What’s new

August 2016 update

Another 75 items have been added to the Virtual Library, bringing the total number of items to over 500, representing over 150 languages ... read more

How to use this Virtual Library

To find a resource, use search, or choose a state, language or category on the left (see Help for more information).

Or: find items by year of first listing in this Virtual Library:

Update 2024

This site is no longer current and is not being updated. Since 2016, happily, the number of online sources of knowledge about Australian Indigenous languages exploded in number and diversity of sources, especially from Indigenous organisations and individuals. As a result, it became impossible to keep ALoA up to date. It is no longer a key resource.

As the main web portal for Australian Aboriginal languages on the web (part of Tim Berners-Lee’s official W3C Virtual Library (now defunct at https://www.vlib.org/ - see its history) this site provided summaries, guidance and links to quality resources on Aboriginal languages, especially those produced from communities and by community members. It was listed in most of the major international libraries and other institutions as a key site for Australian languages, and attracted over 500,000 hits a year.

Approximately half of the linked sites still exist and the site’s back-end database remains valuable because it contains data which tracks 20 years of the emergence, expansion and changes in the online presence of Australian First Nations languages from the birth of the web.


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Warlpiri [wbp]
Source: Patrick McConvell, Jane Simpson, Gillian Wigglesworth
Research following 5-10 children and their families in 3 communities from 2004-2007, to study the language input children receive in multilingual environments. Languages include Gurindji, Kriol, Walmajarri, Warlpiri and Warramungu. See also the second phase of the project which focuses on language issues when children enter the formal school system.
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Source: Myfany Turpin / ELAR
Archive deposit: documentation of 28 different Arandic song series and/or song styles from the northern Arandic group of languages of Central Australia, including Arandic people’s interpretations of the songs and their broader meanings, and linguistic and musical features of the performances and the song interpretations. Represents languages Kaytetye, Alyawarr, Anmatyerr, Eastern Arrernte and Warlpiri. Like all ELAR deposits, this material is accessible according to access protocols and access may require negotiation with the depositor.
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Source: AuSIL / Various
Web and downloadable dictionaries for Burarra, Bilinarra, Djinang, Gurindji, Iwaidja, Kriol, Martu Wangka, Maung, Tiwi, Walmajarri, Warlpiri and Wik Mungkan. The page also has links to over 90 linguistic and other language-related articles.
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Source: Margaret Carew/Centre for Australian Languages and Linguistics, Batchelor Institute
A program supporting Central Australian languages through innovative projects such as the Kaytetye Bird App and the Iltyem-iltyem website for teaching and learning Central Australian sign languages, and many more resources for Arrernte, Warlpiri, Alyawarr, Anmatyerr and other languages.
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Source: Summer Institute of Linguistics (AuSIL)
Bible texts for 14 languages. These are provided by the Summer Institute of Linguistics (in Australia branded as AuSIL) as a "ministry tool" but made openly accessible. Includes text, audio (note, some spoken by non-Aboriginal persons), concordances, and downloadable software.
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Source: ABC
Four Corners documentary about effects of government's scrapping of bilingual education in the NT.
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Source: Batchelor Institute / Jenny Green / Sign language consultants
An online resource for teaching and learning the sign languages used in Indigenous communities in Central Australia. This site contains several hundred video clips of signs. The project was piloted by members of the sign language team from Ti Tree in Central Australia. You need to register (free) to access the sign dictionaries.
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Source: ABC / Aboriginal Interpreter Service
The ABC, with the help of the Aboriginal Interpreter Service (NT), is trialling an Indigenous language News Service in Warlpiri and Yolngu Matha. Two ABC news bulletins are recorded each weekday. The daily bulletins can be heard on this page, with recent bulletins on SoundCloud, and on some Indigenous radio stations.
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Source: Ken Hale/MIT Linguistics
A collection of Ken Hale's papers and some of his unpublished teaching materials. Ken was an icon for endangered languages and also worked in Australia - papers here include ones on Warlpiri, Linngithigh, Pittapitta, Lardil, Wik (Cape York) languages
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Source: PAW Media/Jason Japaljarri Woods/students from Yuendumu School
An animated story book used as a Warlpiri literacy resource for young children at Yuendumu School.
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Source: Kevin Jansz, Christopher Manning, and Nitin Indurkhya
A unique graphical-browsing semantic dictionary aimed at the needs of native speakers and children, as well as being useful to professional linguists.
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Source: Jane Simpson
A research article on the dynamics of language change as evidenced by the languages spoken by and heard by children in four Aboriginal communities in WA and NT. Many Aboriginal children grow up in language landscapes that are undergoing rapid change - languages are declining but also changing, and new languages are being created.
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Source: PAW Media/Henry Jakamarra Cook
Innovative storytelling using video and animation. It tells about when Warlpiri came across a European camp and found alternative uses for their tents. Animated by Jason Japaljarri Woods using sand drawing, clay and found objects.
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Source: PAW Media/June Napanangka Granites/Jason Japaljarri Woods
An animated short story about Sitting in the humpy during the rain.
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Source: Warlpiri Media Association
Website for the "Bush Mechanics" TV series. Includes games and videos, some in the Warlpiri language. Information on how to obtain the excellent "Bush Mechanics" videos.
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Source: PAW media
IndigiTUBE channel for accessing PAW content. Easy access to over 80 songs from the PAW communities and in the PAW languages
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Source: Batchelor Press/Batchelor Institute
Information and resources about innovative ‘sound printed’ books developed through the Centre for Australian Languages and Linguistics. Catalogue of talking books, plus information about the technology and downloadable audio.
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Source: Carmel O'Shannessy / ELAR
Archive deposit: six traditional Warlpiri love songs, called yilpinji, sung by Teddy Morrison Jupurrurla, and two ceremonial initiation songs, sung by Peter Dixon Japanangka and a group of elder men. Includes transcribed and translated video and audio files.
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Source: PAW media/Alice Nampijinpa Hanwood/Margaret Napangardi Brown/Norbert Japaljarri Morris/Micah Japanangka Williams
Innovative storytelling using video and animation. The story is an Emu Dreaming from Nyirripi.
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Source: PAW media/Neville "Cobra" Japangardi Poulson/Jason Japaljarri Woods
An animated story explaining how crows, which were once white, came to be black.
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Source: David Nash
Resources and links for Warlpiri.The most comprehensive web resource for any single Australian language. See also David Nash's Home Page.
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Source: Steve Swartz/AuSIL
Warlpiri is spoken by about 3000 people in the Tanami Desert area. See also the About Warlpiri page for background to the dictionary.
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Source: PAW Media/Kathy Nangala Sampson/Jeannie Nampijimpa Presley/Maggie Napangardi Williams/Marissa Nangala Brown/Renita Napanangka McCormack/Danielle Napaljarri Colli
An animated story told by senior Willowra women at a place nearby the Willowra community. It tells the story of a Bush Turkey that travels around in search of women.
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