Language, heart and mind: Can Aboriginal languages be revived?

Language, heart and mind: Can Aboriginal languages be revived? Book Section

Stephen Harris—Writer, Educator, Anthropologist: Kantriman Blanga Melabat (Our Countryman)

  • Author(s): Harris, John
  • Secondary Author(s): Devlin, Brian Clive, Kinslow-Harris, Joy, Friedman Devlin, Nancy Regine, Harris, Jane Elizabeth
  • Published: 2022
  • Publisher: Springer Nature Singapore
  • ISBN: 978-981-16-8648-1

Abstract: This chapter explores John Harris and Stephen Harris’s shared interest in Aboriginal languages and their intrinsic role in the maintenance of culture. The words of a rap song performed by Groote Eylandt youth say ‘We walk two roads’, a major theme of Stephen’s life work in bilingual education, what he called ‘two-way education’. The rap song also proclaims, ‘Strong language, strong mind’, naming the deep truth that language is the carrier of culture, without which culture cannot be labelled, envisioned or discussed. The chapter then goes on to consider damaged or ‘sleeping’ languages and whether they can be ‘reawakened’. A major case study demonstrates that Bible translation into the endangered Nyoongar language has prompted language recovery and raised people’s sense of identity and self-esteem.

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Suggested Citation
Harris, John, 2022, Language, heart and mind: Can Aboriginal languages be revived?, Book Section, viewed 24 July 2024, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=30665.

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