Fieldwork plans (1)

I’m leaving Canberra on Monday morning (6am, just as well I’m still jetlagged) for Adelaide for the ALS/ILC meeting, which I’m really looking forward to. I’m going to serialise my fieldwork and travel plans here over the next few days.

I’m going to the SA Museum on Monday to look at the Bardi and Nyulnyulan materials in the Tindale archive. This is part of my quest for world domination plan to see/get copies of everything that’s ever been collected of these languages. I did a survey of previous work on Bardi and Jawi for a book that Bill McGregor is editing (should be out early next year): here are some stats:

  • The first surviving documentation is from 1904, but there were probably two other pieces of work before that.
  • Basic vocabulary has been collected by the following people:
    • Bates (1904) (with Hadley?)
    • Bird (1910)
    • Elkin (1923? – can’t remember)
    • Laves (1929)
    • Nekes and Worms
    • Capell (1940)
    • Coate (1940s for Bardi and Jawi; only a little of the Jawi material survives)
    • Douglas (1940s)
    • Tindale
    • Peile (1965?) — unauditioned recordings
    • Nora Kerr
    • C D Metcalfe (1970-72)
    • Moya Smith (1980s)
    • Gedda Aklif (1990s)
    • KLRC/Kimberley Catholic Education
    • Edith Nicolas (1996)
    • me (1999-)
    • Harrison and Anderson (2007)

Total number of distinct lexical items collected? Just on 4000, all of which are in Aklif, Metcalfe, Laves and Bowern (Aklif and Metcalfe have about 1200 distinct words each; Laves has a few hundred and my work accounts for the rest). This work is overwhelmingly concentrated in a single dialect, since it was done after 1970, when a convergence to Ardiyol Bardi was already in progress.


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