Bardi language

Bardi language

Bardi (also Baardi, Baard) is a moribund Australian Aboriginal language. Currently there are approximately 25 fluent speakers of language, mostly of the eastern dialect, however up to a thousand people identify as Bardi.


Bardi is a member of the Nyulnyulan language family. It is a member of the Western branch of the family.

According to R. M. W. Dixon (2002), the following dialects are mutually intelligible with Bardi:

Ethnologue (206) treats all but Ngumbarl as distinct languages, and this view is supported by those linguists who have worked on the languages, including Claire Bowern and William McGregor.

There is considerable documentation of the Bardi language, but most of it is unpublished. The earliest work on the language dates from the 1880s, although that has been lost. The earliest records are from the very early 20th century. Gerhardt Laves spent some time on Sunday island in the late 1920s and recorded extensive textual materials, and steady documentation has progressed since the late 1960s.


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