Language name: Wik-Alken/Wik-Ngatharr

Wik-Alken/Wik-Ngatharr Austlang code Y49, Y51

Historical overview:

Wik-Ngatharr/Wik-Alken is a Paman language variety classified as Middle Paman based on lexicostatistical work carried out by Hale (1966). The majority of Wik-Ngatharr/Wik-Alken speakers reside at Aurukun, a community established on the west coast of CYP as a Moravian mission in 1904 and now home to approximately 1300 people with a number of clan and language affiliations. The shire of Aurukun includes Wik, Wik-way and Kugu country (www.aurukun.qld.gov.au).

Language situation:

The dialect group consisting of Wik-Ngathan and Wik-Ngatharr/Wik-Alken are endangered by language shift to another Indigenous language, Wik-Mungkan, as well as English. Wik-Mungkan is the first language of children at Aurukun, but is also coming under increasing pressure from English, the language of administration, schooling and health in the community of Aurukun.

Hale, K. (1966). The Paman group of the Pama-Nyungan phylic family. In G. N. O’Grady, C. F. Voegelin & F. M. Voegelin (Eds.), Languages of the world: Indo-Pacific fascicle 6 (Anthropological Linguistics 8/2) (pp. 162-197).