• Alice Springs is the only major urban centre where the traditional language is still spoken by many of its residents. This language is Arrernte, which in turn is made up of a number of dialects.
  • To the Centre and East are speakers of Central and Eastern Arrernte, with the Easternmost groups also affiliated with the Akarre dialect. To the west, people identify with Western Arrarnta. Pertame is a related language from the Horseshoe Bend area.
  • In the Central Australian region there are a number of languages that are closely related to the Arrernte/Arrarnta dialects, and collectively known as Arandic languages. These languages include Alywarr, Anmatyerr, Kaytetye. Anmatyerr has a wide geographical spread, and people often refer to Eastern, Central and Western Anmatyerr.
  • The Warlpiri language and its speakers is associated with the Tanami area, and focused around the settlements of Yuendumu, Willowra, Nyirrpi and Lajamanu.
  • Pintupi/Luritja are Western Desert languages, as are those to the south – Pitjantjatjara, Yankuntjatjara, Ngaanyatjarra/Ngaatjatjarra plus several other named dialects.
  • Linking many of these different groups together are several systems of sign language. So far, differences have been noted between Central Australian sign language and Western Desert sign language, and both of these are somewhat different from the sign languages used in the Barkly region. All these sign languages are distinct from the sign used by people in northern Arnhem Land.




Iltyem-iltyem: Central Australian Sign Languages Project