Wik: Aboriginal society, territory and language at Cape Keerweer, Cape York Peninsula, Australia

Sutton, Peter (1979). Wik: Aboriginal society, territory and language at Cape Keerweer, Cape York Peninsula, Australia PhD Thesis, School of Social Science, The University of Queensland.

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Author Sutton, Peter
Thesis Title Wik: Aboriginal society, territory and language at Cape Keerweer, Cape York Peninsula, Australia
School, Centre or Institute School of Social Science
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1979
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor -
Total pages 348
Language eng
Subjects 200201 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Studies
Formatted abstract       This is a sociolinguistic study of an Australian Aboriginal community of western Cape York Peninsula, Queensland. Its initial chapter begins with a review of the theoretical literature relevant to the construct of "linguistic community", discusses the Australianist debate over the so-called "dialectal tribe" and surveys the literature on the Wik-speaking peoples. The second chapter presents a description of ecology, subsistence, land tenure and demography in the Cape Keerweer area. It is shown that a pattern of predominant dialectal exogamy is related to the number of dialectally similar clans and the extent to which their territories are contiguous; residence groups are normally poly-lingual. The third chapter discusses social identity, social institutions and personal networks, and lays stress on the relatively unimportant role of dialectal affiliation in political life . There is a lack of congruence between different forms of personal and group identification. The fourth chapter includes a brief description of the dialects of the area, their distribution, relatedness and history. The fifth chapter explores the selection of speech varieties within and across dialects, and the implications of this subtle, complex, selective behaviour for linguistic change. The conclusion foreshadows an expanded model of linguistic community that starts from the primacy of social interaction, in which the flux of personal and group politics is in a feedback relationship with social institutions, values and linguistic competence.
Keyword Aboriginal Australians -- Queensland -- Cape Keerweer
Additional Notes The author has given permission for this thesis to be made open access.

Document type: Thesis
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