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Aboriginal Placenames

2. Reinstating Aboriginal placenames around Port Jackson and Botany Bay

Jakelin Troy and Michael Walsh

Background

In recent years a process to reinstate Aboriginal placenames in New South Wales (NSW) has been set in place. In doing so consideration has been taken of similar efforts elsewhere in NSW e.g. Armidale (Reid 2002) and in other parts of Australia e.g. Adelaide (Amery and Williams 2002). In NSW this reinstatement process has been led by the Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Through their efforts Dawes Point (the southern foot of Sydney Harbour Bridge) became the first place to be dual-named as Dawes Point/Tar-ra in 2002. The next was South Creek in the Hawkesbury River district which took on the additional name of Wianamatta in 2003. During 2003 the NSW/Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Committee of the Australian National Placenames Survey (ANPS) began a process of reinstating Aboriginal names in the Port Jackson and Botany Bay area. Crucial to this process was research carried out by Val Attenbrow of the Australian Museum (2001, 2002; cf. chapter 1 this volume). One by-product of Attenbrow’s interest in investigating the Aboriginal presence in Sydney was a careful assemblage of information on Aboriginal placenames including variant spellings taken down by outsiders from the earliest days of contact. The NSW/ACT Committee formed a subcommittee consisting of David Blair and the authors: one of their more important tasks was to review the evidence and attempt to reconstruct the original phonetic form of these placenames.

Written representation and phonetic accuracy

General discussion

Many Aboriginal words have passed into Australian English (Dixon, Ramson and Thomas 1990) but often there is a significant gap between the written representation and the original pronunciation.

First we will consider five terms that passed into Australian English and thus see actual examples of this gap.

Table 2.1: Some Aboriginal terms now in Australian English

Term

Comment

1

<Dharawal [State Recreation Area]>

a language of the Illawarra cf. placename Thirroul

2

<Dharug [National Park]>

another spelling of the Sydney language Dharuk

3

<Garrawarra [State Conservation Area]>

4

<quandong>

from Wiradjuri /guwandhaang/

5

<bombora>

from Dharuk /bumbora/ cf. Dharawal /bumbura/

The first term, <Dharawal>1, is a fairly close rendering in spelling of the phonological shape of this term. However it is quite rare for a non-specialist to pronounce the word accurately. The initial sound, spelled as <dh>, is common enough in Australian Aboriginal languages and is referred to as a lamino-dental stop/plosive. It has a similar pronunciation to the <d> in the English word <width>. We would expect that only specialists in the study of Australian Aboriginal languages would give this pronunciation for the initial sound – everyone else would pronounce it as a ‘normal d’ as in <dog>. Even when the specialist gives the ‘correct’ pronunciation most people are not going to notice the difference. Although this and the following term <Dharug> may show <dh> they are likely to be pronounced as though they had been spelled <Darawal> and <Darug>. Considering next the vowels, these are usually pronounced by non-specialists in a way that, rarely if ever, coincides with the original. The vowels in <Dharawal> would very likely have been pronounced like the vowel in the English word <but> as would the first vowel of <Dharug>. The second vowel of <Dharug> would probably have been pronounced like the vowel in the English word <put>2. The final sound of <Dharug> was probably ‘k’ as in the English word <rook> which is in fact a good written representation of the second syllable of this term. So why is it spelled with a <g>? Phonologically3 there is no contrast between /k/ and /g/ in most Australian Aboriginal languages, so there is no need to reflect such a contrast in the spelling. In English the contrast is crucial and the spelling reflects this.

The term <Garrawarra> may well have come from an original Aboriginal source in which the vowels were mostly like the vowel in <but>, but many people pronounce this term with the first and third vowels as for <a> in <apple>.

