palawa kani, the Tasmanian ‘composite language’

Recently I began following the Endangered Languages Centre on Facebook and after flicking through some articles on the page I found myself reading about the language palawa kani, which means ‘Tasmanian Aborigines speak or talk’.

The language has been composed from various sources, ranging from songs or phrases to historical resources of the Tasmanian languages. in 2013m the palawa kani dictionary was created and included the names of some places, tribes and people.However, only people of Aboriginal descent are able to access this dictionary for their own personal use.

The TACINC (Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre) has information about palawa kani and a link to the policies surrounding its use. It is an interesting situation to me, as this language is almost secret to the general public but I can appreciate that it is a sacred and special part of the identity of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

Provided below are the links to the article and TACINC:

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/sep/03/ya-pulingina-bringing-these-words-to-life-is-an-extension-of-our-identity

http://tacinc.com.au/programs/palawa-kani/

Ashlee McGovern

September, 2016

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This entry was posted in Dictionaries, Dual Place Names, Identity, Language Centres, Language Revival, Policy, Traditional Knowledges. Bookmark the permalink.

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