The locations of the language varieties of Cape York Peninsula shown on this map are not intended for Land Claim use, and are an approximate guide only. Individual language project locations are based on information from publicly available documents.  

This map is a work in progress and is to be regarded as a dynamic draft. Pama Language Centre welcomes additions and corrections to the draft map and to information about the language varieties listed.

Wik-Ngathan along with related dialect Wik-Ngatharr/Wik-Alken forms a dialect group which is part of the subgroup of Paman languages classified as Middle Paman based on lexicostatistical work carried out by Hale (1966). The majority of Wik-Ngathan speakers reside at Aurukun, a community established on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula (CYP). The dialect group consisting of Wik-Ngathan and Wik-Ngatharr/Wik-Alken are endangered by language shift to another Indigenous language, Wik-Mungkan, as well as English. Though the dialects Wik-Ngathan and Wik-Ngatharr/Wik-Alken share similar lexicon and grammar there is significant dialect and intra-dialectal variation.


AUSTLANG reference nameWik NgathanAIATSIS reference name
OTHER REFERENCE CODE(S)Wik-Ngathan [wig]ISO 639-3 code
LANGUAGE VARIETY NAME, PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION[wik ŋat̪an]Phonetic transcription of language variety name with IPA
LANGUAGE VARIETY NAME, PHONEMIC TRANSCRIPTION/wik ŋat̪an/Phonemic transcription of language variety name with IPA; Hyperlink to a webpage with a phonology chart of the language variety.
LANGUAGE VARIETY COMPLEXName of largest mutually intelligible complex.

Select: Revival, Revitalisation, Renewal, Reclamation, Maintenance. Perhaps also include Second Language Learning if non-ethnic users are learning in an L2 situation.

PRACTICAL ORTHOGRAPHIESA number of orthographies have been used to write the language (Sutton 1978, 1995). Community discussions about current orthography for the language are underway.
List of practical orthographies (including obsolete ones) that have been used or are used to write texts. In the name of the orthography is included the year of first use or description of orthography in print. Format:
These names are PLC’s reference names for orthographies. Include references for each orthography. Exclude orthographies from linguists’ grammar monographs if those orthographies have not been used by speakers.
DICTIONARY Sutton, P. (1995). Wik-Ngathan Dictionary. Adelaide: Caitlin Press.List links to Dictionaries. List Harvard-system reference.
FIND A TRANSLATORPlease contact Pama Language Centre.List details of all those capable of translations, esp NAATI-qualified.
CONNECT WITH SPEECH COMMUNITY Facebook groups, community websites, phone numbers. NGOs, Local groups (church, youth, women, men, clan…)