The next two terms, <quandong> and <bombora>, refer, respectively, to a type of fruit and to a kind of ocean wave formation (Dixon, Ramson and Thomas 1990). For these we know the phonological shape of each word and it can be seen that there is a considerable gap between written representation and the original pronunciation. For the first term the Wiradjuri (from central NSW) original has three syllables while the Australian English version has just two. The /dh/ of the original has been heard as /d/, the final vowel /aa/ is long (like <a> in the English word <father>), and the preceding vowel /a/ is short as in <but>. The other term, <bombora>, is sourced from Dharuk, the language of the Sydney area (Dixon, Ramson and Thomas 1990) but also has a Dharawal (south coast NSW) equivalent (Eades 1976). Whatever the original vowels might have been, the current pronunciation in Australian English is not the same as the original, with the first vowel being rendered as in <bomb> and the second as in <or>.

We turn now to some examples from Gamilaraay (north central NSW) (Ash, Giacon and Lissarague 2003: 237-8).

Table 2.2: Gamilaraay placenames

Usual spelling

Dictionary entry

1

<Barwon [River]>

from /baawan/

2

<Boggabilla>

from /bagaybila/

3

<Pilliga>

from /biliga/

4

<Blue Knobby>

from /buluuy nhaaybil/

5

<Brigalow>

from /burrigila/

6

<Brewarrina>

from /burriwarranha/

7

<Dungalear [Station]>

from /dhanggaliirr/

8

<Timbumburi [Creek]>

from /dhimbambaraay/

9

<Collarenebri>

from /galariinbaraay/

10

<Goodooga>

from /guduuga/

11

<Coonabarabran>

from /gunabarabin/

12

<Coonamble>

from /gunambil/

13

<Gunnedah>

from /gunidjaa/

14

<Condamine [River]>

from /gundhimayan/

15

<Goonoo Goonoo>

from /gunu gunu/

16

<Gwydir [River]>

from /guwayda/

17

<Mirramanar [Station]>

from /murrumanamanaa/

18

<Narrabri>

from /nharibaraay/

19

<Wee Waa>

from /wii waa/

All these examples are placenames in use and are derived from Gamilaraay, a language well documented by Ash, Giacon and Lissarrague (2003). It is here that we can see the considerable gap between written representation, current pronunciation by most speakers of Australian English and the original. As we have already seen, the Aboriginal contrast between /dh/ and /d/ is not recognized – as in <Dungalear>, <Timbumburi> and <Condamine>. Another Aboriginal contrast, /nh/ versus /n/, is also not appreciated: /nh/ is like the <n> in the English word <tenth>. So the placename, <Narrabri>, originally began with a /nh/ while <Brewarrina>’s <n> was actually /nh/.

Most Aboriginal languages do not allow certain consonant clusters which are common in (Australian) English. These include /bl/ and /br/ so that <Blue Knobby>, <Brigalow>, <Brewarrina>, <Collarenebri> and <Narrabri> all had an additional syllable where a vowel ‘intervenes’ between the /b/ and the /l/ or /r/. Curiously the consonant cluster in <Coonabarabran> has no obvious basis in the original.

In the placename <Mirramanar> not just one but two syllables have been dropped from the original. In this and many other examples there is considerable discrepancy between the original vowels and those of a typical Australian English pronunciation. One of the few terms among these examples that very closely approximates the original is <Pilliga>. At the opposite extreme is <Blue Knobby> where a fancied resemblance to two English words has resulted in a major transformation of the original. For these examples we have the advantage of a careful account by trained linguists who have been through all available sources and reached a definite conclusion. But what if we could only rely on the modern spelling of the placename but then had to attempt to reconstruct the phonetic past?If we were guessing, these would be our guesses:

Table 2.3: Comparison of actual pronunciations with hypothetical pronunciations based on usual spellings

Usual spelling

Our guess

Actual

Barwon

bawON

baawan

Boggabilla

bOgabila

bagaybila

Pilliga

biliga

biliga

Blue Knobby

??

