What’s new

August 2016 update

Another 75 items have been added to the Virtual Library, bringing the total number of items to over 500, representing over 150 languages ... read more

How to use this Virtual Library

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Update 2024

This site is no longer current and is not being updated. Since 2016, happily, the number of online sources of knowledge about Australian Indigenous languages exploded in number and diversity of sources, especially from Indigenous organisations and individuals. As a result, it became impossible to keep ALoA up to date. It is no longer a key resource.

As the main web portal for Australian Aboriginal languages on the web (part of Tim Berners-Lee’s official W3C Virtual Library (now defunct at https://www.vlib.org/ - see its history) this site provided summaries, guidance and links to quality resources on Aboriginal languages, especially those produced from communities and by community members. It was listed in most of the major international libraries and other institutions as a key site for Australian languages, and attracted over 500,000 hits a year.

Approximately half of the linked sites still exist and the site’s back-end database remains valuable because it contains data which tracks 20 years of the emergence, expansion and changes in the online presence of Australian First Nations languages from the birth of the web.


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Murrinh-Patha [mwf]
Source: Rachel Nordlinger/University of Melbourne
Rachel gives a background to Australian languages and her research on languages at Wadeye (YouTube audio).
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Source: Summer Institute of Linguistics (AuSIL)
Bible texts for 14 languages. These are provided by the Summer Institute of Linguistics (in Australia branded as AuSIL) as a "ministry tool" but made openly accessible. Includes text, audio (note, some spoken by non-Aboriginal persons), concordances, and downloadable software.
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Source: Lysbeth Ford and Dominic McCormack
The Glossary shows non-Murrinhpatha speakers (including judges, lawyers, police etc) how English legal terms are rendered in Murrinhpatha. It is also a tool for Murrinhpatha legal interpreters and the people of the Thamarrurr region. Written in in collaboration with Wadeye elders Frank Dumoo and Claude Narjic, it is based on earlier work by Michael Walsh and Chester Street. See also this associated paper.
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Source: School of Languages and Linguistics, University of Melbourne
Rachel's page contains links to papers on the syntax of Aboriginal languages, including a grammar and learner's guide for Wambaya, and several papers on Murrinh-Patha
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Source: Wadeye Aboriginal Community, NT
Clan names and their languages at Wadeye (Port Keats).
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Source: Linda Barwick/Allan Marett/Michael Walsh/Joe Blythe/Nick Reid/Lysbeth Ford
This site documents the history, language and music of public songs and dances composed and performed at Wadeye, NT (aka Port Keats). You can search the database, listen to songs and see information about the singers, translations, and other musicological documentation. Some of the recordings are for community access only or are not publicly available, but you can apply for access. See also the Murrinh-Patha song project description.
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