Magati Ke N163 is a closely related dialect of Marri Ngarr, formerly spoken to the west, around the mouth of the Moyle. Marri Ngarr is a member of the Western Daly family, together with Brinkin N7, Marramaninjsji N16 and Merranj N215 (Green and Nordlinger, 2016).
The Marri Ngarr community is now located around Wadeye and its outstations, but few fluent speakers remain, with the community having largely shifted to Murrinh-patha N3, together with Kriol and English. There has been little linguistic documentation of Marri Ngarr, with Tryon (1974), Nambatu et al (2009), Asher (2012) and the resources at Green and Nordlinger (2016) being the only publicly available material (Green, p.c. May 2016).
Green & Nordlinger classify Menthe as a Western Daly non Pama-Nyungan language along with Marramaninjsji N16, Merranunggu N13, Emmi N15, Menthe N6, Makati ke N163, Marrithiyel N7, Marri Tjevin N161, Marri Ammu N162, and Marri Dan N9 (viewed November 2020).
... around the Moyle River near Port Keats (Tryon 1974). The general association was to the swamp and adjacent higher country on the southern side of the Moyle from about 10kms upstream of the mouth to the junction with Tom Turner's Creek. A smaller area on the northern side of the Moyle was also associated with Marringarr (Harvey AILEC 802). Marri Ngarr country is located on the floodplains of the Moyle River and small coastal areas, including the communities of Nama, Wudipuli, Kubiyirr, Mardingarr and Kulinmerr. (Nambatu 2009:2-3). Contemporary location : Most speakers live in Wadeye community; some live in Nauiyu, 20km north-east of Wadeye on the Daly River. (Nambatu 2009:3).
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Wadeye Aboriginal Community
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).
Nambatu, Ngarul Jimmy, et al. 2009. Marri Ngarr and Magati Ke plants and animals: Aboriginal knowledge of flora and fauna from the Moyle river and Rak Neninh areas, north Australia. Batchelor: Batchelor Press.