buluuy nhaaybil

Brigalow

bVRigVlV

burrigila

Brewarrina

bVRVARVNa

burriwarranha

Dungalear

DaN(g)VlVR

dhanggaliirr

Timbumburi

DimbAmbARV

dhimbambaraay

Collarenebri

gOlVRVNVbVRV

galariinbaraay

Goodooga

gVdUga

guduuga

Coonabarabran

gunabaRabURVN

gunabarabin

Coonamble

gunambVl

gunambil

Gunnedah

gANVDA

gunidjaa

Condamine

gOnDVmVN

gundhimayan

Goonoo Goonoo

guNu guNu

gunu gunu

Gwydir

guwayDV

guwayda

Mirramanar

miRVmaNa

murrumanamanaa

Narrabri

NaRVbURV

nharibaraay

Wee Waa

wiwa

wii waa

These are not wild guesses but are based on knowledge of the phonology of Australian languages in general and NSW languages in particular. To give just one example, it is quite rare for words in a NSW Aboriginal language to begin with /n/. Thus if we see a placename starting with <n> it is reasonable to assume that the original was another kind of nasal – perhaps /nh/or /ng/. This educated guess is captured by using <N> to represent an unknown nasal quality. The guess that an initial <n> is unlikely to be /n/ is borne out by the example of <Narrabri>, where <n> has been used although the original had /nh/ (note that the guesses use capitalisation differently from standard spelling). To capture a possible variation between /dh/ and /d/ we use <D>; once again the strong tendency is for words in NSW languages not to use initial /d/ as borne out by <Dangalear> and <Timbumburi> where the original was /dh/. Many Australian languages have two r-sounds, one like Australian English <r> and the other a tap/flap or trill, the latter as in Scots English. The examples from Gamilaraay demonstrate that the spelling of the placenames is by no means a reliable indicator. In <Brewarrina> the first r-sound is spelled as <r> but turns out to be a trill, /rr/, while the second r-sound is spelled as <rr> and happens to be the flap/trill, /rr/. In <Dangalear> and <Timbumburi>, <r> represents an original /rr/ in one case and /r/ in the other. For this reason one is often left with the uncertainty of <R> indicating an unknown rhotic quality. The representation of vowels raises major problems, some of which are set out in Thieberger (2005). In our view, of all the vowels <o> shows the greatest variability, so we address this is in a separate section.

  • • A could be /a/ but not certain
  • • U could be /u/ but not certain
  • • V unknown vowel quality
  • • R unknown rhotic quality /r/ ~ /rr/
  • • D unknown anterior stop quality /d/ ~ /dh/
  • • N unknown nasal quality /n/ ~ /nh/ ~ /ny/ (especially finally) ~ /ng/
  • • ? not clear what we can say!
  • • O (for the story of O see the next section)

The story of O

The <o> appearing in spellings of Aboriginal words shows perhaps the widest range of phonetic variants as set out in the following table. Most examples are drawn from Dixon, Ramson and Thomas (1990).

Table 2.4: The variable phonetics of <o>

billabong

<o> = /a/

Quondong (also spelled quandong)

<o> = /a/; <o> = /aa/

bombora

<o> = /u/

dingo

<o> = /u/

bora

<o> = /uu/

brolga

<o> = /a/

kurrajong

<o> = /u/

Yolngu; yothu

<o> = /uu/

bondi = ‘club’

<o> = /u/

Bonalbo < /bunalbung/ (Sharpe 1995: 187)

<o> = /u/

Woonona

<o> = [u] as in <boot>

In sum, the spelling <o> has been used for the vowel qualities represented in the English words: but, part, put, boot.

The Sydney Harbour names

Background

Figure 2.1: Map detail of Sydney Harbour (from Attenbrow 2001, see also 2002: 8)

figure0201.jpg

By now it should be abundantly clear that there can be considerable discrepancy between a written representation and phonetic accuracy. This poses particular problems for the Sydney Harbour area because the language of this area, sometimes referred to as Dharuk (Troy 1993) had fallen out of daily use during the nineteenth century. Unlike Gamilaraay where there is a strong base of documentation and one can call on older Aboriginal people for verification and assistance, for Dharuk the situation is more difficult. Nevertheless we have been able to draw on research by Attenbrow (2001, 2002) and Troy (1993) to strengthen our account.

