Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/804714
- NSW contact languages
- The University of Newcastle. Faculty of Education & Arts, School of Humanities and Social Science
- This group includes two contact languages, NSW Pidgin and Aboriginal English, that are distinct but related in complex ways, both linguistically and socially. They are not considered to be genetically related to Aboriginal languages of the Australian language family because they have not developed from an Australian language via the usual process of language evolution. Nonetheless, they show strong influences from the structure and grammatical features of traditional Aboriginal languages. This introduction is followed by a brief section on each of the two languages, incorporating bibliographic and other relevant details, but not following the same headings as are used for the other Aboriginal languages in this handbook. Few of those headings would be relevant here. These sections are followed by a bibliography for the entire chapter. These two contact languages can be regarded as related to each other, in that NSW Pidgin was one of the sources, although not the only source, from which contemporary Aboriginal English developed. Tryon and Charpentier describe the development of a coastal variety and an inland variety of the NSW pidgin from the 1860s. The coastal variety stabilised as a Pacific pidgin, while the inland variety spread northward into Queensland and across the whole of northern Australia, forming the basis of the several creole languages of the north. Aboriginal English exists in NSW today because it was formed in response to, and continues to be shaped by, Aboriginal peoples' communicative purposes and needs. As long as cultural survival remains a reality for Aboriginal people and their communities, their communicative purposes and practices will differ significantly from those of non-Aboriginal speakers, thus ensuring the survival, and ongoing growth and change, of their distinctive form of language. Aboriginal people and communities do not need to worry that Aboriginal English is an obstacle to language maintenance or to full mastery of English. Rather, it is a unique cultural asset that enriches their range of linguistic resources, and can rightly be enjoyed as a source of solidarity and pride. By preserving structural and discourse features from traditional languages, Aboriginal English can assist its speakers to access and understand their traditional language heritage; and it can serve educationally and socially as a key to accessing the full English bidialectal competence to which most NSW Aboriginal people aspire.
- A Handbook of Aboriginal Languages of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory p. 402-412
- Muurrbay Aboriginal Language & Culture Cooperative
- Resource Type
- book chapter