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 Our Languages

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Our aim is for this to become a place where People from all around Australia will be able to share and to come together in all manner of ways to support the 250 plus Aboriginal Languages that exist in this country. From learning to commence a language program, to finding out what tools and resources exist to help, even to actually learning a language we hope that all of these things and more will become available here, and make some difference to your journey.

 Patyegarang Indigenous Australian Languages Education Website

Patyegarang has been designed to answer questions about the teaching of Australian languages, with a particular focus on language revival. The main contributors are John Hobson and Susan Poetsch,  two lecturers from the Indigenous Languages Education Program at the University of Sydney with many decades experience in Australian languages, language revival, linguistics and languages education between them.The content of Patyegarang is based on the kinds of questions they are regularly asked by Australian languages educators and revivers.

Patyegarang offers both original material and links to existing resources that will assist educators to improve their teaching as part of their language revival process. Much of the material will also be useful to those engaged in language maintenance or second language teaching. Patyegarang is very much a work-in-progress that will grow over time, and is open to suggestions and contributions from users and others working in the field.

David Nathan | (Aboriginal Languages of Australia)

The Aboriginal Languages of Australia Database allows the user to search for words in by category type or by language. The site has annotated links to 224 resources for about 70 languages. About 33% of these resources are produced or published by Indigenous people. There are more than 200 Australian Indigenous languages. Less than 20 languages are strong, and even these are endangered: the others have been destroyed, live in the memories of the elderly, or are being revived by their communities.

 Ngapartji Ngapartji | (Online Course learning Pitjantjatjara Language)

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This online learning site is just one part of what is known as Ngapartji Ngapartji – a long-term, inter-generational language and arts project based on Arrernte country in Mparntwe (Alice Springs, Central Australia).

 

 Yalukit Willam

The City of Port Phillip has made this 2014 publication by Meyer Eidelson available free to read online. The book is a beautifully illustrated, comprehensive guide to the area as known by the Boonwurrung people in the past and the present, based on input from contemporary Elders and Traditional Owners together with the records of their ancestors in historical sources by settlers such as William Thomas.

 

Pages from Couzens Eira pre-pubdraftNewTreeThis article 'Meeting point: Parameters for the study of revival languages' by Vicki Couzens & Christina Eira is a pre-publication draft. The final version is published as Chapter 15 of Austin, Peter and Julia Sallabank (Eds.), Endangered Languages: Ideologies and Beliefs in Language Documentation and Revitalisation. British Academy, 2014.

"As language revival and revitalisation rapidly become primary modes of community-based work in Aboriginal Australia, the need for a theoretical foundation for the linguistic scenarios which emerge is becoming increasingly evident. Language revival presents a new situation for analysis, as the languages are simultaneoulsy researched, learned and developed in a single, overarching and ongoing process. This brings to the fore the need to account for and implement 'vernacular' approaches to language as well as 'disciplinary', as the languages are simply not available for 'objective' academic study outside of community-internal motivations, processes and analysis."

pdfMeeting point: Parameters for the study of revival languages

Find out more about the Meeting Point Project

Find out how to purchase of copy of Endangered Languages: Ideaologies and Beliefs in Language Documentation and Revitalisation.

Pages from ALS2013 StebbinsEiraCouzensThis paper 'I just relexified this one': Translation processes in language revival texts by the Meeting Point Project team, Tonya Stebbins, Christina Eira and Vicki Couzens, is also available in Selected Papers from the 44th Conference of the Australian Linguistics Society, 2013 edited by Lauren Gawne and Jill Vaughan, In Press, 2014. 

"In language revival, the creation of texts is one of the key areas where the work of language development is focussed. As texts are most frequently developed from the starting point of an existing or created text in English, the methods used for translation are crucially important in determining the form of the end product. In this paper, we present a representative selection of texts, and sequences of drafts, to explore the kinds of strategies and resources available to and employed by their writers. Patterns evident within the texts reveal a range of translation strategies, leading to different outcomes for particular texts."

pdf'I just relexified this one': Translation processes in language revival texts

Re-Awakening LanguagesThis paper 'A house already lived in' by Christina Eira & Lynnette Solomon-Dent was published in Hobson, John, Michael Walsh, Susan Poetsch and Kevin Lowe (Eds.) Re-Awakening Langauges: Theory and practice in the revitalisation of Australian's Indigenous languages, Sydney University Press, 2010, pp372-386.

"In Victoria the urgency of language reclamation has motivated communities to focus on using their languages as much and as soon as possible. The analysis of historical resources and its incorporation into community language programs has tended to lag behind. This creates a very particular situation for language research, in that research findings must be used to firm up the linguistic foundations of 'a house already lived in'."

pdfA house already lived in

A link to the free PDF download of the entire book Re-Awakening Languages can be found at the bottom of the page here, courtesy of Sydney University Press. 

In 2002, VACL commissioned the creation of a Database and Dictionary of Aboriginal Placenames of Victoria.

The database is available on CD-ROM and is also available in hard copy as a single full volume or four regional volumes.

The four regions are:

  • South West Victoria
  • North-West Victoria
  • Central Victoria
  • East & North-East Victoria

 Click HERE  to order a copy.

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