Download A Grammar of Bilinarra: An Australian Aboriginal Language of by Rachel Nordlinger, Felicity Meakins PDF

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By Rachel Nordlinger, Felicity Meakins

This quantity is a grammatical description of Bilinarra, an endangered Australian language. This paintings attracts on fabrics accumulated over a 20-year interval from the final first-language audio system of the language, such a lot of whom have given that gave up the ghost. unique realization is paid to all facets of the grammar, with all examples supplied with linked sound records.

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Additional resources for A Grammar of Bilinarra: An Australian Aboriginal Language of the Northern Territory

Sample text

For example, manyanyi ‘various species of an aromatic plant’, gubuwubu ‘lemon grass’ and yirrijgaji ‘Dodonaea polyzyga’ were made into medicinal drinks and washes to treat congestion. A common way of preparing these medicines was to mix them into wet slurries of mardumardu ‘termite mound’, which were then slathered on the skin or drunk. The causes of illness, often attributed to sorcery, were dealt with by ‘traditional healers’ called mabarn or gurrwararn who were either men or women called to this role by a garrgany ‘chickenhawk or brown hawk’.

11 These kinship words could be from Jaru or Nyininy which are similar to the Eastern Ngumpin languages (impressionistically – no dictionaries are available unfortunately), although Jaru and Nyininy words contain an additional –di ending. The suffix -rti has been observed on kinship terms in neighbouring languages including Warlpiri, Warlmanpa, Jaru, Mudburra and Walmajarri (Nash 1992). The word for ‘sister’ is more curious as it is close to the recognitional demonstrative nyanawu. 12 Note that bardardi is recorded as meaning ‘ring place’ in the Bilinarra, Ngarinyman and Gurindji dictionaries.

Now only a handful of people from one family claim some Karrangpurru heritage. Nothing remains of the Karrangpurru language (Rose 1991: 7578; Lewis 2012: 8990). The Bilinarra fared only a little better. With the establishment of a police station, in 1894, massacres became an officially sanctioned method of population control. The site of the police station was on Bilinarra country at Balarrgi (Police Hole) on Gordon Creek, a tributary of the Victoria River. Constable Willshire was the first police officer posted there; he was later replaced by Sergeant O’Keefe who was stationed there until 1898, before the police station was moved to its current location at Timber Creek (Rose 1991: 29).

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