About Kayardild

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The content of this page was developed from the research of Dr. Nicholas Evans, Dr. Baden Hughes, Ms. Cathy Bow
and Dr. Steven Bird.


Kayardild, also known as Kaiadilt, Gayardilt, Gayardild and Guyadilt, is a non-Pama-Nyungan language of the Tangkic family. It was originally spoken on Bentinck Island, in the Gulf of Carpenteria in northwest Queensland, Australia, although now many of the remaining 10 speakers live on Mornington Island.

View the language map

View the Tangkic family tree


The language is probably most notable for its unusual case system. Not only can multiple cases be stacked onto a single nominal, but there are multiple series of case systems. Furthermore, the language uses case functions to mark the tense, aspect and mood of the clause to which a noun belongs.

More on Kayardild grammar


The Kayardild culture evolved in isolation; there was minimal contact with outside groups - even other aboriginal ones. Therefore, while some cultural aspects (such as religion) still resemble those found elsewhere in Australia, others (such as tool composition) differ significantly.

More on Kayardild culture


Kayardild phonology resembles that of most Australian languages. The language, for instance, lacks fricatives and a voicing distiction, and boasts six places of articulation for stops.

More on Kayardild phonology

Follow the path of the Kayardild data

  1. Get Started Summary of Kayardild conversion
  2. Digitize Audio: Audio page (Classroom)
  3. Interlinearize Text: IGT page (Classroom)
  4. Build Lexicon: Lexicon page (Classroom)
  5. Collect Metadata: Metadata page (Classroom)

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