Emmi occupies a coastal strip to the south of the mouth of the Daly River, extending from the Cliff Head region down towards Red Cliff. Emmi is a sister dialect to Menthe, on the coast to the south, and to Merranunggu, to the west. Its Western Daly relative, Marrithiyel, is in the hinterland to the south, and on its northern border is Batjamalh, a dialect of the typologically very different Anson Bay language. The Emmi community is today based primarily at Belyuen, but no speakers of the language remain.
Although their territory was recorded by Stanner (1970) and Tindale (1974), Emmi was not documented at all in the linguistic literature until the work of Tryon (1968, 1970, 1974), and it was only with Lys Ford’s PhD thesis (1998), subsequently published as Ford (2011), that a full reference grammar became available. An Emmi plant and animal wordlist, in the context of Emmi knowledge of flora and fauna, is now also available (Djorrk et al, 2015).
Ian Green’s corpus of Emmi is very limited and consists of 2 hours of elicitation with Eric Martin, Agnes and Alice.
Djorrk, Alice, Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education, & Wadjiginy, Emmiyangal and Mendheyangal people. 2015. Emmi and Batjamalh Plants and Animals: Flora and Fauna Knowledge of the Emmiyangal and Wadjiginy People of the North-West Top End, Australia. Batchelor, NT: Batchelor Press.
Marett, Allan & Linda Barwick. 2003. Endangered songs and endangered languages. In Joe Blythe & Robert McKenna Brown (eds.), Maintaining the Links: Language Identity and the Land. Seventh conference of the Foundation for Endangered Languages, Broome WA. 144-151. Bath, UK: Foundation for Endangered Languages