Last week, Indigenous languages got some media attention when it was revealed that documents discovered in the archives of the NSW State Library are shedding new light on some little-known languages. Claire Bowern has more on the story and describes how interesting, challenging and worthwhile archival materials can be for efforts to strengthen Aboriginal languages.READ MORE
A team of scientists claim they have demonstrated a super-family of languages the spans most of Europe, northern Asia and some of the Arctic. But are other linguists convinced by their evidence? Lauren Gawne and the Fully (sic) team look at their findings.READ MORE
Lauren Gawne writes: Given that the average PhD thesis would take a full day to read aloud, it’s no mean feat for a research student to distill the importance of their work into just a couple of minutes. That is what University of Melbourne research student Sara Ciesielski has done in this two minute animated [...]READ MORE
Guest blogger and sign language expert Adam Schembri writes: It has been a confusing and disturbing week for the deaf community of Victoria, for Auslan students at TAFE, and for those of us who work for and with deaf community organisations. On Monday, Kangan Institute of TAFE announced that, following cutbacks to the TAFE sector, [...]READ MORE
Yesterday on Radio Australia, Phil Kafcaloudes interviewed linguists Vaso Elefsiniotis, Simon Musgrave, and Ghil’ad Zuckerman about Australia’s endangered languages. Phil asks some tough but good questions, revolving around a central theme that I’ve heard many times before; why we should be ‘preserving’ or ‘maintaining’ these languages when no one is speaking them, to which Zuckerman [...]READ MORE
The recent flooding around southern NSW and northern Victoria has brought a few of Australia’s more interesting place names into the news. Some of them are interesting just for being a bit longer than the normal place name, such as Tallygaroopna. Digging a little further, a number of unusual place names pop out, mostly from local indigenous languages – Boomahnoomoonah, Koonoomoo, Numurrkah, and more.
That said, some of them not only look unusual, but are pronounced in an unusual way.READ MORE