Australian Aboriginal words in dictionaries: a history

Dixon, R.M.W. (2008) Australian Aboriginal words in dictionaries: a history. International Journal of Lexicography, 21 (2). pp. 129-152.

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Abstract

Over 400 words have been borrowed from the Aboriginal languages of Australia into Australian English, some into other varieties of English and thence into other languages. A chronological account is provided of how English dictionaries have dealt with the commonest loans - kangaroo, boomerang, koala, dingo, wombat and a few more. There is comparison with the way in which loans from American and African languages were treated. Although there were ca 250 distinct indigenous languages in Australia, words taken from them were marked just as 'Aboriginal' or 'native Australian' until the publication of the second edition of the unabridged Random House Dictionary in 1987, of The Australian National Dictionary in 1988 and of Australian Words in English, their Origin and Meaning in 1990. The paper concludes with a survey of the ways in which other dictionaries have dealt with the newly-made-available etymologies.

Item ID: 17794
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1477-4577
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2011 01:45
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200407 Lexicography @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture @ 100%
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