Animals

Nov 3, 2017

Word of the week: aherlkelh-ilem: “make the sun come up” (Anmatyerr)

The nyarew cuckoo [Horsefield's Bronze-cuckoo] sings out from hollow trees, or maybe from a forked branch. The nyarew sings out all night, and makes the daylight come.

Bob Gosford — Likes birds and people, not necessarily in that order.

Bob Gosford

Likes birds and people, not necessarily in that order.

This latest Word of the Week comes from the Central & Eastern Anmatyerr to English Dictionary.

aherlkelh-ilem

Make the daylight come, make the sun come up. Nyarew angkerl-anem rlpwerel,arnerl-apem, arnangantarlkwel apek. Kwenyel all night angkerl-anem nyarew, aherlkelh-ilem nyarewel. (N)

The nyarew cuckoo [Horsefield’s Bronze-cuckoo] sings out from hollow trees, or maybe from a forked branch. The nyarew sings out all night, and makes the daylight come.

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From the Central & Eastern Anmatyerr to English Dictionary, published by the wonderful mob at IAD Press in Alice Springs, Australia and compiled by Jenny Green. Jenny Green is a linguist and artist. She has worked extensively with Aboriginal people in the Alice Springs region and in Central Australian bush communities for more than 25 years, researching languages, ethnography and cultural history, and has considerable knowledge of the Alyawarr, Anmatyerr and Arrernte languages.

Photo of Horsefield’s Bronze-cuckoo Chalcites basalis by Kay Parkin, 2014 from Bushpea.com

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2 comments

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2 thoughts on “Word of the week: aherlkelh-ilem: “make the sun come up” (Anmatyerr)

  1. graybul

    Beautiful imagery . . . both word and description.

    1. Bob Gosford

      Thanks – I’ve got a big collection of local dictionaries so I’m going to keep plundering them (in the nicest possible way) for a little while.

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