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Working with communities on language revitalisation: Some Australian experiences

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Over the past six years I have been working with Australian Aboriginal communities on recovery of their linguistic and cultural heritage with the goal or revitalising their indigenous languages:

• in South Australia with the Dieri Aboriginal Corporation concerning the Diyari language – see Austin 2014, • in Western Australia with the Ingaarda Aboriginal Corporation on the Yinggarda language, and the Baiyungu Aboriginal Corporation and the WA Parks and Wildlife Service on the Bayungu language (

This talk discusses some of the opportunities this work has created as well as the various linguistic and non-linguistic challenges that have arisen, and how we have attempted to address them, including the use of community-based training workshops, social media and online blogs. It also addresses the challenge of using a limited data corpus for linguistic analysis – a reality inevitable in the cases of some endangered languages.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Endangered Languages and Cultures Group series.

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