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Jawi[3] or Djawi[1][4][2] is a nearly extinct dialect of the Bardi language of Western Australia, the traditional language of the Djaui. There are no longer any known fluent speakers, but there may be some partial speakers.[5]

RegionWestern Australia
Extinctby 2003[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3djw
AIATSIS[3]K16 Jawi

The name has also been spelt Chowie, Djaoi, Djau, Djaui, Dyao, and Dyawi.


Jawi is a Non-Pama–Nyungan language of the Nyulnyulan family, most closely related to Bardi.[5] Bowern discusses how Jawi and Bardi may have converged within the last hundred years.[6] Jawi people were hit hard by influenza[7] in the early years of the 20th century. Their traditional lands are Sunday Island and the islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago to the northeast.


Cited referencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Djawi at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ a b Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Djawi". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b K16 Jawi at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  4. ^ "Documentation for ISO 639 identifier: djw". SIL International. Retrieved 3 July 2017. Name: Djawi
  5. ^ a b McGregor, William (2004). The Languages of the Kimberley, Western Australia. London, New York: Taylor & Francis. pp. 40–42.
  6. ^ Bowern, C. "A Grammar of Bardi" Berlin: Mouton, 2012, Chapter 1.
  7. ^ Sunday Island Mission Records

General referencesEdit

  • Bird, W. (1910). "Some remarks on the grammatical construction of the Chowie language, as spoken by the Buccaneer Islanders, North-Western Australia". Anthropos. 5: 454–456.
  • Bird, W. (1915). "A short vocabulary of the Chowie-language of the Buccaneer Islanders (Sunday Islanders) north western Australia". Anthropos. 10: 180–186.
  • Bird, W.; Hadley, S. (not dated). "Native vocabulary: Sunday Island", unpublished manuscript.