English as an Aboriginal language in Southeast Queensland

Eades, Diana (1983). English as an Aboriginal language in Southeast Queensland PhD Thesis, School of Social Science, The University of Queensland.

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Author Eades, Diana
Thesis Title English as an Aboriginal language in Southeast Queensland
School, Centre or Institute School of Social Science
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1983
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Supervisor -
Total pages 338
Language eng
Subjects 420101 English
Abstract/Summary This thesis is a sociolinguistic examination of the use of English by Aboriginal people in Southeast Queensland (SEQAB people). It is written within a framework of the ethnography of speaking, and specifically relates what people say (language form), to its effect on people (language function), examining aspects of context. This ethnographically based language study goes beyond formal details of grammatical structure, presents new data on the Aboriginal use of English, and explores some areas where the conventional grammatical analysis of Standard English does not adequately account for differences between Aboriginal and White Australian uses of English. It also provides evidence which shows that Aboriginal ways of speaking persist in a region where traditional Aboriginal languages are rarely used. The first chapter introduces the study, giving background to the research and motivating the central questions addressed in the thesis. The second chapter provides the theoretical orientation of the thesis, asks its central questions and, after reviewing the ethnography of speaking literature, provides a framework to answer them. The third chapter reviews literature on Australian Aboriginal languages from a sociolinguistic perspective. The fourth chapter provides background information about SEQAB society. The following three chapters treat the SEQAB use of English, each chapter focusing on a specific function of language: the fifth chapter focuses on seeking information, the sixth chapter on giving and seeking reasons for actions, and the seventh chapter on talking about future action. The final chapter concludes that while linguistic forms used by SEQAB speakers of English are mostly shared with White Australian speakers of English, there are crucial differences in meaning which can be understood only in terms of the SEQAB socio-cultural context, including customary intentions of speakers and interpretations of hearers. Considering the data and analysis presented in this thesis, I assert that SEQAB people today use English as an Aboriginal language.
Keyword English language -- Australia
English language -- Dialects -- Queensland
Additional Notes This study has been uaidertaken essentially as a contribution to social history, to the exploration of facets of the Catholic sub-population in Queensland over the years 1910 to 1935. It is not an ecclesiastical history, nor a political or economic one, though considerations of prior concern for each such history impinge centrally on its subject matter. It will be argued that around both the years 1910 and 1935 new kinds of consciousness were emerging, both v/ithin the Church in Queensland and in its wider environment. This interval has been seen, therefore, as a unit permitting of a degree of discrete study. The author has given permission for this thesis to be made open access.

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Created: Mon, 28 Sep 2009, 14:07:54 EST by Ms Christine Heslehurst on behalf of Social Sciences and Humanities Library Service