1267.0 - Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL), 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/08/2011   
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This is a minor review and there are no proposed changes to the broad level of the classification. Changes have been limited to the name change of one narrow group, to more accurately reflect the languages within it, adding languages, removing some language names, amending the names of some languages and adding appropriate entries to the expanded structure and coding index. These changes are based on Census 2006 line count data, research from external sources, and stakeholder requests and queries.


Indigenous Languages

48 Australian Indigenous languages have been added to the classification. The following additions were made:
  • six languages to Narrow Group 81 Arnhem Land and Daly River Region Languages
  • nine languages to Narrow Group 82 Yolngu Matha
  • six languages to Narrow Group 83 Cape York Peninsula Languages
  • nine languages to Narrow Group 86 Arandic
  • one language to Narrow Group 87 Western Desert Languages
  • two languages to Narrow Group 88 Kimberley Area Languages
  • 15 languages to Narrow Group 89 Other Australian Indigenous Language.
Non-Indigenous Languages

27 Non-Indigenous languages have been added to the ASCL. This is based on information including the number of humanitarian visas granted in Australia, migration levels, and Census and speaker number counts:
  • the addition of Czechoslovakian, so described (3604) to Narrow Group 36 West Slavic
  • Hazaraghi (4107) has been added to Narrow Group 41 Iranic
  • the addition of Assyrian Neo-Aramaic (4206), Chaldean Neo-Aramaic (4207) and Mandaean (Mandaic) (4208) to Narrow Group 42 Middle Eastern Semitic Languages
  • Fijian Hindustani (5217) has been added to Narrow Group 52 Indo-Aryan
  • Rohingya (6104) has been added to Narrow Group 61 Burmese and Related Languages
  • Min Nan (7107) has been added to Narrow Group 71 Chinese
  • 17 African Languages have been added to Narrow Group 92 African Languages
  • Motu (Hiri Motu) (9503) and Tok Pisin (Neomelanesian) (9504) have been added to Narrow Group 95 Papua New Guinea Languages.


Indigenous Languages

Ten Indigenous languages have been renamed or re-assigned codes in the ASCL, based on genetic affinity, and geographic and cultural information:
  • Garrwa, Ngandi and Yanyuwa have all moved from their previous locations to Narrow Group 81 Arnhem Land and Daly River Region Languages
  • Dhuwaya and Madarrpa have been relocated to 829 Other Yolngu Matha
  • to exhaust language possibilities, 'not elsewhere classified' (nec) has been added to Yolngu Matha (8299)
  • in response to stakeholder feedback, the language name Torres Strait Creole (8403) has been replaced with Yumplatok (Torres Strait Creole)
  • Kija has moved to Narrow Group 88 Kimberley Area Languages.

Non-Indigenous Languages

To better reflect the languages in each group, the following languages have been renamed, deleted or re-described, based on research and stakeholder recommendations:
  • the language Assyrian has been removed. It was previously used to describe Neo-Aramaic languages including Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Chaldean Neo-Aramaic and Mandaean
  • Haka (6102) has been renamed Chin Haka to correctly reflect that language group
  • Teo Chew and Hokkien have been amalgamated into Min Nan (7107) to correctly classify them as a single language
  • Narrow Group 95 has been renamed Papua New Guinea Languages. Its 'not elsewhere classified' (nec) code has been renamed Papua New Guinea Languages, nec
  • Motu, also known as Hiri Motu, has been moved to Narrow Group 95
  • the Papua New Guinea language Tok Pisin, also described as Neomelanesian, has been relocated to Narrow Group 95.


Indigenous Languages

20 Indigenous language entities within the expanded structure (three digit level) of the classification have been added or assigned different codes, based on stakeholder advice:
  • Gundjeihmi, Kune, Kuninjku, Kunwinjku and Mayali have moved to the new expanded structure of Kunwinjkuan (817) as dialects of the Kunwinjkuan language
  • included in the new third level category, Burarran (818) are dialects Burarra, Gun-nartpa and Gurr-goni
  • Anmatyerr (861) has an expanded structure and includes the dialects Central Anmatyerr and Eastern Anmatyerr
  • Arrernte (862) has been added as a third level category. Included in this expanded structure are Eastern Arrernte and Western Arrarnta
  • 'not elsewhere classified' (nec) codes for Kunwinjkuan, Burraran, Anmatyerr and Arrernte, have been added to classification.


Indigenous Languages

A number of changes have been made to Indigenous languages in the coding index which include:
  • alternate names for languages have been be added to the coding index
  • some Indigenous languages have been re-grouped and re-coded and so their alternate names in the coding index have also changed in code structure
  • a number of Indigenous languages have been added to 'not elsewhere classified' (nec) categories, including 89 Other Australian Indigenous Languages, nec
  • Milingimbi will be deleted from the coding index as it is a place name not a language.
Non-Indigenous Languages

A number of changes have been made to non-Indigenous languages in the coding index. These changes include:
  • Kurdish is broken into three language groups and these will be indexed
  • various Karen dialects will be listed under code 6103 Karen, based on research and stakeholder feedback about Burmese languages
  • a number of Chin languages will be listed under the code 6199 Burmese and Related Languages, nec
  • Hokkien, Teo Chew, Fukien, Hainan and Taiwanese will be indexed under 7107
  • several languages added to the classification have alternate names which will be added to the index
  • changes have been made to the coding index for Chin. The term Chin now only applies to Burmese Chin Languages
  • the coding index will be changed to correctly reflect Slovensky as a variant of Slovak (6303) rather than Slovenian (3506)
  • Aussie Pigeon and Aussie Pidgin (9401) will be deleted based on stakeholder advice and external research.


The ABS urges users and providers of language data to collect, classify and disseminate data using the 2011 second edition of the ASCL from the time of its implementation. There will be circumstances where users need to convert data from the 2011 second edition to the 2005 second edition. To facilitate this process, a correspondence table between the classification structures of the 2011 second edition and 2005 second edition is provided. In most cases, the languages of the two editions of the classification retain a one-to-one relationship. The correspondence table itemises the code linkages between the languages, details the links between the broad groups and the narrow groups, and indicates the movement of particular languages between groups in the two structures. Correspondences are provided in the ASCL data cube.

The codes in both editions relate to the same entity. In some instances, there is not a direct relationship between the languages or language groupings of the structures of the two editions. Partial linkages at both the language and language group level are indicated by including the word 'part' after the name of the language or language group concerned.