2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages: Word of the Week - Week Forty-Six.

As part of State Library's commitment to the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, we will be promoting a 'word of the week' from one of the 125+ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and dialects from across Queensland.

State Library's IYIL2019 Word of the Week: Week 46

This week's word is pama from the Umbuygamu language of Cape York. It means 'man' or 'people' and is found and used in a number of languages in Far North Queensland, ranging from Cairns north to the tip of Cape York.

Umbuygamu also known as Umbuykamu, Umpuykumu, etc. is often categorised under Morrobalama as part of the Lamalamic group of languages located in the Princess Charlotte Bay region of Eastern Cape York.

Journal of H.M.S. Endeavour, 1768-1771 .

The above image from the Journal of the HMS Endeavour indicates that in 1770, Cook at Wahalumbaal Birri also recorded bamma / bama as the word for 'a man'. Today, it is used as a general reference to people and provides the basis for Pama-Nyungan as a term to describe Australia's largest language family. This family contains over 300 languages and extends from the Pama languages of Australia's northeast to the Nyungan languages of the southwest.

Gulumba Dance Group, Laura. JOL Negative number: 10183-0001-0001

The centrality of people to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language will be a feature of State Library's upcoming language exhibitions. Join the conversation as we post a new word for each week!

Week Forty-Six 12-18 November 2019.

#slqIYIL #IYIL2019 #IYIL #IY2019WordoftheWeek #SLQIndigenousLanguages

Desmond Crump

Indigenous Languages Coordinator, State Library of Queensland

State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Webpages

State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Map

Jarjum stories: A kuril dhagun showcase focusing on children’s books and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. 19 October 2019-10 May 2020.

Spoken: celebrating Queensland languages: A major exhibition exploring the survival and revival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages throughout Queensland. Join in the many talks and events to celebrate the rich and diverse languages spoken today. Opens 21 November 2019-19 April 2020.

UN IY2019 Links

UN International Year of Indigenous Languages webpages

UN International Year of Indigenous Languages Resources

References

The word of the week has been sourced from the following item in the State Library collections.

Source:  Ogilvie, S. (1994) The Morrobalama (Umbuygamu) language of Cape York Peninsula, Australia. Online access via One Search.

Further Reading

Other materials in the State Library collections relating to Umbuygamu and neighbouring languages, include the following:

Dixon, R. and Blake, B. (Eds) (1979) Handbook of Australian Languages. G 499.15 1979

Gulumba Dance Group, Laura. JOL Negative number: 10183-0001-0001

Journal of HMS Endeavour, 1768-1771. NLA Manuscript

Kinslow-Harris, J., Wurm, S. and Laycock, D. (1971) Papers in Australian linguistics, no. 4. Q 499.15 kin

Ogilvie, S. (1994) The Morrobalama (Umbuygamu) language of Cape York Peninsula, Australia. Online access via One Search.

Passani, P., Lakefield, A. with Popp. T. (2006) Lamalama country : our country : our culture-way. Edited by Bruce Rigsby and Noelene Cole. P 305.89915 BAS

Sutton, P. (ed) (1974) Languages of Cape York: papers presented to the Linguistic Symposium, Part B, held in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies Biennial General Meeting, May, 1974. Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies: Canberra. G 499.15 1976

Tindale, N. B. (1974) Aboriginal Tribes of Australia: Their Terrain, Environmental Controls, Distribution, Limits and Proper NamesQ 994.0049915 tin

Weblinks

Pama Language Centre

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