Development of the Manyjilyjarra – English Pictorial Dictionary of Landscape Terms

Thursday, 23 March 2017
Dr Andrew Turk

The Manyjilyjarra — English Pictorial Dictionary of Landscape Terms was produced during the Martu Ngurra Wangka: Martu Landscape Language Project was a collaboration between Andrew Turk, linguist Clair Hill and Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa — the Martu cultural and land management organisation. The project documented landscape terms in Manyjilyjarra, a Western Desert language variety from the Great Sandy Desert. The main objectives were to document landscape aspects of this endangered language, describe in detail aspects of the form, meaning, and use of landscape terms and compare these findings cross-linguistically. The dictionary will aid language preservation; encouraging development of strong language through cross-generational language exchange. A key target usage is within the Martu Ranger Program, both for non-Indigenous support staff and specialists and amongst younger Rangers, as a reference resource and language transmission aid. Data was collected from 10 Manyjilyjarra speakers using a range of methodologies: elicitation using photo stimuli, fieldwalk based data collection and formal tasks such as ‘Director-Matcher’ sessions. Data analysis resulted in the dictionary and preparation of papers comparing Manyjilyjarra landscape terms with those in other languages. The poster session will display dictionary pages and explain the project.