From linguistic research findings to useful products for Australian Aboriginal communities

Laughren, Mary (2013) From linguistic research findings to useful products for Australian Aboriginal communities. etropic: Electronic Journal of Studies in the Tropics, 12 1: 73-83.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Laughren, Mary
Title From linguistic research findings to useful products for Australian Aboriginal communities
Journal name etropic: Electronic Journal of Studies in the Tropics
ISSN 1448-2940
Publication date 2013-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 12
Issue 1
Start page 73
End page 83
Total pages 11
Editor Anita Lundberg
Place of publication Cairns, QLD, Australia
Publisher School of Humanities, James Cook University
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
As a linguist investigating the Warlpiri language of central Australia since 1975 and the Waanyi language of the Gulf of Carpentaria region since 2000, my research has always had dual goals. One is to gain a better understanding of the nature of human language generally through detailed documentation and deep analysis of particular human languages, such as Warlpiri and Waanyi, and comparison with other languages; the other goal has been to produce materials of direct relevance and utility to the communities of these language speakers. This paper addresses the second goal. Firstly I briefly describe ways in which linguistic research findings have been 'converted' into pedagogic materials to support the bilingual education programs in the Warlpiri community schools (Lajamanu, Nyirrpi, Willowra and Yuendumu) from the mid 1970s to the present, a period which has seen dramatic technical innovations that we have been able to exploit to create a wide range of products accessible to the public which have their genesis in serious linguistic research. Secondly I discuss some aspects of the interdisciplinary (linguistics and anthropology) “Warlpiri Songlines” project (2005-9) for which over 100 hours of traditional Warlpiri songs were recorded and documented; older analogue recordings were digitised and ceremonial performances were video recorded. Thirdly, I touch upon the ongoing development of a Waanyi dictionary and language learning materials in collaboration with Waanyi people living at Doomadgee in north west Queensland who want to extend knowledge of their ancestral language within their community, since this language is no longer used as a primary language of communication. Finally, I cite some of the many recent innovative examples of ways in which linguists and anthropologists are drawing on contemporary technology to transmit their research findings to both the general public and to the communities in which their research is carried out.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Special Edition: "TransOceanik: Academic Research & Public Domains", a selection of papers first presented at the colloquium organised by the TransOceanik Links research group in collaboration with the Culture, Agency and Change Research Group, The Cairns Institute, the Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Sociale, CNRS, Paris, and the School of Arts and Social Sciences, James Cook University. The colloquium was held at The Cairns Institute (TCI), the tropical research institute of James Cook University which serves its tri-city campuses in Cairns, Townsville and Singapore.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Languages and Cultures Publications
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Created: Thu, 23 Jan 2014, 01:13:32 EST by Ms Katrina Hume on behalf of School of Languages and Cultures