2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages: Word of the Week – Week Eleven.

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.

IYIL2019 Word of the Week: Week 11.

This week’s word is aigi [pronounced eye-gi], from the Gudang language of Eastern Cape York, particularly the area around Somerset and Albany Bay. This word means ‘sandy beach’; it also refers to sand.

Somerset Hill Beach, JOL Negative number 153655.

The above image from the John Oxley Library photographic collection depicts a British Marine Camp on Somerset Hill which is in the vicinity of where the words were collected two decades earlier. The informant who provided the words is identified as an Aboriginal man named Paida who spoke and understand both languages.

Narrative of the voyage of the HMS Rattlesnake, p. 281.

The above image is an extract of a comparative wordlist of ‘two vocabularies of the neighborhood of Cape York’ provided by Paida – the two languages are Kowrarega [more commonly known as Kaurareg] and Gudang. This wordlist is an appendix to The Narrative of the Voyage of HMS Rattlesnake published in 1852 and represents one of the few known sources for the Gudang language. The Pama Language Centre is supporting descendants of Gudang in their language revival.

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 Eleven 12-18 March 2019.

#IYIL2019 #IYIL #IY2019WordoftheWeek #SLQIndigenousLanguages

 

Desmond Crump

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

References

The word of the week has been sourced from the following historical item in the State Library collections.

Source: Macgillivray, J. (1852) Narrative of the voyage of the HMS Rattlesnake … [Facsimile edition] J 919.02 M’GI

Images: British Marine Camp on Somerset Hill, Cape York, Queensland, ca.1869. JOL Negative number: 153655

Further Reading

Other materials in the State Library collections relating to Gudang and neighbouring languages include the following:

Macgillivray, J. (1852) Narrative of the voyage of the HMS Rattlesnake … [Facsimile edition]  J 919.02 M’GI

Sutton, P. (ed) (1974) Languages of Cape York: papers presented to the Linguistic Symposium, Part B, held in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies Biennial General Meeting, May,1974. G 499.15 1976