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An introduction to Gamilaraay, an Indigenous language being rebuilt

Please note: This course will be delivered online

Additional enrolment information

A fee reduction of 50% applies for Indigenous people (please email us at clt@anu.edu.au if you are eligible for this discount)

In this course, you will learn some of the main features of Gamilaraay language structure and a limited vocabulary and speak some basic Gamilaraay. You will also learn about the processes of language rebuilding/revival and about the importance of language to Gamilaraay people.

Gamilaraay lands, by Sisters Under the Skin, Moree
Gamilaraay lands, by Sisters Under the Skin, Moree

Course Outline

This course will cover a number of topics of the Gamilaraay language. In each topic, introductory material will be covered in detail and practised, and then an overview of the broader topic will be given. For instance, a few more frequently used pronouns will be practised, then the full paradigm of 54 pronouns introduced, as well as other features of pronouns.

Language topics:

  • the sound system
  • demonstratives
  • pronouns
  • the case system
  • verbs
  • adjectives
  • questions and indefinites

A number of areas of language revival will be discussed, including:

  • the importance of revival
  • the outcomes of revival
  • historical sources
  • language rebuilding.

The actual language work will be based on Wiidhaa, the first year university text, available at https://press.anu.edu.au/publications/textbooks/wiidhaa.

Information about the sources for our knowledge of Gamilaraay can be found in Yaluu: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/132639

A number of Gamilaraay people speak about the importance of language at: https://slll.cass.anu.edu.au/research/projects/gamilaraay-voices

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course you will:

  • know a number of Gamilaraay words
  • speak and understand some basic Gamilaraay language
  • know where to find information about some other, more complex, aspects of the language
  • be aware of some of the major differences between Gamilaraay and English
  • have introductory knowledge about the process and possible outcomes of language revival,
  • have heard the views of some Gamilaraay people on the importance of language.

Who should enrol

The course does not assume any prior knowledge.