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.
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