In The News

Barngarla Songs

Nexus Arts will work with the Barngarla community (SA), Gunditj/Kurnai musician and student of linguistics Corey Theatre (SA), Ngaanyatjarra musician and choir leader Vonda Last (SA), Barngarla leader and linguistics student Stephen Atkinson (SA), and video and sound artist Dave Laslett (SA) to record traditional Barngarla songs and stories from Elders, and adapt and compose new songs in Barngarla through intergenerational music workshops for recording and public performance.

Language no boundary for Steven Atkinson

5 May 2015 | Melissa Bermingham, The Transcontinental

BARNGARLA Language Advisory Committee interim chairperson Steven Atkinson is passionate about helping others find their cultural roots through language.

The Barngarla language reclamation was mentioned by Judge Mansfield in his Native Title decision:

22 January 2015

773: The fact that Barngarla language is now being relearnt by some claimants, due to the work of Adelaide University academic Ghil‘ad Zuckermann, is not evidence of continuity of the Barngarla language, although it is evidence of continuity of a notion of Barngarla identity, a notion that clearly existed amongst the Barngarla community at 1846, when Barngarla people told Schürmann of the “Barngarla matta”, and which can thus be inferred to have existed at sovereignty.

774: Other than knowledge of the Barngarla language acquired through the Adelaide University programme, there was very limited evidence to support the applicant’s assertion that current Barngarla claimants have “varying levels of knowledge and use of Barngarla language and words.”

Indigenous Barngarla Australians win land claim

22 January 2015 | BBC News Australia

Australia's indigenous Barngarla people have won a campaign, lasting nearly 20 years, for the law to recognise their right to traditional lands.

Barngarla people rediscover their language

25 September 2013 | Nancia Guivarra, SBS News

It’s the first time ever in Australia that an Aboriginal language considered to be dead is being reclaimed from anthropological records. Today the Barngarla people of Port Lincoln on the Eyre Peninsula began the long road to relearn their language

Aboriginal community in South Australia reclaim lost language

23 September 2013 | Nancia Guivarra, SBS News

The Barngarla language hasn’t been spoken for 50 years, but that’s not enough to stop the Barngarla people from learning their traditional tongue.

Language lost and regained

20 September 2013 | Stephen Atkinson, The Australian

As a child living in the Bush around Iron Knob, Whyalla and Port Augusta in South Australia my mother ran through the sandhills playing and talking with her brothers and sisters in their native Barngarla tongue. Life seemed to be happy and free.

Reclaiming their language

30 July 2013 | Port Lincoln Times

A Language revival project to reclaim the Barngarla Aboriginal language on Eyre Peninsula will continue after funding was secured for workshops for the next three years.

Rejoicing at AUSTRALEX

28 July 2013 | Jane Simpson, Endangered Languages and Cultures

AUSTRALEX held its biennial conference in a surprisingly green Adelaide, and the tall gums were filled with birds rejoicing. 

Cultural historical event begins

25 July 2013 | Daniela Dean, Whyalla News

A historical event 175 years in the making took part in Whyalla on Friday, July 19.This event came in the form of a visit by the director of the Leipzig Lutheran Mission, Reverend Volker Dally, to the Barngarla people of Whyalla.

Endangered Indigenous language back from the brink

25 July 2013 | Caroline Winter, ABC News

When it comes to Indigenous languages in Australia the situation is grim according to a leading linguistics professor.

Barngarla delegation heads to Canberra

15 May 2013 | Daniela Dean, Whyalla News

Jeanita Taylor had a close encounter of the political kind when she was given the opportunity to take a ‘selfie’ with Kevin Rudd while visiting the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies in Canberra earlier this year.

Pride and identity: Reviving Indigenous languages

06 May 2013 | Andy Park, SBS News

Around 93 percent of Australian Indigenous languages have become extinct, but one South Australian community is working to make sure they don’t become a statistic.

Linguicide: How dying languages kill multiculturalism

19 Macrh 2013 | Andy Park, SBS News

Half of the world’s 7000 languages will disappear in the next 100 years. But one professor of endangered languages says it’s a community’s many tongues that make it strong.

Kangaroo blood and salt tears

17 April 2013 | Andy Park, SBS News

There’s blood on my shoes and all around me the skins of roos are being wrenched off their thick tails.

‘Sleeping’ languages may be lost forever

18 September 2012 | Prof Ghil'ad Zuckermann, Otago Daily Times

Prof Ghil'ad Zuckermann argues that the loss of language is more severe than the loss of land.

Language revival: Sleeping beauties awake

12 September 2012 | The University of Waikato

Australia ought to learn from Aotearoa New Zealand in giving its indigenous languages official status and erecting bilingual road signs, says a world-renowned expert on language revival.

Language revival expert calls for native tongue title

28 August 2012 | Scoop Culture

Language revival expert calls for native tongue title. A world-renowned expert on language revival says the loss of language is more damaging than the loss of land for indigenous peoples, and governments are likely to come under increasing pressure to compensate indigenous peoples for this loss too.

Stop, revive and survive

06 June 2012 | Prof Ghil'ad Zuckermann, The Australian

Linguicide (language killing) and glottophagy (language eating) have made Australia the unlucky country. With globalisation, homogenisation and Coca-colonisation there will be more and more groups added to the forlorn club of the lost-heritage peoples.

Australia’s unspeakable indigenous tragedy

06 May 2012 | The Punch

Niina marni. That’s “hello” in the Kaurna language of the Adelaide Plains. And isn’t it a travesty that none of us learnt it in school. Of the 250 Aboriginal languages spoken across Australia before white settlement, only 15 (or six per cent) are still spoken fluently across all age ranges.

Compensation for lost languages

27 June 2011 | The Australian

Israeli-born Ghil’ad Zuckermann, a professor of linguistics and endangered languages at Adelaide University, said of the 250 known Aboriginal languages, only 15 were widely spoken or used by all age groups within a community.

Aboriginal languages deserve revival

26 August 2009 | Prof Ghil'ad Zuckermann, The Australian

The more languages we know, the more likely we are to embrace different perspectives. The intellectual gains of being bilingual have been scientifically demonstrated. Most recently, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2009) described the cognitive gains in seven-month-old bilingual infants.

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