Tjupan language is from the Goldfields region in Western Australia. It is spoken by people in and around the towns of Wiluna, Leonora, Laverton and Kalgoorlie. The Tjupan people originated from the country north of Mulga Queen and across the area covered by the stations Darlot, Carnegie and Wongawol. It extends west to Sandstone, east of Agnew and Leinster and north to the town of Wiluna covering an area of 30 640 square kilometers.
An ABC Open short film about Tjupan people going out for honeyants.
Tjupan has been referred to as:
It appears that quite a number of people (200-250) identify as of Tjupan heritage. These people are spread between Wiluna, Laverton, Leonora, Kalgoorlie and other towns and stations. The Tjupan’s relationship with traditional country appears to have been unbroken although some people were relocted to missions and stations for some time during the early European settlement phase.
State of the Language
Tjupan is a highly endangered language with very few, if any, fluent speakers remaining. A handful of people speak the language with some fluency whilst a great many are recallers. A greater number have a limited understanding of language or identify as of Tjupan heritage and speak other languages.
Currently no children are speaking or learning the language as a mother tongue.
Efforts Being Taken to Record the Language
In 2011-12, linguist Sue Hanson through the Walkatjura Cultural Centre, Ngalia Foundation under the National Trust of Australia (WA) undertook a study of the state of the Goldfield’s languages. Tjupan speakers Shirley Wonyabong and Richard Narrier contributed words and phrases during the short study period of this project. Both speakers are very keen to see this work continue.
Funding was received under the Department of Arts Maintenance of Indigenous Languages and records program for the year 2011 to 2012 to begin work on the recording, analysis and preservation of the language through creation of recordings, a dictionary and a sketch grammar.
A thorough trawl of existing data was undertaken to locate items in historical material and records. Very few records of the language were located with a number of references made by linguists such as Tindale and Bates.
Much work remains to be done on this language. Extensive recordings of natural speech, the development of the lexical database and writing of a full descriptive grammar are amongst the most urgent of the tasks yet to be undertaken.
 Tjupan Native Title claim 2005
 Hanson, SG Kuwarra Wordlist 2012
 AUSTLANG website, AIATSIS as at May 2012
 Geraldine Hogarth, personal communication 2012
 Marmion, D, Kalgoorlie Languages Inventory: Report to the Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre 2008
The Goldfields Aboriginal Languages Centre's role is the recording, linguistic analysis and creation of preservation documents such as dictionaries and grammars, for the languages of the Goldfields region of WA.