland nearly to Nicholson River; east to Albert River mouth from near Escott (Tindale 1974).


Sandra Keen
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 Small (20-100 pages) 2
Text Collection Less than 20 pages 1
Grammar Large grammar (more than 200 pages) 4
Audio-visual More than 10 3
Manuscript note: 
tape transcription/field note available

Keen, Sandra. 1972. A description of the Yukulta language - an Australian Aboriginal language of north-west Queensland, Monash University: MA.


Keen, Sandra 1983. Yukulta. In Handbook of Australian Languages, vol.3. eds. RMW Dixon and B Blake, 190-304. Canberra: Australian National University Press.

Source Family Group Sub-group Name Relationship
Ethnologue (2005) Pama-Nyungan Lardil   Lardil [Yugulda] Lardil [dialects: Related to Kayardild, Nyangga, Yugulda.]
Dixon (2002)   TANGKIC SUBGROUP* Kayardild/Yukulta subgroup* Yukulta Yukulta (or Yukulu, Kangkalita) Keen (1983) further dialect: Nguburindi
Wurm (1994) Pama-Nyungan Tangic   Yugulda  
Walsh (1981) Pama-Nyungan Tangic   Yugulda  
Oates (1975) Pama-Nyungan   Tangic Yugulda  
Wurm (1972) Pama-Nyungan Tangkic   Yakula (Yugula, Ganggalida, Yanggal)  
O'Grady, Voegelin and Voegelin (1966) Pama-Nyungan Tangkic   Jakula