There are between 14 and 16 distinct Aboriginal languages in the Goldfields region of Western Australia. The work on recording, linguistically analysing and preserving these languages in dictionaries and grammar documents is still in the wary stages. Once the work on each language has been undertaken, we will be able to say for sure how many languages there are or which languages are dialects of each other.

Since 2011, linguistic work has been undertaken on:

Tjupan AIATSIS code A31 (of Western Desert language A80)

KaalamayaAIATSIS code A4 (Kaalamaya language of the Gubrun people)

Ngadju – AIATSIS code A3 (Ngatjumaya/Ngadjumaya)

Ngalia – AIATSIS code C2 (of Western Desert language A80)

Cundeelee Wangka no code, speakers describe as a southern Pitjantjantjarra

Kuwarra AIATSIS code A16 (of Western Desert language A80)

Then in 2016, with an increase in funds from the Commonwealth Government, linguistic work began on the languages:

Maduwongga AIATSIS code A86

Manyjilyjar A32 AIATSIS reference name Nakako

Wangkatja  AIATSIS code A12 and A103, possibly is also Pindiini AIATSIS code A102 or dialects of

Mirning – AIATSIS code A9

The languages that have been well documented from the NT and SA side and which are also found in the Goldfields WA are:

Ngaanyatjarra  AIATSIS code A38

Pitjantjantjarra – A80 AIATSIS code C6

Yankunytjatjara– AIATSIS code C4 A80


Other language names that have arisen and need investigation with speakers are:

Nyanatjarra – no code yet, needs investigation to determine whether a language or dialect

Ngaatjatjara – AIATSIS code A43

Marlpa – no AIATSIS code, possibly a dialect of Ngaju