How many Aboriginal languages exist, where are they spoken and how are they learned by children? Do dictionaries of Aboriginal languages exist? What kinds of new language have emerged in the last two hundred years? What is the connection between land, people and language in Aboriginal Australia? How does the use of English disadvantage Aboriginal people? Language and Culture in Aboriginal Australia offers answers to these questions, and more.
Language and Culture in Aboriginal Australia provides a series of studies of aspects of language and culture in different parts of Aboriginal Australia. Chapters deal with subjects including why a young Aboriginal woman in rural Australia might end up pleading guilty to a crime she didn’t commit; the picture of ‘language ownership’ which can be drawn from recent research on land rights; what we know of the first white settlers’ attempts to learn the language of the Sydney region; the first dictionaries compiled in South Australia; and how Aboriginal languages are now being used in the media and education.
Each study contributes to a composite Australia-wide picture of language and culture in Aboriginal Australia, accessible to anyone with an interest in the area. Language and Culture in Aboriginal Australia is of particular use to teachers and students involved in Aboriginal studies in the upper secondary years and at introductory levels in universities. Its value as an educational resource is enhanced by bibliographical reference, maps, and questions for further discussion at the end of each chapter.