Another task for the previously mentioned subcommittee (consisting of Blair and the authors) was to devise spellings which would encourage non-specialists to give as close a rendering to the phonetic original as possible. First we scanned the full range of spellings presented by Attenbrow (some sample spellings are given in Table 2.5 below) and attempted to make an educated guess about the phonetic original. As with the Gamilaraay exercise, for the Sydney Harbour region we can be quite confident about some and rather diffident about others. Basically the more capital letters and question marks the less clear we are about the phonetic original. It was partly on this basis that some possible candidates for dual naming ended up being culled from the list. Where the original phonetics was fairly well understood a suggested spelling was put forward. In October 2003 a meeting of representatives from Aboriginal communities with interests in the Sydney basin was convened at the Tranby Aboriginal Cooperative in Glebe. This meeting considered the list, the suggested spellings and the reasons for culling some potential dual naming candidates from the list.

Reasons for culling

We started with a list of potential candidates for dual naming and then went through a process of culling some of the names from the original list. Here we set out some of the reasons for culling:

  1. 1. Original pronunciation unclear

Where the original pronunciation remains unclear we have recommended deferral of the placename in question until more research can resolve the issue. This applies to these places around Sydney Harbour: nos. 14, 17, 49, 51, 58, 21, 43, 47, 55

  1. 2. Already named

One place, Dawes Point/Tar-ra, had already been dual-named: no. 41

  1. 3. Retain former spelling

For three placenames we decided to retain the former spelling: nos. 18, 22, 50. Basically an existing spelling had become entrenched and it was felt that there would be little chance of a proposed alteration being taken up; e.g. no. 22 Kirribilli is one of the best known Aboriginal placenames in Sydney. Notwithstanding that the phonetic original seems almost certain to have had an additional syllable, a practical approach was taken to retain an entrenched spelling even if it is ‘incorrect’.

  1. 4. Remove to avoid confusion

For another three placenames it was necessary to remove them so as to avoid confusion: nos. 40, 56, 59. The early sources indicate rather clearly that no. 40 should be pronounced like <coogee> but the place is Millers Point on the northern side of Sydney Harbour and this would be in competition with an established suburb name, Coogee, south of the Harbour!

The result of the culling process was to remove 16 names from an original 36 candidates. In this way 20 candidates for dual naming were eventually accepted and gazetted.

Table 2.5: The Sydney Harbour names (adapted from Attenbrow 2001; see also Attenbrow 2002: 9-13; drawing on Troy 1993)

VA ref

Reference spelling

Attenbrow spellings

Suggested phonetic original

Suggested spelling

Introduced name

Comments

11

Kuba Kaba

Kuba Kaba, Caba-caba, Ca-ba Ca-ba

gabagaba

gubber -gubber

Middle Head

some concern expressed by Aboriginal people because of a perceived connection with ‘gubba’ a term for ‘white people’ (Dixon, Ramson and Thomas 1990: 169) altered to gubbah gubbah

12

Koree

Koreé, Koree

gORi

goree

Chowder Bay

13

Gurugal

Gurugal, Gurrugal

gARAgal

Chowder Head

14

Taliangy

Taliangy, Tal-le-ongi-i

DaliyAngi

Bradleys Head/Middle Head

15

Booragy

Booragy, Búrroggy, Burròggy or Broggy

buRagi

booraghee

Bradleys Head

16

Goram bullagong

Goram bullagong, Gorambùllagong

goRambUlagOng

Mosmans Bay

17

Wulworra-jeung

Wulworrá-jeung

wAlwORa-?

Robertson Point

18

Kurraba

Kurrá bá, Kurrábá

gARaba

gahrabah

Kurraba Point

Retain former spelling

19

Wurru-birri

Wurru-birri

wARabiRi

warrabirrie

Kurraba Point (West)

20

Weeawya

Wéyé Wéyé, Weeawya

weyeweye ??

Careening Cove

21

Wudyong

Wudyong, Wudyong

wAdyOng

Wudyoung Point

22

Kiarabilli

Kiarabilli, Kiarabily

giyaRabili

Kirribilli

Retain former spelling – although ‘wrong’

23

Quiberee

Quibéreé, Quiberee

guwibARi

Lavender Bay

24

Warrungarea

Warung area, Warrungarea

waRVngaRiya

Blues Point

39

Tumbulong

Tumbulong and Go-mo-ra ?

