Uniform orthographies and phonetics in Central Australia 1890–1910

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Knowledge of a researcher’s orthographic conventions is necessary for interpreting pronunciation from early sources on Australian Aboriginal languages. Early researchers of Australian languages were more likely to represent sounds consistently if they used a uniform orthography, allowing the problems of English spelling to be avoided. Uniform orthographies began with a concern for the accurate transliteration of literary languages in the late eighteenth century and were further developed for the description of previously unwritten languages in the nineteenth century. This paper traces the development of the uniform orthographies and their pioneering role in linguistic description in Central Australia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-115
Number of pages21
JournalLanguage and History
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2018


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