Kaurna is the language of the city of Adelaide and the surrounding Adelaide Plains. Traditional Kaurna territory extends from the Light River in the north to Sellicks Hill in the south. It is bounded by Gulf St Vincent to the west and the Mt Lofty Ranges to the east and the south.  Kaurna country lies to the south of the countries where the closely related languages Nukunu and Ngadjuri were spoken.

AIATSIS id : L.03

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Adelaide tribe, Coorna, Gaurna, Jaitjawar:a ('our own language'), Karnuwarra ('hills language,' a northern dialect, presumably that of Port Wakefield), Kaura (misprint for Kaurna), Kaurna (used by AIATSIS), Koornawarra, Kurumidlanta (Pangkala/Barngala term, literally 'evil spirits'), Medaindi (group living near Glenelg), Medain-die, Meljurna ('quarrelsome men,' said of northern groups of Kaurna), Merelde (Ramindjeri term applied most frequently to the Peramangk but also to the Kaurna), Merildekald (Tanganekald term also loosely given to Peramangk), Meyu, Meju (Kaurna for 'man'), Meyurna, Midlanta (another name given by Pangkala), Milipitingara, Nanduwara, Nantuwara ('Kangaroo speakers,' name given to northern groups), Nantuwaru, Nganawara, Padnaindi (group name), Padnayndie, Taralye meyunna, Wakanuwan (name applied by Jarildekald to this and some other tribes, including Ngaiawang), Warra (means 'speech', a name for language), Warrah, Widninga (Ngadjuri term applied to Kaurna of Port Wakefield and Buckland Park), Winaini (group north of Gawler), Winnay-nie, Winnaynie.

  • Learner’s guide

    Coming Soon: Kuluru Marni Nganaitya! Sounds Good to Me! Kaurna Learner's Guide is in the final stages of editing for publication. Keep an eye out for it.

  • New Kaurna Spelling System

    During 2010 and 2011 the Kaurna community has been introducing a new spelling system for writing their language. Previously Kaurna had been written with the spellings used by Teichelmann & Schürmann,…

Marni naa pudni!

Kaurna language program at the Kaurna Plains School

Kaurna is taught to all students at the Kaurna Plains School from R-10. Classes are taught by Jack Buckskin or Kevin Duigan. The language is also used in other parts of the curriculum,…

Kaurna Learners' Guide

The purpose of the Kaurna Learners' Guide project is to develop a user friendly book and CD of phrases and expressions, incorporating the traditional grammar, to help learners of the…

Kaurna Placenames Website

This Placenames Website project involved collaboration between Kaurna Warra Pintyanthi and five local councils to research and document Kaurna placenames in the southern part of Kaurna…

Indigenous Languages Postcard Initiative

This Indigenous Languages Postcard project aimed to produce a series of 24 Indigenous Language Postcards to raise public awareness of Indigenous Languages in SA.

Kaurna Funeral Protocols

In 2006-2007 a Funeral Protocols book and CD were developed for use in planning and conducting funerals in the Kaurna Community.

Kaurna Warra Ngaiera Wingkurilla (Kaurna language on the airwaves)

In 20010-2011 the Kaurna on the Airways project is being undertaken to produce a set of radio shows in and about the Kaurna language, to be broadcast and available for download.

Kaurna Dictionary project

The 2011 - 2012 grant is underway to produce the first comprehensive electronic and printed dictionary, with a finder list, for the Kaurna language. Funding is from the federal governments'…

Language Contact

Kaurna Warra Pintyandi
c/- Dr. Rob Amery
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone 08 83033924
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
University of Adelaide

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The above map is based upon the Horton Indigenous Map of Australia © Aboriginal Studies Press, AIATSIS, and Auslig/Sinclair, Knight, Merz, 1996. The full map is available on the AIATSIS website. The locations of the languages of SA, as stated on the this website are not intended for Land Claim use, and are an approximate guide only. Individual language project locations are based on information from publicly available MILR (ILS) documents.