It was about one and a half years ago that I finally I arrived where I had always wanted to be and do what I had always wanted-- teach students, support small language communities and conduct research on African languages on my doorstep. The University of Cape Town and my new colleagues welcomed my efforts to establish the Centre for African Language Diversity-- CALDi as well as The African Language Archive-- TALA and I was recently appointed the Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity this initiative. The main aim of CALDi is to train young African scholars in descriptive linguistics and open up space for research into African languages at UCT with the hopes of countering the dominance of African linguistics outside the continent. It has been a great challenge for which my whole career has been a form of preparation...Read more
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The Bunganditj (Buwandik) language of the Mount Gambier Region
A single language appears to have been spoken in a triangle that stretched from somewhere north of Lacepede Bay on the coast of South Australia across to Bordertown on the Victorian border and south to the coast where the mouth of the Glenelg in far western Victoria formed the south-eastern corner. A consideration of various references indicates clearly that the territory of the Buwandik, alternatively Bunganditj, extended to the mouth of the Glenelg and further north it extended to Coleraine and perhaps Balmoral.
Practically all our data comes from old sources. There are twelve sources of vocabulary for the language and two direct sources of grammatical information on the dialect spoken by the Booandik or Bunganditj. One source for the grammar is a sketch of three pages by D.S. Stewart; the other is a slightly longer sketch by R.H. Mathews, which exists in two forms, manuscript and published. Some further grammatical information can be obtained from the 'Mount Gambier' sentences in William Thomas' Dialogues in six dialects (details below), and a few further scraps can be gleaned from the word lists, specially from the one by Stewart which accompanies his grammatical sketch.