In honour of the recent 40th anniversary of the Wave Hill walkoff, this week’s language is Gurindji.
I suspect that Gurindji is one of the few language names that are nonindigenous Australians know. That’s because of the walkout and the subsequent hand back of land by the then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.
Gurindji is a member of the Ngumpin-Yapa subgroup of Pama-Nyungan. It’s a Ngumpin language and is thus quite closely related to Walmajarri and Jaru, and less closely related to Warlpiri.
Patrick McConvell has been working on the language for quite a long time now, and has a number of publications on various aspects of Gurindji synchronic language, language contact, and historical linguistics.
It’s actually quite difficult to find Web materials on Gurindji. Most of the information available is about the Wave Hill walk off/strike and the subsequent handing back of land. There’s nothing on Gurindji in David Nathan’s virtual library of Australian languages, for example. The Daguragu community web site has a couple of sentences on language. And there’s a nice web page on the Gurindji Kriol project run by Patrick McConvell, Jane Simpson and Gillian Wigglesworth. Patrick has a paper on emergent mixed languages, which includes Gurindji as an example (along with Tiwi), and Felicity Meakins and Patrick have a rippper of a paper on Gurindji Kriol in an AJL from 2005 (link to papers resulting from the Gurindji Kriol project is here and includes the AJL paper).
Here’s a link to the Google scholar search for Gurindji grammar if you’re interested in the non Web publications on Gurindji. I would have a link here to a search on Mura, but the site was down when I was writing this post. It is almost never down, though so you check back soon.