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Documentation of Amurdak, an endangered language of Northern Arnhem Land (Australia)


Language Amurdak
Depositor Robert Mailhammer
Affiliation University of Western Sydney
Location Australia
Collection ID 0275
Grant ID SG0124
Funding Body
Collection Status Collection online
Landing Page Handle


Summary of the collection

The collection aims to include texts from as wide a range of genres as possible as part of a more comprehensive documentation project.


Group represented

The Minjilang community on Croker Island.

Although Amurdak was traditionally spoken in the stone country of Northern Arnhem Land (around Gunbalanya near Oenpelli, Northern Territory, see Mailhammer et al. 2009)), as far as it is known, all remaining speakers and many Amurdak-affiliated people live in the community Minjilang on Croker Island, just off the coast of Northern Arnhem Land. Despite being geographically removed from the traditional language area, the consultants for this project possess a deep and substantial knowledge of Amurdak country and its people.This extends e.g. to significant locationsand relevant flora and fauna.

Nevertheless, Amurdak is severely endangered. It is not being learnt by children, and there is no speech community as such. Known speakers number three to five, with varying degrees of proficiency.


Language information

Amurdak is an endangered language traditionally spoken in Northern Arnhem Land, Northern Australia (ISO code amg). The current number of speakers is estimated between three and five, most of whom live in the community Minjilang on Croker Island.


Collection history

The knowledge on Amurdak is incomplete in important respects, including the phoneme system, verb morphology, syntax and discourse structure, and certain key areas of the lexicon and textual genres. The project aims to contribute significantly to solving these problems.


Acknowledgement and citation

To refer to any data from the collection, please cite as follows:

Mailhammer, Robert. 2012. Documentation of Amurdak, an endangered language of Northern Arnhem Land (Australia). Endangered Languages Archive. Handle: Accessed on [insert date here].

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