Kuku Thaypan (Awu Alaya) is closely related to other languages of its area and in turn appears to belong in a distinct subgroup, Alaya-Athima, with languages of territories stretching down the Mitchell River almost to the Gulf of Carpentaria. All are initial-dropping languages but are not closely related to other initial-dropping languages of the area. Between Alaya-Athima languages and initial-dropping languages to their west and north there has been extensive diffusion of vocabulary, raising interesting and difficult problems for historical study. Additionally, on grounds of shared morphology, there appears to be a distant genetic connection of Thaypanic to Kuku Yalanji and other non-initial-dropping languages of the east coast of Cape York Peninsula. The evidence is mostly from noun morphology and is backed by extremely little in the way of lexical sharing.