Academic journal article Australian Aboriginal Studies

National Indigenous Languages Survey 2004-Can You Help?

Academic journal article Australian Aboriginal Studies

National Indigenous Languages Survey 2004-Can You Help?

Article excerpt

Sally McNicol writes:

AIATSIS is undertaking a national survey of Australian Indigenous languages. We are seeking information about material relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and culture.

The purpose of the survey is to provide policy makers and funding bodies with information about the language needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as well as to recommend innovative funding tools.

Information gathered by the survey will feed into a database of information on Australian Indigenous languages. It will be used in conjunction with other information previously gathered and held in such databases as the Aboriginal Studies Electronic Data Archive (ASEDA) and the Indigenous Languages Database, and will be available to researchers, government funding bodies, other collecting institutions and especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Information to be collected includes what resources are available in and about specific languages (such as sound recordings, videotapes, books, manuscripts, wordlists, university theses and other studies), the numbers of speakers of each language, what education programs (if any) are available for particular languages, and any other related materials, such as photographs of speakers, and anything which may contain even a couple of words of a language no longer spoken.

A particular aim of the survey is to identify resources where language information is kept, so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have some starting points for collecting language information, and for other collecting institutions to use to refer their clients.

Much information about Indigenous languages is not readily accessible. There are sometimes no records about what language information exists for particular languages. …

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