Kaurna Warra Pintyanthi
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Languages Projects

  • Consolidating Kaurna Language Revival (CKLR): 2012-2015
    In 2012 KWP through the University of Adelaide was successful in its application for triennial funding from the Commonwealth Government Indigenous Languages Support (ILS) program. A small team was employed to undertake the work of KWP and specifically to produce Kaurna media. A Kaurna Language Learning series and Kaurna for Kids were created on YouTube where the "Pirltawardli Puppet Show" is being produced. Resources have also been developed for radio and television (e.g. NITV). ...
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  • Kaurna Learner’s Guide "Kulurdu Marni Ngathaitya"
    KulurdyMarniNgathaitya! Kaurna Learner's GuideThe Kaurna Learner’s Guide (Amery & Simpson with KWP) was finally published in 2013 after many years in the making. The Kaurna Learner’s Guide was first funded through a Commonwealth Government grant in July 2005 and an additional small grant in 2010 to facilitate its publication. The Kaurna Learner’s Guide is a major collaborative effort involving many Kaurna people, whose profiles and thoughts about revival of the Kaurna language are published in the front of the book.
    The learner’s guide received very positive reviews:
  • Kaurna Dictionary Project
    Following a decision in 2010 to revise Kaurna spellings, Commonwealth Government MILR funds were granted to KWP through the University of Adelaide in 2011 to develop a Kaurna Dictionary. Jasmin Morley was employed to work on this project at the direction of Rob Amery and KWP. Pilot versions of the dictionary were produced in 2014 which are used internally within the KWP team, but much more work remains before the dictionary is ready for public release. Following efforts to make the dictionary internally consistent and consistent with the Kaurna Learner’s Guide, we intend to release the dictionary in print and electronic form (including as a phone app). Of course the dictionary project will be ongoing as new words are added to the lexicon and as our understanding of the Kaurna language develops.
  • Kaurna Radio and Downloads
    In 2010 KWP was funded through the Commonwealth Government MILR program to develop two Kaurna radio shows. A series of scriptwriting workshops with Kaurna people were held in 2010 and recordings made in the Radio Adelaide studios. The first show, focussing on Kaurna language, land and identity, went to air on Radio Adelaide on 2 July 2012. This project fed into the current CKLR project which continues to produce Kaurna media.
    See the article by Rob Amery (Taking to the airwaves: a strategy for language revival, 2012) for discussion of radio as a strategy for reintroducing the Kaurna language.
  • Kaurna Placenames Research
    Rob Amery began to investigate Kaurna placenames during the course of his PhD (1995-1998). In 1996 Rob was approached by Dot Davy (now Dot Goldsmith) then working for the Adelaide City Council to undertake further historical research and to develop a Kaurna place naming proposal, together with Kaurna people, for Council, completed in January 1997.
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  • The history book Feet On the Fleurieu:
    Chester Schultz's work on placenames accumulated information about informants who provided placenames and other Aboriginal information at first contact. In 2011 it became clear that a substantial piece of new historical writing was needed, which would
    • make it unnecessary to tell the same story repeatedly in essays on individual place names, and
    • illuminate the historical processes by which these names were preserved, including the stories of some little-known Aboriginal individuals.
    Using a wide range of primary sources, it traces Kangaroo Islanders, Aboriginal women associated with them, and local Aboriginal groups (Adelaide to Encounter Bay) from the 1820s to the mid 1840s.  The book project has received small grants from the Yitpi Foundation and KWP.  It is hoped that it will eventually appear in full on this website.
    Chester Schultz:  Feet On the Fleurieu, Language On the Land: the story of the first guides, interpreters and explorers around Fleurieu Peninsula (in progress since 2011).
  • History of the Kaurna Language in the City of Adelaide
    Kaurna is the language Indigenous to Adelaide and the Adelaide Plains. When Adelaide was first established Kaurna was a vibrant language spoken by the original inhabitants of Adelaide – the Kaurna people. The colonists even made use of the language, and for at least a few years, knowledge of Kaurna was keenly sought. Two of the first colonists to arrive in South Australia, William Williams of the Colonial Store and James Cronk, went out of their way to learn Kaurna. Williams published his wordlist in the newspaper in 1840. It was the ‘Protector’ of Aborigines’ duty to familiarise himself with the local cultures, customs and languages and to engage interpreters in their dealings with the Indigenous population.  ...