Giimbiyu language

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Native toAustralia
RegionNorthern Territory
Extinct(date unknown perhaps a couple speakers remaining in 1981)[1]
Language isolate or Arnhem Land?
  • Giimbiyu
  • Mangerr
  • Erri
  • Urningangga
Language codes
ISO 639-3Variously:
zme – Mangerr
urc – Urningangg
err – Erre
Giimbiyu languages.png
Giimbiyu (purple), among other non-Pama-Nyungan languages (grey)

Giimbiyu is an extinct Aboriginal Australian language isolate once spoken by the Giimbiyu people of northern Australia.

The name Giimbiyu is a Gaagudju word for 'of the stoney country'. It was introduced in Harvey (1992) as a cover term for the named dialects,[3]

  • Mangerr (Mengerrdji)
  • Urningangga (Wuningak) and Erri (Arri)

In 1997 Nicholas Evans proposed an Arnhem Land family that includes the Giimbiyu languages. However, they are not included in Bowern (2011).[4]


  1. ^ Mangerr at Ethnologue (14th ed., 2000).
    Urningangg at Ethnologue (14th ed., 2000).
    Erre at Ethnologue (14th ed., 2000).
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Giimbiyu". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b N220 Giimbiyu at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  4. ^ Bowern, Claire. 2011. "How Many Languages Were Spoken in Australia?", Anggarrgoon: Australian languages on the web, December 23, 2011 (corrected February 6, 2012)
  • McConvell, Patrick and Nicholas Evans. (eds.) 1997. Archaeology and Linguistics: Global Perspectives on Ancient Australia. Melbourne: Oxford University Press