|Moil, Tyemeri, Marityemeri, Nordaniman|
Ngan'gikurunggurr is spoken by about 150 people in the region around the Daly River, most of them living in the communities of Nauiyu (previously Daly River Mission), Peppimenarti, Wudigapildhiyerr, and smaller outstations. Ngan'gikurunggurr has two sister dialects, Ngen'giwumirri (about 30 speakers) and Ngan'gimerri (no longer spoken). There is no traditional cover name for these three dialects. Nick Reid’s 1991 grammar used the name Ngan’gityemerri as a cover term for all three varieties, but in recent years the standard practice has been to simply use Ngan’gi instead.
Ngan'gikurunggurr is one of the better described Daly languages. Following Tryon’s initial sketches of this language (1970-74), Hoddinott and Kofod published a grammar of 'The Ngankikurungkurr Language’ in 1988, and Reid and McTaggart published the ‘Ngan’gi Dictionary’ in 2008, and Reid published the grammar 'Ngan’gityemerri: a language of the Daly River region, Northern Territory of Australia’ in 2011. There is a now a well developed Talking Ngan’gi website which includes an online version of the dictionary, as well as audio and video of people speaking Ngan'gikurunggurr. Good ethnobotanical and ethnozoolical studies have also been published by McTaggart and Wightman.
Ngan'gikurunggurr belongs to the Southern Daly group. It is very closely related to Ngen'giwumirri and Ngan'gimerri, with which it shares highly similar sounds, verb structure, and about 90% of words in common. Speakers of any one variety can understand the others fairly easily, and linguists would describe these as dialects of a single language. These three varieties are also more distantly related to Murrinhpatha. Despite only very low levels of shared vocabulary, the clues to their distant relationship can be found in shared irregular verb forms. For community speakers, Ngan’gi and Murrinhpatha are completely separate languages, but historical linguists see in them evidence of having descended from a common ancestral language.
Ancestral Ngan'gikurunggurr country lies in the central south of the Daly region area. It is bordered on the southeastern side by Ngen'giwumirri, the southwestern side by Marri Ngarr, the northeastern side by Marramaninjsji, and the north side by Marrithiyel. The Ngan'gikurunggurr estates are rak-Fepiminati, rak-NgambuNgambu, rak-NintyiNintyi, rak-Merrepen, rak-Nerintyi and rak-Ngulfe.
To learn more about Ngan'gikurunggurr, please see Nick Reid's Talking Ngan’gi website.
Text by Associate Professor Nick Reid, University of New England.
Marrfurra, Patricia. 1995. Ngan’gikurungurr and Ngangiwumirri ethnobotany: Aboriginal plant use from the Daly River area, Northern Australia. Darwin: Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory.