Australian language lexical influences in Roper Kriol as demonstrated by our friends in Ngukurr

Roper River Kriol or Roper Kriol is a contact language spoken in the Ngukurr region of the Northern Territory. Its superstrate language influences are English and possibly NSW Pidgin English, while seven non Pama-Nyungan languages are proposed as substrate influences (Nicholls, 2009).

These three You Tube clips produced by Ngukurr Language Centre provide short explanations and humorous demonstrations by two local men of a number of Kriol verbs that have been borrowed from most likely the three Marran group languages (G. Dickson, personal communication, July 19, 2014).

Whilst the dominant group tends to have most lexical influence on a contact language (in this case English), it is important and interesting to see the transfer and maintenance of Indigenous Australian words and meaning in languages such as Kriol.

See Part 2 here:  – you will then see Parts 1 and 3 in the right hand column.

[Claire Salter, 19th July 2014]



Nicholls, S. (2009). Referring expressions and referential practice in Roper Kriol. PhD Thesis, University of New England.

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