Marrgu language

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Region Croker Island, Northern Territory, Australia
Extinct 1 speaker reported in 2000;[1] 2 reported to partly understand it in 2008[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 mhg
Glottolog marg1251[3]
Marrgu language.png
Marrgu language (purple arrow), among other non-Pama–Nyungan languages (grey)
Marrgu language (closeup).png

Marrgu (Marrku) is a recently extinct Aboriginal language of Northern Australia. Additional names include Ajokoot, Croker Island, Raffles Bay, Terrutong (Terutong), Yaako (Jaako, Yako).[1]


Marrgu had been assumed to be an Iwaidjan language like its neighbors. However, Evans (2006) has produced evidence that it was actually a language isolate,[2] with possible connection to the extinct and poorly attested Wurrugu.


Consonant inventory

Marrgu consonants[4]
Peripheral Laminal Apical
Bilabial Velar Palatal Dental Alveolar Retroflex
Plosive p k c t ʈ
Nasal m ŋ ɲ n ɳ
Approximant w ɣ j ɻ
Trill r
Flap ɽ
Lateral (ʎ) l ɭ
Lateral flap ɺ ⟨ld⟩ ⟨rld⟩


Marrgu had the three-vowel ( /a/, /i/, /u/) system typical of Iwaidjan languages (Evans 1998).


  1. 1.0 1.1 Marrgu language at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Marrgu at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  3. Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Margu". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Evans, Nicholas (1998). "Iwaidja mutation and its origins". In Anna Siewierska & Jae Jung Song. Case, Typology and Grammar: In honor of Barry J. Blake. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 115–149.