LINGUIST List 15.2481

Tue Sep 7 2004

Books: Language Description/Duugidjawu: Kite et al

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  1. jmanley, The Duugidjawu language of southeast Queensland: Kite, Wurm

Message 1: The Duugidjawu language of southeast Queensland: Kite, Wurm

Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2004 08:50:32 -0400 (EDT)
From: jmanley <>
Subject: The Duugidjawu language of southeast Queensland: Kite, Wurm

Title: The Duugidjawu language of southeast Queensland
Subtitle: Grammar, texts and vocabulary
Series Title: Pacific Linguistics

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher:	Pacific Linguistics

Author: Suzanne Kite
Author: Stephen Wurm

Paperback: ISBN: 0858835509, Pages: xiii + 298 pp, Price: AUS $ 80.00


In the late 1950s and early 1960s, before he began work on the
languages of New Guinea, Stephen Wurm undertook considerable fieldwork
on languages of northern New South Wales and southern Queensland. His
fullest materials were on Duugidjawu, spoken just to the northwest of
Brisbane, and were recorded between 1955 and 1964.

Wurm was generous in making his materials available to selected
researchers, and in 1997, an arrangement was made with Wurm for
Suzanne Kite to write an MA thesis analysing these materials. These
consisted of tapes and transcriptions, with Wurm's translations of
these in his own shorthand, which only he could read. When he was in
Canberra, Wurm would spend one or two afternoons each week going over
these materials with Kite, explaining the shorthand and reviving his
knowledge of the language. He had never written a draft grammar of
Duugidjawu, but effectively had one in his head. It was hard to
remember things exactly after a period of almost forty years and Kite
sometimes mediated between what was on the tapes and Wurm's
explications during their collaboration.Stephen Wurm passed away in
late 2001, after the thesis had been approved but before this work
could be published.

This is a slightly revised version of Kite's thesis. It comprises an
invaluable record of the language of the Duuidjawu people, and through
this of their traditions, customs and laws. It is the only substantial
record of a language which differs in various respects from
prototypical non-prefixing Australian languages.It has five vowels and
a fair number of monosyllabic words. Pronouns and nouns referring to
humans or to dogs have distinct case forms. Following the grammar
sketch are all the texts recorded by Wurm and a full vocabulary and
thesaurus. All Wurm's information was provided by Willie McKenzie,
believed to be about eighty years old in October 1955. He died in

Lingfield(s):	Language Description
Written In:	English (Language Code: ENG)

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