Wulguru was a Pama-Nyungan language typical of the sort found on the
northeast coast of Australia; it ceased to be spoken before it was properly
documented. Wulguru was spoken in the area around present day Townsville,
and also on the islands extending out to Palm Island.
The sketch that is presented here has been assembled from the available
data, based mainly on a journal kept by Charles Price, a resident of
Townsville in the late 19th century; the current work is as complete a
record as we are likely to have.
Wulguru had a vowel-length distinction; as a result of initial consonant
loss, vowels could begin words; further, there were monosyllabic words.
Wulguru marked syntactic relations by means of case marking; the ergative
showed allomorphy based on syllable count as well as final consonant
identity. There were at least three different verbal conjugations, possibly
as many as five or six. Verbal agreement was optional, though this might
represent second position clitics. The only textual material consists of a
few short phrases, as well as the transcription of some songs, and the main
text that we have for Wulguru, a translation of The Lord’s Prayer. It
becomes apparent (after back-translation) that it was not Price himself who
assembled the prayer translation, but probably a Wulguru speaker who makes
a secret cry against the white invasion of the area.