I referred to the work of Professor Peter Austin on Australian indigenous languages in Sunday Essay - academic research and indigenous ownership. In one of those nice surprises that marks the blogging world, Peter left a thank you note on a an earlier post I had written on his work on the New England history blog. In doing so, he gave me some update information.
The photo is taken from the launch of a resource kit at Tamworth in 2006 on the Yuwaalaraay and Gamilaraay (Kamilaroi) languages.
The Yuwaalaraay is a related language group stretching out into the deserts to the west of Gamilaraay.
Normally I would respond on my New England blogs and indeed will do so. However, one of the links Peter provided takes you through to part of a site where you can actually hear the now reviving Gamilaraay spoken. I thought that some of my readers might actually like to hear a New England Aboriginal language.
If you would like to listen, you can find the link here.
Did you know that globally one human language dies every week as the last speakers' die? As they do, another piece of the human past vanishes.
On the other side of the ledger, some dead or nearly dead languages have been revived. I was surprised at the scale of the revival process in some European countries and have been meaning to write about this.
It seems that as life gets more complicated, our desire to cling to our own special pasts increases. My own desire to revive New England is not, after all, as strange as it seems!
In a comment onthis post in his Google Reader series Neil said:
Very interesting, though I am not really sure, with all due respect, that the parallel drawn at the end is really valid...
Neil, to use a very old phrase, I think that your petticoat is showing. The ending was a light one, but you have now drawn me into a substantive response.
The only way that I can interpret your comment is that my desire to revive New England is somehow less important than the restoration of Gamilaraay or, for that matter, Cornish. If so, your are wrong and on so many levels that I do not even know where to begin.
I will not respond further now. I will respond in detail not just because it bears upon my own past, but because it also highlights some of the issues I referred to in Gaza, democracy and the question of world government.