The One Root of All Australia’s Indigenous Languages

The linguistic journal Diachronica published a study by Mark Harvey of University of Newcastle and Robert Mailhammer from Western Sydney University.  Their paper addresses the linguistic diversity of Australian languages. Around the time of British settlement in 1788, there were over 200 languages spoken on the continent. That number has dwindled to an estimated 120 indigenous languages still existing, ... Continue Reading →

The Oldest Humans, Aboriginal Australians

A genetic and cultural analysis, published in Nature, of 83 Aboriginal Australians and 25 Papuans from New Guinea suggests there was just one wave of humans out of Africa, 72,000 years ago. These these early migrants gave rise to all contemporary non-Africans, including indigenous Australians and Papuans. This group descended directly from the first people to... Continue Reading →

Light Warlpiri, A Newly Discovered Australian Mixed Language

Linguist Carmel O'Shannessy wrote to the journal Language of a newly discovered language, Light Warlpiri. Her correspondence, "The role of multiple sources in the formation of an innovative auxiliary category in Light Warlpiri, a new Australian mixed language," documents 300 people in a remote desert community about 644 kilometres from Katherine, a town in Australia’s... Continue Reading →

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