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The Australian National University

Aboriginal English

 J.M. Arthur. Oxford University Press, 1996. 264 pages. ISBN 0 19 554018 2.

Aboriginal English is the first and most significant dialect of Australian English. The term `Aboriginal English' refers to the form of English used by Aboriginal people. It is a complete language, incorporating elements of Standard Australian English and many Aboriginal languages.

This book deals with the vocabulary of Australian English. It is arranged thematically around the experiences that have shaped that vocabulary. Arthur shows how the values of traditional Aboriginal society (especially spirituality and kinship relationships) were expressed in a new language, how this language dealt with the attackes on thos values by the white colonisers, and how more recently this language has become an important marker of Aboriginal cultural identity, celebrating continuity, survival, and renewal.

Updated: 22 March 2011/ Responsible Officer:  Centre Director / Page Contact:  Web Publisher