Academic journal article Australian Aboriginal Studies

Collection Report-Audiovisual Archive

Academic journal article Australian Aboriginal Studies

Collection Report-Audiovisual Archive

Article excerpt

Over the past 18 months, the Audiovisual Archive has received some remarkable collection material from Amee Glass and Dorothy Hackett. 'The Ngaanyatjarra Language Project' is the result of more than 45 years living and working with the Ngaanyatjarra people during their time at the Warburton Mission.

The United Aborigines Mission sent Amee and Dorothy to Warburton in 1963, initially to undertake literacy work but which later encompassed Bible translation work commenced by Wilf Douglas and Noel Blythe. In 1966 they received an AIAS grant to enable them to take a number of Pitjantjatjara people to the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) grammar workshop in Brisbane over the summer of 1966-67. This resulted in the publication of Pitjantjatjara texts and grammar. Amee notes, however, that 'we later discovered that the people didn't consider [their language] to be a dialect of Pitjantjatjara but a separate language known as Ngaanyatjarra'.

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Over the years Amee and Dorothy taught many people to read Ngaanyatjarra. During the 1970s Amee was a consultant linguist to the bilingual program at Warburton School, while Dorothy taught an annual three-week Ngaanyatjarra language learning course at the Western Australian Institute of Technology.

Working closely with more than 30 Ngaanyatjarra speakers, Amee and Dorothy translated the New Testament into Ngaanyatjarra. This was published by the Bible Society in 1991. Since that time they have worked on a number of publications including The Ngaanyatjarra and Ngaatjatjarra to English Dictionary, The Ngaanyatjarra Learner's Guide and The Ngaanyatjarra Language Course. …

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