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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/805160
- Death, God and linguistics: conversations with missionaries on the Australian frontier, 1824-1845
Carey, Hilary M.
- The first encounters between Aborigines and Europeans in south-eastern Australia were constrained by profound social and linguistic barriers, but they did provide opportunities for cultural exchange. This article argues that important evidence is contained in linguistic materials compiled by missionaries for the purposes of evangelisation and scripture translation. It interprets the linguistic work of Lancelot Threlkeld (1788-1859), who conducted a mission on behalf of London Missionary Society and, later, the government of New South Wales, to the 'Awabakal' or Kuri people of the Hunter River and Lake Macquarie region from 1824-1841, and William Watson (1798-1866) and Janzes Günther(1806-1879) of the Church Missionary Society, whose mission was to the Wiradhurri people of Wellington Valley, NSW, from 1832 to 1843, as sources for life on the colonial frontier. It argues that linguistic sources provide a unique insight, expressed in languages now extinguished, into the conversations conducted by missionaries on issues such as language difficulties, the nature of the soul, spiritual beings, death, violence and the disintegration of traditional society.
- Australian Historical Studies Vol. 40, Issue 2, p. 161-177
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- journal article
- This is an electronic version of an article published in Australian Historical Studies Vol. 40, Issue 2, p. 161-177. Australian Historical Studies is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1031-461X&volume=40&issue=2&spage=161