Between 1978-1985 Adam Kendon worked with Warlpiri signers at Yuendumu to make a record of the sign language used there. A synthesis of this work was edited into the Warlpiri Sign Language Dictionary, a video record presented in five parts and organized thematically in semantic
This website is for people who are interested in Australian Indigenous sign languages – in particular sign languages used in Central and Northern Australia. The word iltyem-iltyem is used in Anmatyerr to mean ‘signalling with hands, using handsigns’. It comes from the word iltya, ‘hand, finger’. This website is named iltyem-iltyem because this sign language project began with Anmatyerr people from the community of Ti Tree. This word is equivalent to iltyeme-iltyeme in Eastern/Central Arrernte, rdaka-rdaka in Warlpiri and takataka in Gurindji. In Kaytetye eltye eltyarrenke means ‘use hand signs’. In August 2017 our project started working with a team in Maningrida, recording sign languages used in the north-central Arnhem Land region. In Maningrida people often refer to their sign system as ‘actions’. We then worked with signers from Kalkaringi and Elliott.