Monthly Archives: April 2012

Should Australian Kids Learn Aboriginal Languages?

This article was published in January 2011, I have found it on the Indian Country Today Media Network but Im sure it would have been published in other locations. Quoting Australian linguist Michael Christie “The use of Aboriginal language in schools … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 1 Comment

Time is running out for a lot of Australian languages

Noel Pearson: Native tongues imperilled by: OPINION Noel Pearson From:The      Australian March 10, 200712:00AM In this article, Noel Pearson the Director of the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership talks about the need to record and preserve Aboriginal … Continue reading

Posted in Language Maintenance | 1 Comment

Professor Leanne Hinton at ANU on reclaiming indigenous languages

This is a video of a lecture by Professor Leanne Hinton who is currently a visiting fellow at the Australian National University. The lecture describes practical issues in reclaiming indigenous languages based on her experience in Training the Trainers workshops … Continue reading

Posted in Language Maintenance, Language Work | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Language and Identity

Hi All,

The following is an interview with Jeanie Bell from the Batchelor Institute for Indigenous Tertiary Education, held at the 2010 Manning Clark Weekend of Ideas.  The theme was “Fair suck of the sauce bottle: A celebration of Australian Language”.

Jeanie identifies as Aboriginal, descended from the Kamiliroi, Yuggera and Dulingbara peoples of QLD.  She discusses how opportunities for learning traditional ways and language were stolen from Aboriginal people, when they were rounded up and taken to missions/reserves in the late 1800s.  Jeanie’s maternal grandmother and her sister were among those taken to the Cherbourg reservation, where they were taught White culture and English, and were punished if they spoke their traditional languages.

Jeanie goes on to talk about efforts to revive Australian languages, and how this is part of the healing process for her people.  In particular, Jeanie is involved in the revival of Badjala and Gubbi Gubbi, and has created a Badjala dictionary, which has attracted a lot of interest in the Badjala community.  She also had a program underway for Badjala to be taught in schools in the Hervey Bay region (I cannot find any information as to whether this is still underway).

Something I found quite intersesting, which was also touched upon in Topic 6 of our course, is that the Badjala language, like most Aboriginal languages we’ve looked at, is an agglutinating language, and a case language, which makes it very difficult for adults who only speak English to learn.  In the revival process they tend to make the language a bit easier, and don’t necessarily use the same grammar patterns that were a part of the traditional language.

This is quite a personal insight into the topics we’ve been studying in LING366/566, and shows how language deprivation, and language revival has affected the Aboriginal Community.

Click here to hear the interview.

Continue reading

Posted in Education, Language courses, Language Revival | Leave a comment

ABC news story: Only 10 per cent of world’s languages left by 2100

Hi Everyone, The following radio report on ABC introduces a seminar by Professor Ghil’ad Zuckermann from Adelaide University where he will exhort people around the world to save dying and revive dead languages. The benefits to humanity of preserving the … Continue reading

Posted in Language Endangerment, Language Maintenance, Language Revival | 1 Comment

Intriguing Aspects and Preservation of the Yanyuwan Aboriginal Language in Australia

This video by Dr. John Bradley and Dr. Amanda Kearney from the Centre for Aboriginal Indigenous Studies at Monash University explore the intriguing aspects of the Yanyuwan language and community. One aspect is how language plays a important part of the … Continue reading

Posted in Language Centres, Language Maintenance | Leave a comment

Shakespeare’s love sonnets in Noongar language

Perth-based theatre company Yirra Yaakin will be performing some Noongar language translations of Shakespeare’s love sonnets as part of the Cultural Olympiad in London in the lead up to the 2012 Olympic Games this year. Shakespeare’s works will be performed … Continue reading

Posted in Arts, Poetry, Theatre | Leave a comment