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UM-Webinar Public Lecture: Always was, always will be Aboriginal Language – Ma!, 1 Dec

Indigenous Languages, Outreach, University of Melbourne

Date: 27 November 2020

Webinar: Always was, always will be Aboriginal Language – Ma!

Speakers: Linda Payi Ford and Emily Tyaemaen Ford

When: 1 Dec 2020, 5pm

Where: via webinar - registration


This presentation focusses on a threatened Aboriginal language from the Daly River region called Marranunggu. Linda Payi Ford and Emily Tyaemaen Ford will discuss the work and activities of the Marranunggu Language team and the importance of reviving threatened Aboriginal languages for Aboriginal people and Australians. For the purposes of this project, funded by First Languages Australia, the Language Team have decided to apply D.T. Tryon’s ‘Introduction to Maranungku’, its text & recordings from 1967 to build a Marranunggu (Maranungku) dictionary. The Marranunggu language is one of many non-Pama-Ngunyan Daly River Languages. Darrell Tryon (Linguist) worked on ‘Maranungku’ language in 1967. As Mak Mak Marranunggu people from Kurrindju on the Finniss River and Reynolds River region we spell it Marranunggu.

In this presentation we will talk about the process of building the first Marranunggu dictionary and the development of language learning and teaching activities, including Family Group Cultural Weekends and the use of Instagram (Djulburr) as a platform for sharing language material. It is vital that the Australian Government and other agencies fund Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages as these are Australian historical and living archives of First Nations People and all Australians.

Always was, always will be Aboriginal Language – Ma! Marranunggu waki ninni!

  • Australian Government
  • The University of Queensland
  • Australian National University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Western Sydney University