The revival of an extinct language

Language extinction is an issue that confronts Aboriginal languages regularly. As we have seen from some of the material in the unit thus far, of the estimated 250 Aboriginal languages present at the time of the European invasion, at least 160 of these are now extinct, with others likely to follow shortly.

This may leave one wondering if such extinction will end before all such languages have disappeared. This article from the BBC details the revival of one of the already-extinct Aboriginal languages. Using written records, Dharug, an Aboriginal language extinct since the nineteenth century, has been resurrected. At the time of the writing of the article (April 2009), the language was being taught in a high school in Sydney. According to the Department of Aboriginal Affairs of the NSW government, the language is still being taught.

I have chosen this article because Aboriginal language extinction and endangerment is one of the topics we are discussing this trimester.


Emil M.


This entry was posted in Education, Language courses, Language Maintenance, Language Revival. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The revival of an extinct language

  1. djarimirri says:

    Dear Linguist Students,
    I’m a Hungarian university student and am interested in everything about Australia. I explored your blog in January and I am following it and like it very much.
    However, I’ve never been to Australia (but it’s my most beautiful dream), I am interested in Australia’s first languages, and cultures and it’s great that the internet can give me the possibility to hear from them!
    If I lived in Australia, am sure that i would work as a volunteer in one of the organization for indigenous people.

    I’m very commoved, reading this post and the linked articles! Am very happy for this news because I’ve read a lot of sad things about the future of the first Australian languages before. That news always made me cry.. But this news is fantastic and it really made my day! Thank you for sharing it!

    Thank you for this blog and good luck for your university studies!

    See you later,
    Anett from hungary, Europe

    P. S.: Sorry for my English, I hope that it isn’t too bad..

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