Yagara Dictionary and Salvage Grammar

Yagara Dictionary and Salvage Grammar

Authored by: Karen Sullivan orcid, Glenda Harward-Nalder

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Most English speakers in Australia know a few words of Yagara, the Pama-Nyungan language traditionally spoken in the area that now includes Brisbane and Ipswich. For example, Australian English yakka ‘work’ comes from the Yagara verb yaga ‘to work’. However, no fluent native speakers of Yagara remain. The current volume compares the written records of Yagara to facilitate revitalisation of the spoken language.

Part 1: Grammar introduces the Yagara sources, which are then compared to extract a picture of Yagara’s structure – its sounds, its words, and its grammar. Attention is also given to the system of kinship terms, moieties, and totems.

Part 2: Dictionary contains the most complete Yagara-English dictionary to date, with over 2,200 entries, the original source spellings for each word, standardised spellings, and anthropological notes. Entries include traditional place names, fun insults, and everyday expressions such as the greeting wi balga ‘Hey, come’. The dictionary is followed by an English word finder list.

Part 3: Texts consist of full versions of all known texts in Yagara, including sentences, songs, and three Bible stories. Standardised versions are accompanied by English translations and the original unedited renditions.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
ANU Press
Asia-Pacific Linguistics
Arts & Humanities: Linguistics; Social Sciences: Indigenous Studies

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