It is generally accepted that there were over 250 Aboriginal languages in Australia at the time of colonisation. Of these, 46 languages fall within the boundaries of South Australia. The Mobile Language Team covers the length and breadth of the state and the languages within it. We stretch as far north as the Simpson Desert, as far west at the Nullabor, east out Mt Gambier and all the way to the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula. We work with a diverse range of communities in both regional and remote locations. In 1996 Horton published a language map to illustrate the complexities and vastness of Aboriginal languages around Australia, this is known at the Horton Tindale Map (1996). We use this map throughout our website to illustrate approximate locations of language groups, it is by no means a definitive and comprehensive geographic expression of language country, bounds or limits.
Below is a list of all the language groups that are worked on by the Mobile Language Team.
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.
Linguistically the languages the MLT works with are divided into 9 different groups. These groups are not definitive but help to categorise and organise the wide array of languages that are present within South Australia.