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Comparing three north west indigenous wordlists

Petkovic, J. (2007) Comparing three north west indigenous wordlists. IM: Interactive Media (3).

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According to Tom Carter the indigenous languages from the North West region of Australia had much in common at the time of his writing and could be considered as similar dialects. If Carter is correct it is then possible to imagine that an unknown North West wordlist can be identified by cross-checking it with better known North West wordlists. This is in essence what the writing below sets out to do with the indigenous wordlist in the Stefano manuscript.2 Specifically it compares the indigenous Stefano wordlist with two other early North West indigenous wordlists, namely:

(i) The wordlist compiled by Daisy Bates from around 1904–1912 from five North West Cape and Gascoyne contributors but primarily from Tom Carter.3

(ii) Ngarluma vocabulary left to us by Aubrey Hall.4

The primary aim of this comparison is to learn something about the indigenous words in the Stefano manuscript and if possible to confirm the meaning attributed to these words by the two Stefano survivors. When appropriate, reference will be made to the previous analysis of the Stefano indigenous wordlist by Allan Dench.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): National Academy of Screen and Sound
School of Media, Communication and Culture
Publisher: National Academy of Screen and Sound
Copyright: 2009 Murdoch University
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