Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This paper discusses evidence of an early pidgin in use amongst Aboriginal people of the north west coast of Western Australia. The crucial evidence comes from an Italian manuscript describing the rescue, by local Aborigines, of two castaways wrecked on North West Cape in 1875. The data reveals that the local Aborigines attempted to communicate with the Italian-speaking survivors using what appears to be an Australian language spoken some 300 kilometers further along the coast, around the emerging center of the new Pilbara pearling industry. I present an analysis of the material, showing that it differs from Australian languages of the area in significant ways and can be considered a reduced variety. I conclude that this variety is an indigenous pidgin — the first to be described for Australia.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error