Date: 11-Nov-2008 From: Anna Ash <MRALCwestnet.com.au> Subject: Handbook of Aboriginal Languages of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory: Wafer, Lissarrague, Harkins E-mail this message to a friend
Title: Handbook of Aboriginal Languages of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory
Publisher: Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Co-operative Ltd.
Author: Jim Wafer
Author: Amanda Lissarrague
Author: Jean Harkins
Hardback: ISBN: 9780977535187 Pages: 830 Price: AUS $ 135.00
New South Wales was the first part of Australia to be colonised and so the written records of the state's Indigenous languages go back more than 200 years. The body of linguistic information that has accumulated over that period is considerable, but it is also very uneven in its quality and coverage. The Handbook distils this information in a way that makes it easily accessible to a broad audience.
The Handbook combines the functions of both a guidebook and a dictionary. It runs to just over 830 pages and is divided into two parts: the first part is a survey of the Indigenous languages of NSW and the ACT (including Aboriginal English), giving information about dialects, locations, maps, and resources available for language revitalisation; the second part provides word-lists in practical spelling for 42 distinct language varieties. There is also useful information on sign languages and kinship classification, as well as an appendix on place names.
The Handbook is a valuable reference and educational resource, useful to Aboriginal people who want to revitalise their languages and to those in the broader community who simply want to know more about the state's rich linguistic heritage. It will be particularly helpful in the planning and implementation of primary, secondary and tertiary educational programs dealing with Aboriginal languages and linguistics.