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Weki Weki

Earliest reference to language name: 1859 (Beveridge in Victoria 1859)

Meaning: presumably derived from distinctive word for ‘no’

Sub-dialects: none identified


This group is first recorded in the work of Beveridge (1865, 1884, in Victoria 1859), Smyth (1878 – derived from Beveridge), Mathew (papers), and Howitt (1904; papers). Beveridge recorded ‘Waiky Waiky’, and Mathews recorded Werka Werka tjali; Warka tjali; and Weika tjali. Locative references include ‘about Piangil’ (Howitt 1904), ‘Piangil to Euston’ (Howitt Papers), and ‘about 30 ml below Swan Hill at Noorung’ (Mathew Papers). Clark (1990, 1996), considered this name to be a variant of Wergaia, reduplicated, because there was no information concerning clan organization or linguistic information available at that time to support a separate identity. Recent work by Blake and Reid (1998) suggests the Piangil dialect was slightly different from Wadiwadi, and this may support the integrity of Wekiweki as a language1 group. This is also confirmed by notes in John Mathew’s papers (Ms 950 (f) (1)), ‘Waki Waki lang that spoken by Isaac McDuff about 30 ml below Swan Hill at Noorung’, a reference to Narung, which is consistent with Smyth’s reconstruction from information supplied by Beveridge.


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