Regionnear Jigalong, Western Australia
Native speakers
21 (2016 census)[1]
6 speakers of pure Kartujarra (2006)
Kartutjarra Sign Language
Language codes
ISO 639-3
mpj – Martu Wangka

Kartutjarra (Kardutjara) is one of the Wati languages of the large Pama–Nyungan family of Australia. It is sometimes counted as a dialect of the Western Desert Language, but is classified as a distinct language in Bowern.[2]

It is one of the components of the Martu Wangka koine.

Sign language

Main article: Australian Aboriginal sign languages

Most of the peoples of central Australia have (or at one point had) signed forms of their languages. Among the Western Desert peoples, sign language has been reported specifically for Kardutjara.[3] Signed Kardutjara is known to have been well-developed.[4]


  1. ^ a b A51 Kartutjarra at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  2. ^ Claire Bowern and Quentin Atkinson. 2012. Computational phylogenetics and the internal structure of Pama-Nyungan. Language 88. 817-845. Johns Hopkins University Press.
  3. ^ Miller, Wick R. (1978). A report on the sign language of the Western Desert (Australia). Reprinted in Aboriginal sign languages of the Americas and Australia. New York: Plenum Press, 1978, vol. 2, pp. 435–440.
  4. ^ Kendon, A. (1988) Sign Languages of Aboriginal Australia: Cultural, Semiotic and Communicative Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.