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Media: Endangered Australian Language Recorded in Dictionary

Submitter: Brent Woo

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Linguistic Field(s): Language Documentation

Subject Language(s): Wajarri

Media Body: Wajarri, a Pama-Nyungan language spoken in southwestern Australia, has been captured in a 2,500 entry dictionary. The language was attacked starting in the 1940s, when the government forbade the use of it. Recently efforts have been made to revive the language but the damage has been done: there are only a few elderly speakers left. With the concerted effort of about 100 community members and linguists, the dictionary was completed in April 2012. It took about 25 years to compile.

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Issue Number: 23.1733
Date Posted: April 04, 2012