And still they speak DieriPeter K. AustinEndangered Languages Academic ProgrammeSOAS, University of LondonandANDC, Austral...
Or …If you live long enough you may see wonderous things
Thanks to The Dieri Aboriginal Corporation Office for the Arts – DAC ILS grant Greg Wilson, independent education profe...
Overview Background – Dieri people, place, language and  culture A bit of history Dieri Yawarra project The DAC ILS pr...
To start: some misinformation
Ethnologue 2013
Definitions from Ethnologue   9 Dormant – The language serves as a reminder    of heritage identity for an ethnic communi...
Dieri elders 2008
Auntie Rene Warren 2010
Dieri mob February 2013
Eastern Lake Eyre languages
Our whitefella history account begins
A bit of local history   1862 – Alfred Howitt (King’s rescuer) meets Dieri at Lake Hope   1864 – Thomas Elder establishe...
Missionary products   ?1879 – Flierl – a grammar of Dieri essentially the same as that of    Schoknecht (above) together ...
Bethesda Lutheran Mission, Killalpaninna, 1910
Mission closed   1915 – South Australian government orders    closure of all German-owned properties; Dieri    join Abori...
Language use and literacy in Dieri   1907 – 1914 postcards in Dieri written by    Rebecca Maltilina to Dorothea (Dora) Ru...
(Pseudo)-linguistic research 1937 – Fry collection of traditional Dieri stories  written by Sam Dintibana with glosses by...
Linguistic research 1968-70 David Trefry – Dieri phonetics 1968-72 Luise Hercus – Alec Edwards, Ben  Murray recordings ...
Community developments 1990s- Formation of Dieri Aboriginal Corporation – 600  members in Maree, Lyndhurst, Broken Hill, ...
Agreement with Santos 2011
Native title May 2012 (lodged 1997)
   This Consent Determination covers some 47,000    square kilometres of land, with part of its south-    eastern boundar...
Dieri Yawarra project 2008-2010 Greg Wilson (then at Department of Education  and Children’s Services) co-ordinated Dieri...
Ngayana Dieri Yawarra Yathayilha 2010-2011 development of language lessons for  schools on model of Arabana programme,  P...
ILS project Workshops February 2013 Adelaide, March 2013  Port Augusta, April 2013 Adelaide Materials development – song...
Dictionary
Semantic fields
Songs – old
Songs – new
March 2013 workshop, 4 generations
Music maestro
Straight to Facebook
The words in DieriNgathu traina ngarayi yara wakararnanhiNgathu wata dityi nhayirna warayiJailanhi nganha kurrarna Folsom ...
Interim summary   40 years ago Dieri people were living in tin    shacks on margins of Maree, Port Augusta,    Broken Hil...
 Strong political leadership, championing  language issues Enthusiastic community participation (5% of DAC  participatin...
Challenges DAC internal politics Fluent speakers all old and very shy, good semi-  speakers shy and “expensive” Issues ...
Language revitalisation   “Language revitalization, language revival or reversing language shift    is the attempt by int...
Issues with revitalisation Some linguists are opposed. Dimmendaal (2004:  84): “Revitalisation, in my view, should not be...
More issues Some examples of practice but virtually no theory Weak ethnography (meta-documentation) Anecdotal reports b...
Crystal – how to revitalise your language increase your prestige within the dominant  community increase your wealth in...
The next steps for the Dieri project Ethnography of Dieri revitalisation Establishing clear goals and means to achieve  ...
Thank you!
ANU seminar "And still they speak Dieri"
ANU seminar "And still they speak Dieri"
ANU seminar "And still they speak Dieri"
ANU seminar "And still they speak Dieri"
ANU seminar "And still they speak Dieri"
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ANU seminar "And still they speak Dieri"

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Discussion of the history of the Dieri language spoken in South Australia and its current status and language revitalisation

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ANU seminar "And still they speak Dieri"

  1. 1. And still they speak DieriPeter K. AustinEndangered Languages Academic ProgrammeSOAS, University of LondonandANDC, Australian National University
  2. 2. Or …If you live long enough you may see wonderous things
  3. 3. Thanks to The Dieri Aboriginal Corporation Office for the Arts – DAC ILS grant Greg Wilson, independent education professional SOAS for granting research leave Amanda Laugesen (ANDC) & Jane Simpson (SLS) for funding and logistic support ANDC colleagues for their welcome, support and facilities (and the endless supply of Tim Tams) Luise Hercus for getting me started on this journey almost 40 years ago
  4. 4. Overview Background – Dieri people, place, language and culture A bit of history Dieri Yawarra project The DAC ILS project Remarks on language revitalisation Conclusions
  5. 5. To start: some misinformation
  6. 6. Ethnologue 2013
  7. 7. Definitions from Ethnologue 9 Dormant – The language serves as a reminder of heritage identity for an ethnic community, but no one has more than symbolic proficiency. 10 Extinct – The language is no longer used and no one retains a sense of ethnic identity associated with the language.
