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.
This week’s word of the week is watyi [pronounced wah-chee] meaning ‘to speak’. It is from the Minginnda language of the Gulf region.
Minginnda is also known as Mingin, Minkin, Min Gin, Myngeen, etc. and was spoken on the Barkly River catchment and Burketown. Not much is documented on the language apart from historical wordlists from the 1880’s. Two such lists including the one above were published in Curr, 1887.
Recent linguistic work on Mingin was undertaken by Nick Evans in 1990 – an article “The Minkin language of Burketown” was published in Studies in comparative Pama-Nyungan. This forms the main linguistic evidence on Mingin and indicates a connection to the neighboring Yukulta and Ganggalida languages of the Nicholson River catchment.
This week’s word is a reminder that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages were oral-based; this is the foundation for State Library’s Spoken exhibition.
Join the conversation as we post a new word for each week!
Week Forty-Nine 3-9 December 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. 19 October 2019 to 10 May 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. 21 November 2019 to 19 April 2020.
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.
Sources: Evans, N. (1990) “The Minkin language of Burketown” in O’Grady, G. and Tyron, D.Studies in comparative Pama-Nyungan. Online access via One Search.
Breen, J.G. (1981) The Mayi Languages of the Queensland Gulf Country. Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies Press. J 499.15 bre
Curr, E. M. (1887) The Australian Race: its origins, languages, customs, place of landing in Australia and the routes by which it spread itself over that continent. RBF 572.994 cur
Tindale, N. B. (1974) Aboriginal Tribes of Australia: Their Terrain, Environmental Controls, Distribution, Limits and Proper Names. Q 994.0049915 tin
“Minkin Dialect” in The Australasian Anthropological Journal. Pages 12-13, August 10, 1896. Online access via Trove/NLA.
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)