A Grammar of Bilinarra: An Australian Aboriginal Language of by Rachel Nordlinger, Felicity Meakins

By Rachel Nordlinger, Felicity Meakins

This quantity is a grammatical description of Bilinarra, an endangered Australian language. This paintings attracts on fabrics gathered over a 20-year interval from the final first-language audio system of the language, such a lot of whom have considering the fact that gave up the ghost. particular cognizance is paid to all points of the grammar, with all examples supplied with linked sound records.

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The case forms in the free pronouns are completely syncretised, providing no marking distinction between the ergative, nominative and accusative categories. 1). 2). There is no gender distinction made among 3rd person pronouns. Bound pronouns in Bilinarra are 4 The language and its speakers not attached to a catalyst as they are in the other Ngumpin languages; rather, there are a number of complex, discourse-related principles which determine their position within the sentence. The unmarked situation is to attach bound pronouns to the initial constituent of the clause.

This story is confirmed by Mick Yinyuwinma (1991) in another published oral history account of this massacre. Poisoning was also a common method of killing Aboriginal people. As a child Jack Jangari remembers a Bilinarra family group who were camped along a creek now know as Poison Creek. They were killed by a cook who laced a stew he had made for them with strychnine, an event immortalised in the name of the creek (Rose 1991: 45). Rose (1991: 117) reports that the Bilinarra people 18 The language and its speakers Figure 4: Early painting of a gardiya with a hat and a gun on his belt.

Gawarla were also used for carrying babies and for boiling water and cooking berries and bush medicines using hot, flat rocks. The men used other tools, including different types of spears such as nguni ‘shovel-nosed spears’, often thrown using warlmayi ‘woomeras’. Men attached the heads of spears, chisels and axes using jigala ‘spinifex wax’ and gumbun ‘animal tendons’. Spears were used to catch big game and fish. Wirrgala ‘hair string’ was used to make nets to catch flocks of small birds such as gulyulyurra ‘budgerigars’.

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