  8. 8. Dieri elders 2008
  9. 9. Auntie Rene Warren 2010
  10. 10. Dieri mob February 2013
  11. 11. Eastern Lake Eyre languages
  12. 12. Our whitefella history account begins
  13. 13. A bit of local history 1862 – Alfred Howitt (King’s rescuer) meets Dieri at Lake Hope 1864 – Thomas Elder establishes cattle station at Lake Hope 1867 – Moravian and Lutheran missionaries – Killalpaninna and Kopperamanna 1869 – Lutherans return to Bethesda after police station established at Kopperamanna 1870 – anonymous – Diyari reader: contains list of symbols, syllables, words, sentences and short texts – probably by Schoknecht 1871-3 – Schoknecht – 37pp German-Dieri and Dieri-German vocabulary 1871-3 – Schoknecht grammar of Diyari (translated by Schoknecht’s son in 1947) almost identical to Flierl (?1879) and Reuther (1899); these later grammars were probably refinements of Schoknecht’s earlier work.
  14. 14. Missionary products ?1879 – Flierl – a grammar of Dieri essentially the same as that of Schoknecht (above) together with parallel entries for Wangkanguru. 1880 – Flierl – a translation of catechism 1884 – anonymous – manuscript translation of Epistles and Gospels from German into Dieri by unknown author (probably Flierl who left to go to New Guinea this year). 1897 – Reuther and C. Strehlow – translation of the New Testament. The spelling is identical to Flierl (1880) 1899 – Reuther extensive manuscript materials 1900 – Siebert Dieri legends in the mission spelling with German translations and commentary. 1902-4 – Howitt and Siebert more Dieri legends in English translation. ?1914 – Riedel translation of the Old Testament four parts 381 pp, never published
  15. 15. Bethesda Lutheran Mission, Killalpaninna, 1910
  16. 16. Mission closed 1915 – South Australian government orders closure of all German-owned properties; Dieri join Aboriginal camps on stations to south (Wire Yard, Mulka, Finnis Springs, Muloorina, Murnpeowie and Mundowdna) looking for work, and also further east, around Broken Hill Missionaries and their descendants continue to visit Dieri yearly until 1960s
  17. 17. Language use and literacy in Dieri 1907 – 1914 postcards in Dieri written by Rebecca Maltilina to Dorothea (Dora) Ruediger at Bethesda mission (see Aboriginal History 1986) 1940s and 1950s letters by several Dieri speakers to Theodor (Ted) Vogelsang, son of lay mission helper Hermann Vogelsang about their daily lives, sharing news about what was going on among the community
  18. 18. (Pseudo)-linguistic research 1937 – Fry collection of traditional Dieri stories written by Sam Dintibana with glosses by Ted Vogelsang 1938-41 – Berndt and Vogelsang texts and vocabulary in mission spelling (except ŋ for ng), word-by-word gloss by Ted Vogelsang 1953 – Berndt ethnographic text purporting to describe pre-contact day in the life of a Dieri man. Sydney (Capell) spelling
  19. 19. Linguistic research 1968-70 David Trefry – Dieri phonetics 1968-72 Luise Hercus – Alec Edwards, Ben Murray recordings 1974 Peter Austin BA Honours thesis on Dieri 1975-1978 Peter Austin PhD thesis on grammar of Dieri 1981 A Grammar of Diyari, South Australia CUP 1980s Papers on literacy, texts, biography of Ben Murray Late 1980s end of Austin’s active research
  20. 20. Community developments 1990s- Formation of Dieri Aboriginal Corporation – 600 members in Maree, Lyndhurst, Broken Hill, Port Augusta, Whyalla DAC purchases properties, Port Augusta & Broek Hill Purchase of Maree Station and camp ground – handover at dawn 20th September 2008 ABC news story
  21. 21. Agreement with Santos 2011
  22. 22. Native title May 2012 (lodged 1997)
  23. 23.  This Consent Determination covers some 47,000 square kilometres of land, with part of its south- eastern boundary extending into the Strzelecki Regional Reserve and part of its western boundary extending into the Lake Eyre National Park Lander v State of South Australia [2012] FCA 427 (1 May 2012)
  24. 24. Dieri Yawarra project 2008-2010 Greg Wilson (then at Department of Education and Children’s Services) co-ordinated Dieri Yawarra resulting in print resource and CD-ROM. Greg worked with Dieri Resources Development Group in Port Augusta, most of whom are now involved with the current ILS project. 15 interactive components introducing learners to Dieri vocabulary and grammar, like Ngakarni palku ‘my body’ or Karnaya putu ‘people’s things’.
