Something Lost, Something Found: Kriol of Northern Australia
Free Public Lecture
T: (03) 8344 3311
Northern Australia has been identified as a global hotspot of endangered languages. In many parts of the remote north, Aboriginal people have not shifted to speaking English but rather new varieties that draw heavily upon English but are systematic, rule-governed language systems in their own right. Known as contact languages, some of them, such as Kriol, are now over a century old and well-established. Kriol’s short history has seen it misunderstood and denigrated by insiders and outsiders and this continues today to some extent. Perceptions persist that the existence of Kriol has a negative effect on traditional languages and economic development. A converse perspective presented in this lecture demonstrates that Kriol can be a valuable resource and source of pride to its speakers and that it conveys rich cultural underpinnings found in traditional languages that are not present in English, which in turn can support the strengthening of endangered Indigenous languages.
Presented by Dr Greg Dickson and Mr Grant Thompson.