As part of State Library’s commitment to the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, we will be promoting a ‘word of the week’ from one of the 125+ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and dialects from across Queensland.
State Library’s word of the week for Week Five is binay which is from the Yugara language of the Greater Brisbane Region – it means ‘listen’ and was first documented in 1841 by Reverend Christopher Eipper who was in charge of the German Mission Station which was located near present-day Nundah.
Eipper submitted this statement as a report on the Mission which was established in 1837 – the booklet was published in 1841 and can be found in the State Library Collections. While the document describes the general running of the Mission, it also includes 2 pages of language content, being everyday words and a selection of simple phrases and sentences.
The above image from page 10 lists the word pitney as meaning ‘hear, understand’ – Aboriginal sounds written in colonial texts often had difficulty in distinguishing between voiced [b, d, g] and voiceless [p, t, k] stops. In modern spelling this word becomes binay. Eipper also documents the word in a sentence Inter pitney meaning “you know” – this would become nginda binay in modern spelling.
The above image from the State Library’s collections shows Enid Bell of Coochin Coochin Station via Boonah listening attentively to Queen Susan (Bunjoey) as she documents Yugarabul language and stories from the district – some of these were published in Legends of the Coochin Valley (J 398.232943 BEL).
State Library of Queensland invites you to celebrate the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages as we raise awareness of the rich diversity of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.
Join the conversation as we post a new word for each week!
Week Five 29 January – 4 February 2019.
#IYIL2019 #IYIL #IY2019WordoftheWeek #SLQIndigenousLanguages
Indigenous Languages Coordinator, State Library of Queensland
State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Webpages
State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Map
UN IY2019 Links
UN International Year of Indigenous Languages webpages
UN International Year of Indigenous Languages Resources
The word of the week has been sourced from the following historical text in the State Library collections.
Image: Enid Bell and Susan (Bunjoey) at Coochin Coochin Station, Boonah (1933) JOL Negative 18942
Other materials in the State Library collections relating to Yugara and neighbouring languages include the following:
Bell, E. (1940) Legends of the Coochin Valley J 398.232943 BEL
Finch, C. W. (1842) Charles Wray Finch Papers 1842-1860 OM78-92/4
Holmer, N. (1983) Linguistic Survey of South-Eastern Queensland. Australian National University: Canberra. J 499.15 HOL
Meston, A. (undated) Archibald Meston Papers Undated. OM64-17
Pamphlett, T. and Uniacke, J. (19–) Narrative of Thomas Pamphlett, aged thirty-four years, who was with two other men wrecked on the coast of New Holland in April 1923 and lived among the natives for seven months. VF 910.453 pam
Ridley, W. [Papers, 11 May 1824-c. 25 Feb. 1878, including notes on Aboriginal peoples, 1853-1864] [microform] FILM 0705
Ridley, W. (1855) W Ridley Notebook, 1855. OM79-32/17
Watson, F. J. (1944) “Vocabularies of four representative tribes of South Eastern Queensland”; supplement to the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia (Queensland), No. 34, Vol XLVIII. REFJ 499.15 wat
Watson, F. J. (1941) F J Watson Papers 1941 OM73-20