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Australia's Original Languages

An Introduction

R. M. W. Dixon

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Allen & Unwin
01 July 2019
'A must read for all who would like to understand the languages and culture of Indigenous Australians.' Dr Ernie Grant, Elder of the Jirrbal nation When Captain Cook landed at Botany Bay, about 250 distinct languages were spoken across the continent. Yet Australian Indigenous languages actually share many common features.

Bob Dixon has been working with elders to research Australian languages for half a century, and he draws on this deep experience to outline the common features. He provides a straightforward introduction to the sounds, word building, and wide-ranging vocabulary of Indigenous languages, and highlights distinctive grammatical features. He explains how language is related to culture, including kinship relationships, gender systems, and naming conventions.

With examples from over 30 languages and anecdotes illustrating language use, and avoiding technical terms, Australia's Original Languages is the indispensable starting point for anyone interested in learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait languages.

'Written in an accessible, easy to read style, Professor Dixon's new book is an informative and entertaining introduction to Australia's original languages.' Dr Joe Blythe, Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University
By:   R. M. W. Dixon
Imprint:   Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
Weight:   395g
ISBN:   9781760875237
ISBN 10:   1760875236
Pages:   208
Publication Date:   01 July 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

R. M. W. Dixon is a Professor of Linguistics at James Cook University and Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He has been conducting immersion fieldwork since 1963 and is author of The Languages of Australia, co-author of Australian Aboriginal Words in English, and author of grammars and dictionaries for five Indigenous languages.

Reviews for Australia's Original Languages: An Introduction

'A leading scholar... explain[s] the nature of Australia's Indigenous languages to a non-scholarly audience. The book is at its most telling when it focuses on the fact that a language both creates and reflects a society and its culture.' - Australian Book Review 'Dixon uses easy-to-understand terms; the style is light and often amusing.' - Queensland Reviewers Collective


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