2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages: Word of the Week – Week Thirty-Six.

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 IYIL2019 Word of the Week: Week 36.

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.

Extract from ‘Two Sitting Boys Story’, Kite and Wurm (2004).

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 Mackenzie’s Legends of the Goundirs, JUV 398.24 cai

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.

Names for birds, Kite and Wurm (2004)

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.

Wordle depicting words for ‘bird/birds’ from across 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

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

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

References

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

Further Reading

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 QueenslandJ 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