This was a handout at the Language Tutorial, Spring 1997 Conference of LAGB, University of Edinburgh.

Sketch of Warlmanpa by contrast with Warlpiri
David Nash

Warlmanpa: Nyuntu-ngu ngapa-nga nya-ngu kuyu-ngu.
you-2o water-Loc see-Past game-Erg
'The animal saw you at the water.'
Warlpiri: Nyuntu-ngku ngapa-ngka nya-ngu kuyu-ngku.
you-2o water-Loc see-Past game-Erg
Warlmanpa: Wanji-rla-n pan-nya?
where-Loc-2s go-Present 'Where're you going?'
Warlpiri: Nyarrpara-kurra ka-npa ya-ni?
where-Allative Present-2s go-NonPast


                        apico-    apico-  lamino-   dorso-
bilabial alveolar domal alveolar velar
stops lax p t rt j k
tense pp tt rtt jj kk nasals m n rn ny ng laterals l rl ly flap rr rd glides w r y
a few tense/fortis stops, esp in vocab common with Warumungu
e.g. lajju 'edible grub' (Warlpiri laju)
vowels i, a, u; possibly no length contrast

greater phonotactic possibilities:
stop-final syllables; lateral-nasal clusters
no progressive vowel assimilation (but avoids iCu within roots)


4.1 nominals

similar Dual, case suffxing, allomorphy of Ergative, Locative
comparative list of suffixes and enclitics
suppletion in deictic stem:
Warlmanpa: yimpa 'this'  mirla 'here'  muka 'to here'
Warlpiri: nyampu nyampu-rla nyampu-kurra
pronouns marked only for person

4.2 verbs:

Compare to Warlpiri verb conjugations:
   Warlmanpa                          Warlpiri
conjugation (imperative) conjugation
wangka 1a
-ka {consonant-final stem 1c
{vowel-final stem 2
-ngka {i-final stem 1b
{a,u-final stem 3
-rra 1d
-nyja 4
-nta 5
Note that there are four subtypes corresponding to Warlpiri 1st conjn.


5.1 pronominal enclitics

ordered 1-2-3-nyanu-rla; except for 2-3 sequences realised as -jana-n, -nyanu-n, -jana-nkulu, -nyanu-nkulu; also -jana-lu; and separable -lu of -rna-lu follows object enclitic
Warlmanpa: Ngayu-rna-jana-lu  nya-nganya.
I-111s-333o see-Present
'We are looking at them.'
Warlpiri: Nganimpa-rlu ka-rnalu-jana nya-nyi. Present-111s-222o see-NonPast
attracted to Imperative, not always in 2nd position

5.2 Auxiliary base

marks mood: Negation, Conditional (as in Warlpiri) but aspect (Future, Potential, Imperfect) is marked on verb, not in Auxiliary

5.3 relative marker ~ 'thus'

           relative 'thus'
Warlmanpa ngula kuya
E Warlpiri ngula kuja
W Warlpiri kuja kuja


6.1 preverbs (coverbs):

more numerous, looser relation to verb root / fewer verb roots (40 vs. 110)
* occur in verbless clauses
* coverbs used rather than infinitives bearing complementisers


ngana 'who?, what?
cf. Warlpiri ngana 'who?', nyiya 'what?'

6.3 stance verbs

         Warlpiri Warlmanpa
'be, sit' nyina-mi ka-rra
'stand' karri-mi kurtij-ka-rra
'lie' nguna-mi jarta-ka-rra
'crouch' parntarri-mi tawu-wa-nta

Australia languages
Central Australia

1997 David Nash
Modified: 8 May 1997
Last changed: 21 October 2007, 18 December 2020