Published and unpublished works on Ngan’gi language


Alpher, Barry and Courtenay, Karen. nd. unpublished fieldnotes.


Alpher and Courtenay collected some Ngan’gikurunggurr data whilst working at the School of Australian Linguistics (now part of Batchelor College) at some time in the late 1970s. A list of words, with some analysis of verbal morphology, held in Batchelor College Library.


Callan, William. nd. A grammar of Ngankikurunguru. ms. AIATSIS, Canberra.


William Callan may have been a teacher at the Daly River School, and may have had some connection with the NT Arts and Heritage Museum. This manuscript contains no date, but quotes Tryon, so it was probably written in the early 1970’s. Length 44 pages, includes some vocabulary and partial finite verb paradigm tables.

Capell, Arthur. Ms unpublished fieldnotes.


Capell collected some undated fieldnotes on what is probably Ngen’gimerri, but may be Ngen’giwumirri. These have never been published and because of delays in the organisation of Capell’s literary estate, we have not been able to see these materials yet.


Ellis, S.J. 1988. Sociolinguistic survey report: Daly region languages. In Ray, M.J. ed Aboriginal Language use in the Northern Territory: 5 reports. Work Papers of SIL-AAIB, B13. Darwin: SIL.


Green, I.    2003. The Genetic Status of Murrinh-patha. In Evans, N. ed The Non-Pama-Nyungan Languages of Northern Australia: comparative studies of the continent’s most linguistically complex region. Studies in Language Change, 552. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.


Green, I. and N.J. Reid. 2005. Murrinh-Patha and the Daly Languages. In Encyclopedia of Linguistics, Vol 2. ed. Philipp Strazny. New York: Fitzroy Dearborn. (14 pages).


Hoddinott, W. and F. Kofod. 1988. The Ngankikurungkurr Language (Daly River Area, Northern Territory). Series D, No. 77, Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.

This was the first major published description of Ngan’gi.


Laves, Gerhardt. 1931. ms 2189. Unpublished fieldnotes on Ngan’gimerri. AIATSIS Library, Canberra.


Laves was the first linguist to work on any variety of Ngan’gi. In 1931 he collected some 200 pages of vocabulary, grammatical notes and (largely untranscribed) texts, in Ngan’gimerri, the speech variety of the rak-Merren patri-line (which no-one seems to identify with anymore – rak-Merren people probably just identify as ‘Ngen’giwumirri these days). Laves returned to the USA later that year, and appears not to have published anything from his Australian data. His works, including detailed studies of Matngela, Karriyarri, Kumbaingir and Nyungar, were acquired by AIATSIS in 1986. Laves work is particularly interesting, both for the quality of the analysis, and the diachronic evidence it provides for changes within the Ngan’gi verb structure (see Reid 2003 for details).


Reid, N.J. 1981. The Basic Morphology of Ngan’gikurunggurr. Unpublished Honours thesis. Australian National University: Canberra.


Reid, N.J. 1986. Ngani Kinyi Gimi Ngandim Ngangginim Ngan’gikurunggurr e Ngen’giwumirri. Unpublished ms. for Nauiyu school. Reid, N.J.


Reid, N.J. 1990. Ngan’gityemerri. Unpublished PhD thesis. Australian National University: Canberra.


Reid, N.J. 1997. Class and Classifier in Ngan’gityemerri. In Harvey, M. & N. Reid (eds) Nominal Classification in Aboriginal Australia. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.


Reid, N.J.  2000. Complex verb collocations in Ngan’gityemerri: a non-derivational mechanism for manipulating valency alternations. In Dixon. R.M.W. and A. Aikenvald (eds) Changing Valency. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Reid, N.J. 2002a. Sit right down the back: serialized posture verbs in Ngan’gityemerri and other Northern Australian languages. In Newman, J. ed. Sitting, Lying and Standing: Posture verbs in typological perspective. John Benjamins: Amsterdam.


Reid, N.J. 2002b. ‘Ken Hale would just love this’: finding the 31st Ngan’gityemerri finite verb. In Simpson, J. and Nash, D. and Laughren, M. and Austin, A. and Alpher, B. eds. Forty Years On: Ken Hale and Australian Languages. Pacific Linguistics: Canberra.


Reid, N.J. 2003. Phrasal verb to synthetic verb: recorded morphosyntactic change in Ngan’gityemerri. In Evans, N. (ed) Studies in Non-Pama-Nyungan Languagescomparative studies of the continent’s most linguistically complex region. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.


Reid, N.J. 2005b . Languages of the World: Ngan’gityemerri. The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics II. Oxford: Elsevier.


Reid, N.J. and P. McTaggart. 2008 . Ngan’gi Dictionary. Armidale: Australian Linguistics Press. ISBN 978-0-9804713-0-4.


Reid, N.J. 2011. Ngan’gityemerri: a language of the Daly River region, Northern Territory of Australia. Amsterdam: Lincom Europa.


Reynolds, nd. Unpublished wordlist manuscript. [Robyn Reynolds worked as a schoolteacher/nun at the Daly River Mission during 1979-1980. During this time she developed some basic literacy materials in Ngan’gikurunggurr, including a wordlist.


Tryon, Darrell. 1968. The Daly River Languages: a survey. Series A,14. Pacific Linguistics: Canberra.


Tryon, Darrell. 1970a. The Daly Language Family: a structural survey. In Laycock, D. ed Linguistic Trends in Australia. Australian Aboriginal Studies, 23. Canberra: Australian Institute for Aboriginal Studies. pp51-57.


Tryon, Darrell. 1970b. Noun Classification and Concord in the Daly River Languages. Mankind. Vol 7, 3. pp218-222.


Tryon, Darrell. 1974. The Daly Family Languages, Australia. Series C, no. 32. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.


Other relevant sources


Marett, Alan. 2006. Songs, Dreamings, and Ghosts: The Wangga of Northern Australia. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.