Monday, June 27, 2005

Rebirth of language


NEW life has been breathed into the Tasmanian Aboriginal language.

After more than five years' research and analysis, the Tasmanian
Aboriginal Centre has given the Tasmanian community a glimpse of its
language, known as palawa kani.

The language has been used on interpretation boards on the summit of Mt
Wellington, or kunanyi as the mountain is known to Aborigines.

One panel states, "milaythina nika milaythina-mana" -- "This land is our

In the late 1990s, the TAC embarked on a bold attempt to rejuvenate an
Aboriginal language.

Researchers scanned historical references, including journals of the
d'Entrecasteaux expedition.

There were thought to be a dozen or more Aboriginal languages in
Tasmania and even more dialects. The language program has produced an
amalgam of the languages.

There are no capital letters in the language.

TAC spokeswoman Trudy Maluga said the Aboriginal community decided to
release parts of the new language only when it benefitted the
Aboriginal community.

"We have taken ownership of our language," Ms Maluga said.

"This is a way of beating assimilation."

Ms Maluga said many within the Aboriginal community could speak palawa
kani fluently.

Many Tasmanian towns feature Aboriginal names including Murdunna, Taroona, Teepookana and Nubeena.

Fifth title for picture dictionary series

Issue 83

IAD Press, has published the fifth title in its valuable Picture
Dictionary series - this time in the Warumungu language, spoken in
Tennant Creek and its surrounding communities.

“Children and learners should sit down with old people and learn to
speak language from them,” said the Warumungu contributors to the
picture dictionary.

“Old people hold this language, Warumungu, for the young generations.
Our children will learn our language and then keep it strong. Language
teachers can use the picture dictionary in their classes. Learners can
learn words for all sorts of things: family, country, plants and
animals. Later they will know their language.”

Warumungu people have worked together with linguists since 1982 to
develop a spelling system that matches the sounds of the Warumungu
language as closely as possible.

A CD of readings by Dianne Nampin Stokes of a broad selection of the
words and sentences in the Warumungu Picture Dictionary is included
with the book.

• Compiled by Samantha Disbray with Warumungu speakers ($29.95 including
CD, IAD Press).

Australian Journal of Linguistics vol 25/1

Link goes to table of contents: several new papers on Australian languages:

Introduction: Language Shift, Code-mixing and Variation
pp. 1-7(7)
Authors: McConvell, Patrick; Florey, Margaret

Gurindji Kriol: A Mixed Language Emerges from Code-switching
pp. 9-30(22)
Authors: McConvell, Patrick; Meakins, Felicity

Light Warlpiri: A New Language*
pp. 31-57(27)
Author: O'Shannessy, Carmel

Thursday, June 16, 2005

LSA Tutorial on Archiving

Bardi Jawi native tite claim

Includes linguistic information. a critique of the linguistic evidence is at

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

ARDS Dictionary Development

Includes copy of Lowe's Gupapuyngu dictionary

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

HRELP grants

The Endangered Languages Documentation Programme is a component of the
Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project, administered by the School of
Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. It offers up
to £1million in grants each year for the documentation of endangered
languages in any location around the world. There are two main types of

1. Large grants - major documentation projects and post-doctoral
fellowships. Closing date 5th August 2005.

2. Small grants - pilot projects, PhD studentships, and fieldtrips.
Closing date 9th January 2006.

For further information and application forms visit

We apologise if you have received this announcement multiple times
Rebirth of language
Fifth title for picture dictionary series
Australian Journal of Linguistics vol 25/1
LSA Tutorial on Archiving
Bardi Jawi native tite claim
ARDS Dictionary Development
HRELP grants