Gija (East Kimberley, Western Australia) – language snapshot

Caroline de Dear, Francesco Possemato, Joe Blythe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Gija is an endangered Australian Aboriginal language spoken in the east Kimberley region of northern Western Australia. It is no longer acquired as a first language, nor spoken fluently by younger generations of Gija people, who instead largely speak Kimberley Kriol (an English-based lingua franca) with some Gija vocabulary. Due to widespread concern about the vitality of their language, many members of the community are actively engaged in language revitalisation efforts. Although academic publications are scarce, the linguists who have worked with the Gija community since the 1980s have produced language-learning materials and records of ethnobiological knowledge, oral history, and stories told through painting. Numerous community-oriented language publications aimed at maintenance of the language and culture have also been produced. A video corpus of face-to-face Gija conversations is currently being developed to support community-led initiatives for language documentation and revitalisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-141
Number of pages8
JournalLanguage Documentation and Description
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

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  • Gija language
  • endangered Languages

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