Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Four different ways to say "good"

Waddib (B.coccinea) at Mt Barker Banksia farm source:wikipedia

I've posted at my Noongar language web site a copy of Daisy Bates 1914 article on Noongar dialects. It confirms my opinion that one of her best qualities was her linguistic skill. In analysing her genealogical data I learnt to trust her spellings of individual names, even though she might get a relationship wrong she never misheard a person's name.

She identifies 17 different dialects within Noongar country which is easily the biggest number identified by anybody but which also accords with the accounts of many Noongar people I've spoken to who insist that there are far more local variations than are generally given credit for in the academic linguistic literature.

Here are Daisy's variations on gwab, good.

Gwâba, good (Swan, Bunbury, Vasse)
Gwâba-gwaba, very good (Swan, Bunbury, Vasse)
Gwabalitch or gwâbajil, best.
ŋwiri, good. (Dunan dialect, Capel)
ŋwiri- ŋwiri, very good. (Dunan dialect, Capel)
Gwâb, good. (Katanning.)
Gwâbărt, very good; or Gwâbadăk. (Katanning.)
Kwâb, good. (Esperance, also Kaiali wongi.)
Kwâbadăk, very good. (Esperance, also Kaiali wongi.)

Pia (B. occidentalis) source: wikipedia commons

I've also updated the list of plant names including some banksia's recorded by Baron Hugel recorded in Albany in 1832-3. Waddib, Banksia coccinea and pia, Banksia occidentalis. The latter is (probably mistakenly) recorded as B. Grandis by other 19th Century authors(Moore, Grey, Lyons etc.).
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2 Comments:

Blogger David said...

I think you are right about Bates' linguistic skill (based on what I have seen of her other vocabularies besides the Noongar ones). For more background on Bates we now have Bob Reece's recent article 'You would have loved her for her lore’: The letters of Daisy Bates in Australian Aboriginal Studies 2007/1 (abstract here)

9:15 pm  
Blogger thewizardalbany said...

Hi Bob
Michelle just discovered your blog and it looks great. I am looking forward to perusing it! I have added it to my blog thewizardalbany.blogspot.com
I hope you are going Ok

Robin

3:52 pm  

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