Gija (Australia) – Language snapshot

Gija (Australia) – Language snapshot Journal Article

Language Documentation and Description

  • Author(s): de Dear, Caroline, Possemato, Francesco, Blythe, Joe
  • Published: 2020
  • Volume: 17

Abstract: Gija is an endangered Australian Aboriginal language spoken in the east Kimberley region of northern Western Australia. It is no longer acquired as a first language, nor spoken fluently by younger generations of Gijapeople, who instead largely speak Kimberley Kriol (an English-based lingua franca) with some Gija vocabulary. Due to widespread concern about the vitality of their language, many members of the community are actively engaged in language revitalisation efforts. Although academic publications are scarce, the linguists who have worked with the Gija community since the 1980s have produced language-learning materials and records of ethnobiological knowledge, oral history, and stories told through painting. Numerous community-oriented language publications aimed at maintenance of the language and culture have also been produced. A video corpus of face-to-face Gija conversations is currently being developed to support community-led initiatives for language documentation and revitalisation.

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Suggested Citation
de Dear, Caroline, Possemato, Francesco, Blythe, Joe, 2020, Gija (Australia) – Language snapshot, Volume:17, Journal Article, viewed 30 November 2023,

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