DAmbAlOng

Darling Harbour

40

Coodyee

Coodye

gudyi

coogee

Millers Point

Scrap ‘cos confusing

41

Tar-ra

Tar-ra, Tarra, Tárrá

DaRa

Tar-ra

Dawes Point

Already adopted

42

Melia-Wool

Melia-Wool

mVliyawul

Campbells Cove

43

Talla-wo-la-dah

Talla-wo-la-dah

DalawVlaDa

The Rocks (West)

44

Warrane

War-ran, Weé-rong, Warrane, Warrang

waRVN

Sydney Cove

45

Tobegully

Tu-bow-gule, Tubow-gule, Too-bow-gu-liè, Tobegully, Jubughalee, Jubùghallee

DVbVgali

Bennelong Point

46

Woccanmagully

Woggan-ma-gule, Woccanmagully

wAganmagali

Farm Cove

47

Cookaroo

Cookaroo

gugaRu

googahroo

Farm Cove Beach

48

Yurong

Yu-ron, Yurong, Yourong, Yurong

yuRVN

yurong

Mrs Macquaries Point

49

Mat-te-wan-ye

Mat-te-wan-ye, Mat-te-wan-ye

maDAwanyA

Fort Denison

50

Wooloomooloo

Walla-mool, Wallamoula, Wooloomooloo

wAlAmUlA

Wooloomooloo Bay

Retain former spelling

51

Ba-ing-hoe

Ba-ing-hoe

baying-?

Garden Island

52

Derawun

Derawun

DVRawAn

Potts Point

53

Carraginn

Carraginn

gaRVdyin

Elizabeth Bay

54

Jerrowan

Jerrowan, Jèrrowan

dyVRVwan

Elizabeth Point

55

Yarrandab

Yarrandab, Yarrandabby

yaRandabi

Macleay Point

56

Kogerah

Kogerah

gUgVRa

Rushcutters Bay

? Scrap ‘cos confusing

57

Yaranabe

Yaranabe

yaRanabi

Darling Point

58

Be-lang-le-wool

Be-lang-le-wool, Billong-ololah, Billòng-olòla

bVlVng- ?

Clarke Island

59

Wallara

Woo-lā-ră, Willárrá, Wallàra

wVlaRa

wallahra

Point Piper

60

Boambilly

Bo-a-millie, Boam bill … [word incomplete – document damaged], Boambilly

buwam(b)ili

Shark Island

Determining the phonetic original

We are basing some of our guesses on Eades’ (1976) observations about Dharawal/Dhurga and neighbouring languages. Basically the phonemic inventory for Dharawal/Dhurga is indicated in Table 2.6; we have replaced Eades’ symbols with ones that we consider to be more user-friendly.

Table 2.6: Phonemic inventory for Dharawal/Dhurga

b

dh

d

dy

g

vowels: i, a, u ± length

m

nh

n

ny

ng

l

r

w

y

Importantly there is no contrast in rhotics, so the decision about how to represent it/them should be based on purely practical considerations like readability by the average person. The contrast between /d/ and /dh/ is a concern because the sources for this exercise remain mute; e.g. nos. 14, 41. The vowel length contrast is also a problematic because we cannot make a definite decision about what is short or long based on these data. Finally the nasals can be tantalising. We suspect that the nasal in no. 44 is /ny/, but we cannot demonstrate this conclusively.

Some pragmatic principles for representing Sydney placenames

  1. 1. Disregard contrast in anterior consonants; i.e. /nh/ and /n/ written as <n>
  2. 2. Disregard vowel length; i.e. /aa/ and /a/ not distinguished.
  3. 3. Assume no rhotic contrast. Although many languages have this contrast apparently Dharawal and Dhurga do not (Eades 1976); see also Busby (1980).
  4. 4. Mostly disregard stress but try to place stress on the first syllable.

