Volume 35, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN 0302-5160
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9781
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This paper explores the contribution of missionary linguists to the documentation, description, and maintenance of Aboriginal languages of the Kimberley region of Western Australia from the establishment of the first enduring mission in 1890 to 1960. It is argued that the primary contribution was to language documentation. However, the descriptive contribution was not negligible, and many missionary linguists struggled intelligently with the descriptive challenges confronting them (ergative case-marking, noun-class systems, compound verb constructions, etc.). Rather than being rigidly bound by the Latinate model, they modified it in various ways (usually not explicitly discussed), including by using traditional terminology in novel ways.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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