  25. 25. Ngayana Dieri Yawarra Yathayilha 2010-2011 development of language lessons for schools on model of Arabana programme, Powerpoint shows, not published Recordings of 2000 sound files, mostly vocabulary and simple sentences Bernard Schebeck processes Reuther dictionary Peter Austin meets Port Augusta group, August 2010, identifies fluency levels Application for ILS grant by DAC 2011 Grant awarded July 2012, project begins October 2012
  26. 26. ILS project Workshops February 2013 Adelaide, March 2013 Port Augusta, April 2013 Adelaide Materials development – songs, bilingual dictionary, Willsden Primary school language programme Blog dieriyawarra.wordpress.com 15 posts (February-March), 653 hits (as of 2013- 02-19) Community engagement process
  27. 27. Dictionary
  28. 28. Semantic fields
  29. 29. Songs – old
  30. 30. Songs – new
  31. 31. March 2013 workshop, 4 generations
  32. 32. Music maestro
  33. 33. Straight to Facebook
  34. 34. The words in DieriNgathu traina ngarayi yara wakararnanhiNgathu wata dityi nhayirna warayiJailanhi nganha kurrarna Folsom PrisonanhiYa traina wapayilha San Antonaya
  35. 35. Interim summary 40 years ago Dieri people were living in tin shacks on margins of Maree, Port Augusta, Broken Hill Today, 2 generations later, we have major changes:  A clear corporate identity  Ownership of land  Recognition of traditional ownership and relationships with miners
  36. 36.  Strong political leadership, championing language issues Enthusiastic community participation (5% of DAC participating in each workshop) Desire and willingness to learn Good resource base – funds, recordings (Austin 50 hours, Hercus 12 hours, Wilson 2,000 files), grammar, dictionary, talented and well-trained community members (teachers, health professionals, singer etc.), highly experienced teacher-linguist, available linguist who worked with previous generations
  37. 37. Challenges DAC internal politics Fluent speakers all old and very shy, good semi- speakers shy and “expensive” Issues of planning, processes and flexibility Lack of staff with back office skills Monitoring and evaluation lacking School programme implementation Availability of teacher-linguist and linguist …
  38. 38. Language revitalisation “Language revitalization, language revival or reversing language shift is the attempt by interested parties, including individuals, cultural or community groups, governments, or political authorities, to reverse the decline of a language … Although the goals of language revitalization vary by community and situation, a goal of many communities is to return a language that is extinct or endangered to daily use. The process of language revitalization is the reverse of language death” (Wikipedia) But intergenerational transmission is not the only worthwhile outcome of language revitalisation – e.g. Dorian 1987; Austin & Sallabank 2013 on the importance of the concomitant revitalisation of people
  39. 39. Issues with revitalisation Some linguists are opposed. Dimmendaal (2004: 84): “Revitalisation, in my view, should not be given high priority. When individuals decide to give up their mother tongue, they usually have good reasons for doing so.” Blench (2007: 53): “Almost by definition it is hardly worthwhile to spend limited resources on languages whose speakers seem to be deserting them.” Lack of funding support (cf. ELDP, DoBeS, DEL) Poor intellectual cousin of documentation
  40. 40. More issues Some examples of practice but virtually no theory Weak ethnography (meta-documentation) Anecdotal reports but little scientific analysis Political quagmire In Australia  Much of rhetoric about language revival is based on “basket cases” (Amery, Giacon, Zuckerberg)  Dieri, Arabana and Adnyamathanha are different  Pedagogy issues – ACARA
  41. 41. Crystal – how to revitalise your language increase your prestige within the dominant community increase your wealth increase your legitimate power in the eyes of the dominant community have a strong presence in the education system write down the language make use of electronic technology But what is the process? How do we do this?
  42. 42. The next steps for the Dieri project Ethnography of Dieri revitalisation Establishing clear goals and means to achieve them Role of school programmes vs. community engagement (trips to country where language would be used) Monitoring and evaluation Most difficult of all – longer term sustainability
  43. 43. Thank you!

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