Table 2.7: The Sydney Harbour names – adoptions and exclusions

Suggested spelling

Adopted spelling

Introduced name

Comments

gubber-gubber

Gubbah Gubbah

Middle Head

Adopted. some concern expressed by Aboriginal people because of a perceived connection with ‘gubba’ a term for ‘white people’ (Dixon, Ramson and Thomas 1990: 169) altered to gubbah gubbah at request of Sydney basin meeting

goree

Gooree

Chowder Bay

Adopted

??

Gooragal

Chowder Head

Adopted

DaliyAngi

??N/A

Bradleys Head/Middle Head

? Original pronunciation unclear – recommend deferral

booraghee

Booraghee

Bradleys Head

Adopted

Goram Bullagong

Mosmans Bay

Adopted

wAlwORa-?

Robertson Point

Original pronunciation unclear – recommend deferral

gARaba

Gahrabah

Kurraba Point

Retain former spelling

wARabiRi

Warrabirrie

Kurraba Point (West)

??

Weeyuh Weeyuh

Careening Cove

Adopted

wAdyOng

Wudyoung Point

??

giyaRabili

Kirribilli

Retain former spelling – although ‘’wrong’’

guwibARi

Gooweebahree

Lavender Bay

Adopted

waRVngaRiya

Warungareeyuh

Blues Point

Adopted

DAmbAlOng

Tumbalong

Darling Harbour

Adopted

gudyi

Coogee

Millers Point

Rejected as confusing

DaRa

Tar-ra

Dawes Point

Already adopted

mVliyawul

Meeliyahwool

Campbells Cove

Adopted

DalawVlaDa

The Rocks (West)

??Original pronunciation unclear – recommend deferral

waRVN

Warrane

Sydney Cove

Adopted

DVbVgali

Dubbagullee

Bennelong Point

Adopted

wAganmagali

Wahganmuggalee

Farm Cove

Adopted

gugaRu

Googahroo

Farm Cove Beach

??

yurong

Yurong

Mrs Macquaries Point

Adopted

maDAwanyA

Muddawahnyuh

Fort Denison

Adopted

wAlAmUlA

Wooloomooloo Bay

Retain former spelling

baying-?

Garden Island

Original pronunciation unclear – recommend deferral

DVRawAn

Darrawunn

Potts Point

Adopted

gaRVdyin

Gurrajin

Elizabeth Bay

Adopted

dyVRVwan

Jarrowin

Elizabeth Point

Adopted

yaRandabi

Macleay Point

??

gUgVRa

Rushcutters Bay

? Rejected as confusing

yaRanabi

Darling Point

bVlVng- ?

Clarke Island

Original pronunciation unclear – recommend deferral

wVlaRa

Wallahra

Point Piper

Rejected as confusing

buwam(b)ili

Boowambillee

Shark Island

Adopted

The meeting at Tranby in October 2003 expressed a general concern with the failure to provide ‘meanings’ or stories for the placenames. We were at pains to point out that some placenames may never have had a meaning or story associated with them and even if they had, that information may have been lost (see also Walsh 2002). However it is intended that any such information will be added to the database of NSW placenames – as it becomes available.

Balancing phonetic accuracy with a practical spelling

It will be clear that phonetic accuracy is not always possible but what is perhaps less obvious is that it might not even be desirable. Some spellings can seem forbidding to the non-specialist and this is obviously inimical to the aim of promoting the general acceptance of dual naming. Therefore there needs to be a balance between phonetic purism and what might be called toponymic pragmatism. The former is exemplified by some work carried out by Harold Koch on Aboriginal placenames in Canberra and south-east NSW (2002, 2005, this volume). The latter seeks to provide a written representation which closely approximates the original pronunciation (to the extent that can be determined) but which does not necessarily meet the expectations of specialists in linguistics. This is a practical approach motivated by a desire to make dual naming work. It is the approach preferred here (see also Nick Reid (2002) on creating Aboriginal placenames in the Armidale city area).

