Marri Ngarr
also called:
Moil, Ngangikadre, Yaghanin
dialects with:   
Magati Ke
various spellings:   
Western Daly Grouping   

While there are stories of some disruption to its clan territories in the pre-contact area, Marri Ngarr’s traditional country is considered to extend along the middle reaches of the Moyle River and its surrounding wetlands, predominantly to the south of the Moyle, but with a small tract of land on the northern side. Much of this country is subject to wet season inundation, with the affected Marri Ngarr groups having residential and foraging rights in the higher ground of neighbouring groups during such times.

Marri Ngarr’s sister dialect, Magati Ke, occupies adjacent territory down river, to the south of the mouth of the Moyle. To the north are the Brinkin dialects, Marri Tjevin, Marri Dan, and Marrithiyel, which, like Marri Ngarr, belong to the Western Daly family. The Southern Daly languages are then to the south, with Murrinhpatha on the south-west, and the Ngan’gi Tyemerri dialects to the south-east.

Marri Ngarr people are to be found across the southern part of the Daly region, being represented at Wadeye, Peppimenarti and Nauiyu Nambiyu. However, the bulk of the community is located at Wadeye and its outstations, including Nama, Palumpa and Wudapuli.

There are now only a small number of fluent speakers of Marri Ngarr remaining – most of them living in Wadeye and all elderly. Younger Marri Ngarr people have largely shifted to Murrinhpatha, although some have some knowledge of Marri Ngarr as well. There has been little linguistic documentation of the language. Tryon’s (1974) brief overview is the only published grammatical account, while Nambatu et al’s (2009) documentation of plant and animal names provides extensive lexical material. Ian Green’s tapes and field notes, as itemised on this site, are a substantial source of further information, given that there are only limited prospects for further field work on the language. Preston’s (2012) honours thesis (University of Melbourne) draws on this material, and a fuller PhD-length study of Marri Ngarr, also at Melbourne University, is under way. A Learner’s guide to Marri Ngarr and Magati Ke by Lysbeth Ford has been produced by Batchelor College but seems to be currently unavailable (http://eprints.batchelor.edu.au/147/).

Ian Green’s corpus of Marri Ngarr consists of 36 hours of recordings and mostly includes lexical, grammatical and phonological elicitation. The recordings were made with the following speakers:

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Ian Green (collector), 1976; Marri Ngarr 28/4/76, MPEG/X-WAV, 2016-05-04. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B4CA62288

Ian Green (collector), 1989; Marri Ngarr 13/12/89, X-WAV/MPEG, 2016-05-04. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B4D00BD29

Ian Green (collector), 1990; Marri Ngarr 21/06/90, X-WAV/MPEG, 2016-05-04. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B4D54FD13

Ian Green (collector), 1991; Marri Ngarr 16/06/91, MPEG/X-WAV, 2016-05-04. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B4EB978AE

Ian Green (collector), 1991; Marri Ngarr 17/06/91, X-WAV/MPEG, 2016-05-04. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B4E063528

Ian Green (collector), 1991; Marri Ngarr 18/06/91, X-WAV/MPEG, 2016-05-04. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B4E6110FA

Ian Green (collector), 1991; Marri Ngarr 21/6/91, X-WAV/MPEG, 2016-05-04. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B501B8DC9

Ian Green (collector), 1991; Marri Ngarr 29/5/91, MPEG/X-WAV, 2016-05-04. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B4F0E6C33

Ian Green (collector), 1991; Marri Ngarr 30/5/91, MPEG/X-WAV, 2016-05-04. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B4F68D6FE

Ian Green (collector), 1991; Marri Ngarr 31/05/91, MPEG/X-WAV, 2016-05-04. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B4FBBC9D3

Ian Green (collector), 1992; Marri Ngarr 01/01/92, X-WAV/MPEG, 2016-05-05. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B550AABB5

Ian Green (collector), 1992; Marri Ngarr 02/06/92 (1), MPEG/X-WAV, 2016-05-04. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B507A9CE0

Ian Green (collector), 1992; Marri Ngarr 02/06/92 (2), X-WAV/MPEG, 2016-05-04. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B50D5A8F8

Ian Green (collector), 1992; Marri Ngarr 03/06/92 (1) , X-WAV/MPEG, 2016-05-04. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B51305182

Ian Green (collector), 1992; Marri Ngarr 03/06/92 (2) , MPEG/X-WAV, 2016-05-04. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B5189F5D3

Ian Green (collector), 1992; Marri Ngarr 04/06/92 (1), 2016-05-04. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B51E40B42

Ian Green (collector), 1992; Marri Ngarr 04/06/92 (2), X-WAV/MPEG, 2016-05-04. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B523D5419

Ian Green (collector), 1992; Marri Ngarr 06/06/92 , X-WAV/MPEG, 2016-05-04. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B5296113F

Ian Green (collector), 1992; Marri Ngarr 06/06/92 , X-WAV/MPEG, 2016-05-04. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B5296113F

Ian Green (collector), 1992; Marri Ngarr 13/06/92 , MPEG/X-WAV, 2016-05-04. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B53481AE6

Ian Green (collector), 1992; Marri Ngarr 16/06/92, X-WAV/MPEG, 2016-05-04. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B53A24592

Ian Green (collector), 1992; Marri Ngarr 18/06/92 (1), MPEG/X-WAV, 2016-05-05. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B53FE2763

Ian Green (collector), 1992; Marri Ngarr 18/6/92 (2), X-WAV/MPEG, 2016-05-05. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B5458A176

Ian Green (collector), 1992; Marri Ngarr 19/06/92, X-WAV/MPEG, 2016-05-05. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B54B18DD0

Ian Green (collector), 1992; Marri Ngarr 8/6/92 , MPEG/X-WAV, 2016-05-04. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B52F0C4CD

Ian Green (collector), 1993; Marri Ngarr 01/11/93 (1) , MPEG/X-WAV, 2016-05-05. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B5615B93E

Ian Green (collector), 1993; Marri Ngarr 01/11/93 (2), X-WAV/MPEG, 2016-05-05. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B566DA76D

Ian Green (collector), 1993; Marri Ngarr 02/11/93 (1) , X-WAV/MPEG, 2016-05-05. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B56C72021

Ian Green (collector), 1993; Marri Ngarr 02/11/93 (2) , X-WAV/MPEG, 2016-05-05. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B57206229

Ian Green (collector), 1993; Marri Ngarr 03/11/93, X-WAV/MPEG, 2016-05-05. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B57784D4E

Ian Green (collector), 1993; Marri Ngarr 09/11/93 (1) , MPEG/X-WAV, 2016-05-05. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B57D4D2AC

Ian Green (collector), 1993; Marri Ngarr 12/11/93 (1), MPEG/X-WAV, 2016-05-05. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B5894682E

Ian Green (collector), 1993; Marri Ngarr 12/11/93 (2) , MPEG/X-WAV, 2016-05-05. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B58F0486E

Ian Green (collector), 1993; Marri Ngarr 29/10/93, X-WAV/MPEG, 2016-05-05. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B55648708

Ian Green (collector), 1993; Marri Ngarr 30/10/93 , X-WAV/MPEG, 2016-05-05. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B55BC659C

Ian Green (collector), 1993; Marri Ngarr 9/11/93 (2), MPEG/X-WAV, 2016-05-05. DOI: 10.4225/72/5705B5831301D