Australian Aboriginal English: Linguistic and sociolinguistic perspectives

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Australian Aboriginal English (AAE) is an enregistered contact‐based variety spoken by 80% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This paper offers an overview of some of the features that characterise AAE as recorded in our corpus of naturally occurring in- teractions in Nyungar country, Southwest Western Australia. Led by Nyungar researcher Glenys Collard, our fieldwork rests on three pillars: (1) the data origi- nate from group recording sessions, as culturally appropriate in the community; (2) speakers are recruited in venues such as medical centres and Perth city parks; (3) data collection is based on ‘yarning’: ‘a process of [...] communicating and passing on history and knowledge’ (Terszak, 2008, p. 90). Our approach is strongly grounded in indigenous knowledge‐sharing practices. We discuss how the traditional un- derpinnings of yarning as a culturally entrenched mo- dality have made it possible to tap into the community's vernacular and to capture the urgent concerns and silenced histories of Aboriginal English speakers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLanguage and Linguistics Compass
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


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