Conclusion

It is hoped that this adoption of Aboriginal placenames in the Sydney Harbour area will encourage attempts to reinstate Aboriginal placenames across NSW. In 2004-2005 a series of community consultations has been carried out at a number of centres: Coffs Harbour, Canberra, Wellington, Armidale, Lightning Ridge, Blackheath, Nowra – in 2004; Casino, Newcastle, Deniliquin, Coffs Harbour and Yass – in 2005. The Asia-Pacific Institute for Toponymy, on behalf of the ANPS NSW/ACT Committee, has supported these consultations with financial assistance from the NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs major grants scheme and from the Commonwealth through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services. These consultations have also benefited from assistance in planning and coordination from the NSW Aboriginal Languages Research and Resource Centre. We anticipate more of these consultations in the future and are hopeful that Aboriginal communities will foster proposals for new instances of dual naming in NSW.

References

Amery, Rob and Georgina Yambo Williams 2002, ‘Reclaiming Through Renaming: The Reinstatement of Kaurna Toponyms in Adelaide and the Adelaide Plains’, in The Land Is a Map. Placenames of Indigenous Origin in Australia, Luise Hercus, Flavia Hodges and Jane Simpson (eds), Pandanus Books, Canberra: 255-276.

Ash, Anna, John Giacon and Amanda Lissarague 2003, Gamilaraay Yuwaalaraay Yuwaalayaay Dictionary, IAD Press, Alice Springs.

Attenbrow, Val 2001, Aboriginal place names around Port Jackson and Botany Bay, Australian Museum, Sydney: 62pp.

— 2002 Sydney’s Aboriginal Past: Investigating the Archaeological and Historical Records, University of NSW Press, Sydney.

Busby, Peter 1980, ‘The distribution of phonemes in Australian Aboriginal languages’, Papers in Australian linguistics, No. 14: Pacific Linguistics – Series A-60, Canberra: 73-139.

Dixon, R. M. W., W. S. Ramson and Mandy Thomas 1990, Australian Aboriginal Words in English: Their Origin and Meaning, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Eades, Diana 1976, The Dharawal and Dhurga Languages of the New South Wales South Coast, Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra.

Koch, Harold 2002, ‘Placenames of Indigenous Origin in the ACT and South-eastern NSW’, Paper delivered at Australian Placenames: An Interdisciplinary Colloquium, 5 December 2002, The Australian National University, Canberra.

— 2005, ‘ACT Place Names: Towards reconstructing their original Indigenous form’, Paper delivered at Australian Placenames: CGNA Colloquium, 1 October 2005, Canberra.

Reid, Nicholas 2002 Creating Aboriginal placenames: Applied philology in Armidale City’, in The Land is a Map. Placenames of Indigenous Origin in Australia, Luise Hercus, Flavia Hodges and Jane Simpson (eds), Pandanus Books, Canberra: 241-254.

Sharpe, Margaret 1995, Dictionary of Western Bundjalung, 2nd edition, Margaret Sharpe, Armidale.

Thieberger, Nicholas (ed.) 2005, Paper and Talk. A Manual for Reconstituting Materials in Australian Indigenous Languages from Historical Sources, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra [re-issue of 1995 edition].

Troy, Jakelin 1993 The Sydney Language, Jakelin Troy, Canberra.

Walsh, Michael 2002, ‘Transparency Versus Opacity in Australian Aboriginal Place Names’, in The Land Is a Map. Placenames of Indigenous Origin in Australia, Luise Hercus, Flavia Hodges and Jane Simpson (eds), Pandanus Books, Canberra: 43-49.

1 Spellings are shown in pointed brackets, <…>, while phonological material is shown in oblique/slanted brackets, /…/.

2 Note that the two English words <but> and <put> do not rhyme despite their similar spelling. This is just one of the problems with English spelling (one ‘just knows’ which vowel sound goes with which word) which creates further problems when they are employed to represent another language.

3 Phonology looks at the sound distinctions which are meaningful within a particular language. In many Australian Aboriginal languages there is a meaningful contrast between /dh/ and /d/ while in English there is no such contrast. In English there is a meaningful contrast between /t/ and /d/ (<tale> versus <dale>) but there is no such contrast in most Australian Aboriginal languages.


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