Warlpiri Dictionary…. sixty years in the making !

Warlpiri is spoken by Aboriginal people in the Tanami Desert region of the Northern Territory and in terms of number of speakers is one of the largest Aboriginal languages across the country.

Community members and Warlpiri speakers from Yuendumu, Willowra, Lajamanu, Nyirrpi and Alekarenge have contributed to the Warlpiri Dictionary which has been more than 50 years in the making.

With more than 500 illustrations, detailed flora and fauna information, colour photographs; and maps of Warlpiri country the dictionary is rich in Warlpiri history and cultural practices. The dictionary has an English word finder and a guide to Warlpiri grammar and is essential for both beginner and advanced speakers of Warlpiri, translators and interpreters or for anyone interested in learning more about Warlpiri language and culture.

Images by Bri Alexander

Linguist Mary Laughren research interests include Australian Aboriginal languages, language in education, lexicography and the semantic-syntactic interface. She is the editor of the Warlpiri-English encyclopedic dictionary and has played a key role in the documentation of the Walpiri Language with signiificant contributions to the understanding of song register and baby talk register.

Barbara Martin, Yamurna Oldfield and Tess Ross joined Floyd Doyle in the CAAMA studio to celebrate the launch of the Walpiri Dictionary.

Listen to the full interview here :