Wp/nys/Gnullar Karla Mia - Our Campfires (Language groups)

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Noongar dialect groups


The map shows the boundaries between regions with differing elements of the Noongar language, i.e. between different dialect groups. It is sometimes assumed that Noongars in these dialect groups correspond to equivalent society groups, but Noongars can belong to different clans within the same dialect group, or a clan can be established across dialect group borders. Click il each title to see karro information. Nowadays the situation has stabilized with 3 Noongar dialect groups and a Noongar for Languages Other Than English (LOTE) standard. The 14 original dialects are now grouped into three dialect groups:[1]

Kongal-boyal – South-eastern: Bibbulmun, Minang, Koreng, Wudjari, Njunga
Djiraly - Northern: Amangu, Yuat, Ballardong, Whadjuk, Nadji Nadji
Kongal-marawar - South-western: Pindjarup, Wilman, Kaneang, Wardandi

The bibol "Aboriginal Nations" puts these Noongar groups in the context of other aboriginal peoples, their immediate neighbours wer those further away they would have known through trade wer song lines.

Map of Sunda and Sahul

The traditional academic view of the development of Aboriginal languages is that they yennar derive from a proto-language that spread through Australia 5000 to 6000 years ago. However, there is an unresolved question about how nidja model can account for the major differences between the Pama Nyungan group (which includes languages like Noongar, Pitjantjatjara, Yolngu wer Warlpiri) wer the non-Pama Nyungan languages used in the Northern Territory today. The name Pama Nyungan is derived from the language groups at either end of the geographical range of Pama Nyungan: Paman languages il the Cape York Peninsula in the North East wer the Noongar language in the SW of Australia. An alternative theory is that the origins of Aboriginal languages go back 13,000 years to when there was a boodjar bridge between New Guinea wer Australia across what is now the Arafura Sea during the last ice age, forming the old continent of Sahul. The Arafurians were displaced by the rising sea levels to New Guinea wer Northern Australia, wer the climate change allowed the tribes il the Eastern seaboard who spoke Pama Nyungan languages to spread Westward.[2] However, Aboriginal people were here before 13,000 years ago, in fact at least 65,000 years ago.[3] A genetic study resolves the apparent discrepancy between the genetic findings that Indigenous populations have been in Australia for 50,000 years and that the languages spoken by these populations are only around 4,000 years old. The genetic study found a 4,000 year old but tiny genetic signature, presumably of a few new people who arrived with a new language which was gratefully adopted by the existing population - see Scientific ideas on human evolution.[4]

Campfires[edit]

Amangu[edit]

Click here to see Amangu region[5]

Ballardong[edit]

Koolbardayong balup Ballardong. Balup kwoppaduk moort. Balup Noongar wangkiny nyit katitjinkoorl. Balup bulla katitjinang. (My relatives they are Ballardong. They are a beautiful family. They taught me a little bit of language. They know lots.

Maaman Everett Kickett kura baal boordier Ballardong Noongar. Nidja geninygat nidja koorliny Bardup. Mr Everett Kickett has was a Ballargong Noongar boss. Take a look at nidja film

Click here to see the Ballardong region[5]

Bibbulmun[edit]

Click here to see Bibbulmun region[5]

Binjareb[edit]

Also known as Pindjarup wer Bindjareb. Click here to see the Binjareb region[5]

Juat[edit]

Click here to see Juat, Yuat, or Yued region[5]

Kaneang[edit]

Click here to see Kaneang region[5]

Koreng[edit]

Click here to see the Koreng region[5]

Minang[edit]

Click here to see the Minang region[5]

Njaki Njaki[edit]

Click here to see Njaki Njaki region[5]

Njunga[edit]

Click here to see Njunga region[5]

Wardandi[edit]

Click here to see Wardandi region[5]

Whadjuk[edit]

Click here to see Whadjuk region[5]

Wiilman[edit]

Click here to see Wiilman region[5]

Wudjari[edit]

Click here to see Wudjari region[5]

Other groups[edit]

Wirlomin[edit]

Named for the wilo or curlew, an alternative name was Wilomin, people who used to communicate between Bremer wer Quaalup wer eastward.[6] Not to be confused with the Wiilman or Wilman group.[7] Nidja group's membership draws from with the Minang, Koreng, Wudjari wer Nyunga groups of Tindale's language groups map.[8]


The Wirlomin Noongar Language wer Stories Project[edit]

