What’s new

August 2016 update

Another 75 items have been added to the Virtual Library, bringing the total number of items to over 500, representing over 150 languages ... read more

How to use this Virtual Library

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Update 2024

This site is no longer current and is not being updated. Since 2016, happily, the number of online sources of knowledge about Australian Indigenous languages exploded in number and diversity of sources, especially from Indigenous organisations and individuals. As a result, it became impossible to keep ALoA up to date. It is no longer a key resource.

As the main web portal for Australian Aboriginal languages on the web (part of Tim Berners-Lee’s official W3C Virtual Library (now defunct at https://www.vlib.org/ - see its history) this site provided summaries, guidance and links to quality resources on Aboriginal languages, especially those produced from communities and by community members. It was listed in most of the major international libraries and other institutions as a key site for Australian languages, and attracted over 500,000 hits a year.

Approximately half of the linked sites still exist and the site’s back-end database remains valuable because it contains data which tracks 20 years of the emergence, expansion and changes in the online presence of Australian First Nations languages from the birth of the web.


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Jiwarli [mem]
Source: Peter K. Austin
General information, references and short story with audio, for Jiwarli. There is also a short dictionary sample with the promise of a comprehensive online dictionary.
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Source: Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Languages Centre
Dictionary, finderlist and topical index. Revised version of Peter Austin’ 1992 dictionary.
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Source: Dept Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, University of Melbourne
Introduction to the Jiwarli language, culture and region of NW Western Australia: about Mr Jack Butler, the last native speaker of Jiwarli; photos, maps, texts, hear spoken Jiwarli etc.

This site is no longer live but is held in the NLA's Pandaora archive.

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Source: Peter K. Austin
An outline of Jiwarli's relationships to other languages and its formal linguistic characteristics.
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Source: Peter K. Austin
Slides from Peter’s LSA Summer Institute course on Jiwarli, covering its social and historical contexts, kinship, fieldwork, corpus, language typology, phonology, morphology and syntax.
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Source: Wangka Maya
Comprehensive site based around supporting the languages of the Pilbara area. Has information and resources for 26 Pilbara languages, including overviews and examples, dictionaries, and language teaching materials.
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Source: Peter K. Austin
Paper arguing that in Jiwarli and related languages, word order serves pragmatic purposes in organising discourse, while the morphological shapes of words signal grammatical functions and anaphoric relations.
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