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.
With the onset of Spring, this week’s word of the week is djiwi [pronounced jee-wee] meaning ‘birds’. It is from the Duungidjawu language of South-East Queensland, which is centred on the Stanley and Brisbane River Catchments and takes in the localities of Moore, Kilcoy and Durundur. Duungidjawu is also spelt Djunggidjau, Dungidau, Djunggidjau and often categorised as a dialect of Waka Waka.
The above extract is from a series of Duungidjawu stories told by Uncle Willie MacKenzie and featured in the work of Kite and Wurm who studied the language in 2004. Their publication The Duungidjawu language of South-East Queensland: Grammar, Texts and Vocabulary is held in the State Library collections and is the the most comprehensive guide to the language.
Uncle Willie was the main informant for this language and has provided examples in other texts which are found in the State Library collections; notably Uncle Willie MacKenzie’s Legends of the Goundir [image above]. Sound recordings of his stories and language are held at the University of Queensland’s Fryer Library.
Djiwi is the generic word for ‘bird or birds’ – some languages also differentiate between small and big birds. For example, in Duungidjawu bidji is the generic word for a large bird. Many species of birds have their own distinct names, as depicted in the above image from The Duungidjawu language of South-East Queensland.
The wordle image above shows a selection of language words for ‘bird/birds’ from across Queensland – do you know the word for ‘bird’ in the local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language?
Join the conversation as we post a new word for each week!
Week Thirty-Six 3-9 September 2019.
#slqIYIL #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
Jarjum stories: A kuril dhagun showcase focusing on children’s books and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. Opens 19 October 2019.
Spoken: celebrating Queensland languages: A major exhibition exploring the survival and revival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages throughout Queensland. Join in the many talks and events to celebrate the rich and diverse languages spoken today. Opens 21 November 2019.
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 items in the State Library collections.
Source: Kite, S. & Wurm, S. (2004) The Duungidjawu language of Southeast Queensland: Grammar texts and vocabulary. J 499.15 KIT
Other materials in the State Library collections relating to Duungidjawu and neighbouring languages include the following:
Cairns, S. & Cobbo, F. (1967) Uncle Willie MacKenzie’s Legends of the Goundir. JUV 398.24 cai
Holmer, N. (1983) Linguistic Survey of South-Eastern Queensland. J 499.15 HOL
Langevad, G. & Winterbotham, L. P. (1982) Some original views around Kilcoy, Queensland. [includes The Gaiarbau Story]. Q 994.30049915 SOM
Mathew, J. (1910) Two representative tribes of Queensland: with an inquiry concerning the origin of the Australian race. J 306.0899915 MAT
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