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Marrgu language

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Title: Marrgu language  
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Subject: Western Daly languages, Tiwi language, Garawan languages, Macro-Gunwinyguan languages, Classification schemes for Southeast Asian languages
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Marrgu language

Region Croker Island, Northern Territory, Australia
Native speakers
1  (2011)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 mhg
Glottolog marg1251[3]
Marrgu language (purple arrow), among other non-Pama–Nyungan languages (grey)

Marrgu (Marrku) is a recently extinct Aboriginal language of Northern Australia. Additional names include Ajokoot, Croker, Island, Jaako, Raffles Bay, Terrutong, Terutong, Yaako, Yako.[1]


Marrgu had been assumed to be an Iwaidjan language like its neighbors. However, Evans (2006) has produced evidence that it was actually a language isolate,[2] with possible connection to the extinct and poorly attested Wurrugu.


Consonant inventory

Marrgu consonants[4]
Peripheral Laminal Apical
Bilabial Velar Palatal Dental Alveolar Retroflex
Plosive p k c t ʈ
Nasal m ŋ ɲ n ɳ
Approximant w ɣ j ɻ
Trill r
Flap ɽ
Lateral (ʎ) l ɭ
Lateral flap ɺ ld rld


Marrgu had the three-vowel ( /a/, /i/, /u/) system typical of Iwaidjan languages (Evans 1998).


  1. ^ a b Marrgu at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ a b Marrgu at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  3. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Marrgu". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  4. ^ Evans, Nicholas (1998). "Iwaidja mutation and its origins". In Anna Siewierska & Jae Jung Song. Case, Typology and Grammar: In honor of Barry J. Blake. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 115–149.
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