Guwamu project

In 1955 the late Stephen A. Wurm collected basic materials on the Guwamu language in Goodooga with speaker Willy Willis. Wurm’s materials consist of a set of fieldnotes written in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) with Hungarian shorthand translations. These notes were hand copied by me in 1976, with English glosses provided by Wurm added by me to the copy. Copies of these notes were lodged at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies in Canberra, Australia.

I have been analysing Wurm’s notes using the Linguist’s  Toolbox and LexiquePro computer programmes to create a database of glossed sentence and a Guwamu-English lexicon – this work has been done over many years, whenever I found time during other duties to add to and check the analysis. I have now expanded the lexicon to include Guwamu vocabulary in the comparative wordlist in Lynette Oates’ Grammar of Muruwari, and identified cognates in that language, as well as neighbouring Bidjara, Margany and Gunya. Other sources on Guwamu, such as Ian Sim’s materials or data collected by Gavan Breen, have not yet been added to the basic data set which derives from Wurm’s data from Willy Willis.

I have created a draft Guwamu-English dictionary organised alphabetically and by semantic fields, plus an English-Guwamu finderlist. This draft has been circulated for comments and feedback to members of the Kooma community who are interested in the Guwamu language of their ancestors.

Here is a sample page from the draft Guwamu-English dictionary.