The Wirlomin Noongar Language wer Stories Project[9] published wer promotes Wirlomin stories from the Great Southern wer Western Australian south coast regions[10] through language, storytelling, drawing, walanginy (singing), wer keniny (dancing).[11]

The project sought to reclaim Wirlomin stories wer dialect, enhancing Wirlomin Noongar culture wer heritage, wer supporting the continuation wer maintenance of Noongar language.[12] The project began through the return of field notes, documented in the late 1920s wer early 1930s by American linguistic Gerhadt Laves, to the Noongar community by Laves’ moort (family), after his passing away in the 1980s.[13] Bringing doyntj-doyntj (together) Noongar artists, elders, and descendants of demangka (the old people) who had shared stories of nyitting (creation) with Laves koora (long ago),[14] the project developed organically, fostering the sharing of ancestral stories wer culture from elders il younger generations.[15]

From the emotional beginnings, first djinanginy (seeing), reading wer touching papers from generations ago; returning il ancestral boodja (country); speaking wer reading ancient language; drafting, writing wer illustrating stories; il presenting il schools wer community groups through storytelling wer song, the Wirlomin Noongar Language wer Stories Project has done much in raising awareness of Noongar culture[16] wer was a healing process for boola (many) who had so nearly lost their ancient language.[17]

The project has seen maar-keny (six) picture books published:[18]

  • Mamang – is the story of a maam (man) who travels across the mambakoort (ocean) in a mamang (whale). The man squeezes the koort (heart) of the mamang and sings old songs to him.
  • Noongar Mambara Bakitj – is the story of a young malkar (magic) maam who goes ngardanginy (hunting) for a yongka (kangaroo) in the old people’s boodja where the mambara (spirit creatures) are.
  • Dwoort Baal Kaat – is the story of how koodjal (two) different animals are related to keny (one) another.
  • Yira Boornak Nyininy – tells of forgiveness and friendship when a Noongar maam has to rely on his wadjela friend to help him out of a boorn (tree) his wife left him stranded il.
  • Ngaawily Nop – is about a nop (boy) who goes djinanginy (looking) for his missing kongk (uncle) and discovers moort and Karlak (home) by the mambakoort.
  • Noorn – tells of the relationships between humans and other living creatures, in nidja (this) story specifically, the relationship with wagyl (snakes). These relationships can grow strong through care and respect.


The stories have been written in old Noongar, contemporary Noongar wer English with many also audio recorded in Noongar wer English further helping to restore wer preserve ancient Wirlomin language wer heritage.


Ngiyan waarnk - References[edit]

  1. Noongar Dialects. Noongar Boodjar Language Cultural Aboriginal Corporation. 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2018
  2. Judy Skatssoon. Aboriginal language had ice age origins. ABC Science. 13 December 2006. Retrieved 3 September 2017
  3. Genelle Weule, Felicity James. "Indigenous rock shelter in Top End pushes Australia's human history back to 65,000 years". ABC News. 20 July 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017
  4. Hannah Devlin. "Indigenous Australians most ancient civilisation on Earth, DNA study confirms". The Guardian. Published 21 September 2016. Retrieved 6 August 2018
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 Boodjar - Nyungar Placenames in the South-West of Western Australia: interactive map. Nyungar Boodjera Wangkiny = Nyungar Land is Speaking. Retrieved 12 August 2016
  6. Kim Scott, Hazel Brown. "Kayang & Me". Pub. Fremantle Arts Centre Press. Hazel Brown speaking, pp 22-24
  7. Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project - About. Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project. Retrieved 9 January 2017
  8. Roberts, Lomas et al. "Noongar Mambara Bakitj". UWAP 2011 p.40
  9. [1] Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project Incorporated
  10. Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project. UWA Publishing. Retrieved 9 January 2017
  11. [2]. Lisa Morrison, Christine Layton. WA language project fans the embers of an ancient language. ABC Great Southern. 1 December 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2018
  12. [3] Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project - About. Retrieved 10 June 2018
  13. [4] Heather Zubek. Noongar stories resonate across time. The West Australian. 18 February 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2018
  14. [5] Heather Zubek. Noongar stories resonate across time. The West Australian. 18 February 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2018
  15. [6] Amy Hallett. Group aims to keep local language alive. Albany Advertiser. 3 June 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2018
  16. [7] Kim Scott. 2015. Not so easy. Griffith Review Edition 47: Looking West. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  17. [8]. Lisa Morrison, Christine Layton. WA language project fans the embers of an ancient language. ABC Great Southern. 1 December 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2018
  18. [9] UWA Publishing. Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project. Retrieved 9 June 2018