Since 1978 I have been working on languages spoken in the region around the Gascoyne River in the far north-west of Western Australia. These languages belong to three main groups:
- Kartu — including Yinggarda, and other languages to the south
- Kanyara — namely Bayungu, Thalanyji, Burduna, and Binigura
- Mantharta — namely Tharrgari, Warriyangga, Jiwarli and Thiin
An overview of the language situation in the Gascoyne region can be found on this blog site. My current projects are:
- I am currently compiling a draft Yinggarda-English Dictionary based on materials collected by Alan Dench, Curtin University, in 1978 and 1980. It is hoped that this will be published in 2022 or 2023.
- I am working with the Baiyungu Aboriginal Corporation and the West Australian Parks and Wildlife Service as a consultant on their Joint Management Plan for the Ningaloo Marine Park, which borders Bayungu traditional lands, centred on Cardabia Station. This work will include preparing language and culture information for tourists visiting the park, and language lessons for park rangers who will take tourists on tours of their traditional places of significance.
- I am writing a Reference Grammar of the Mantharta languages, based on materials collected between 1978 and 1986. There will be an accompanying comparative dictionary of the language group.
- I am drafting a Reference Grammar of the Kanyara languages, based on materials collected between 1978 and 2019. This is a long-term project that will not be completed for some years.