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8 The Indexation of a Distinctive Cultural Identity in Australian Aboriginal Texts in:

Katja Lenz

Lexical Appropriation in Australian Aboriginal Literature, page 145 - 304

1. Edition 2017, ISBN print: 978-3-8288-3964-9, ISBN online: 978-3-8288-6743-7, https://doi.org/10.5771/9783828867437-145

Tectum, Baden-Baden
Bibliographic information
145 Part Three: Empirical Analysis – Forms of Lexical Appropriation in Australian Aboriginal Literary Texts 147 8 The Indexation of a Distinctive Cultural Identity in Australian Aboriginal Texts In the empirical analysis that follows, we will investigate how Indigenous Australian playwrights exploit the resources of Aboriginal varieties of English in their works. Our focus will lie on the lexicon, that is, we will determine if, and to which degree, these drama texts make use of salient AborE lexical features such as those discussed in 6.3.4 and 6.4.1, and try to detect what functions these assume and what effects are created by their inclusion. There are several reasons why a corpus of drama text is preferable to one comprising other literary forms such as the novel: the main criterion which supports the choice of a corpus of drama texts is the individual works’ length. Since plays are usually much shorter than novels, a larger number can be analysed, which in turn allows for a greater geographic, chronological, and stylistic variation within our corpus. This again provides us with the opportunity to compare pieces from different parts of the country, written at different times, and against different socio-political backgrounds. Drama was further preferred over other genres as it relies most strongly on direct speech in the form of dialogues and monologues. Therefore, we can assume that the texts more readily reflect spoken AborE than the novel. Of course, we must be aware that the language of any literary text is different to samples of natural speech, and also in the case of drama we are dealing with dialogues devised by the playwright who puts them into the characters’ mouths. Hence, any attempted reproduction of a linguistic reality, or what authors perceive as such, is always also subject to linguistic creativity. In addition, as should be clear from what has been said above, published texts undergo editorial processes and plays are written with particular audience expectations in mind. This notwithstanding, we may still assume that when portraying episodes out of the lives of Aboriginal people, playwrights strive to present their characters in a realistic manner and also seek to portray their speech as naturalistically as possible. On a related note, we also need to be aware that, since drama is always written to be performed, the published text cannot be more than an approximation of the actual production so that the language use set out in the written script may not always be identical with the dialogue brought to life on stage. 8.1 Focus of Research From what has been detailed so far a number of questions derive which concern the ways in which Indigenous Australian playwrights use the language of 148 their texts to express aspects of Aboriginal cultural identity. As has been pointed out above, our analysis will concentrate on the lexicon and thus, we will focus on the occurrence of salient AborE vocabulary items in the individual texts and examine their potential as instruments of appropriation of the standard language. In order to do so, the following points need to be considered: 1. The first question that needs to be answered is one which, in a manner of speaking, sets the stage for the lexical analysis: it concerns the degree to which the language portrayed in the individual texts differs from (St)AusE, and investigates which features mark it as a form of AborE. Therefore, every texts analysis will be preceded by a short, more general assessment of the language of the respective text which will also touch upon salient grammatical phenomena. 2. The next step then brings us closer to our actual research question, as we will need to identify those lexical elements that contribute to the appropriation of the English language. For the purpose of our analysis, we shall differentiate between different types of lexical appropriations which have been determined on the basis of the discussion of AborE lexical features in 6.3.4: • words from Australian languages, • longer passages, such as phrases, sentences, or whole paragraphs in Australian languages, • hybrid compounds involving an English as well as an Aboriginal language element, • English terms that have undergone semantic modification, e.g. semantic shift, semantic widening, semantic narrowing, or metaphor (in the following named ‘sematically modified English terms’), • English terms that have undergone phonological modification, • English terms that exhibit a form or usage which is rare or not found at all in the standard dialect, e.g. distinctive lexical combinations, function words, adverbs and adjectives that show nonstandard applications, or words and expressions no longer or only rarely used in AusE (in the following referred to as ‘Aboriginal usage of English term(s)’) . Note that words which AborE has borrowed from pidgins and creoles will not be listed as a separate category. Many of the AborE terms that originally derive from contact languages such as the NWS Pidgin also involve a shift in meaning (e.g. kill ‘hit or kill’), show a characteristic form or usage (e.g. all about ‘everywhere’), or have undergone phonological modification (bacca ‘tobacco’). As such, it appears wise to categorise these items along the lines suggested in (d)-(e). Still, the lexemes’ pidgin or creole origins will be specified whenever possible. 149 In addition, it should be obvious that when dealing with written texts, only those phonological deviations can be identified and discussed which are clearly marked by a spelling which differs from that found in StE. While spelling indicates how individual words are frequently pronounced by speakers of AborE, an actor on the stage may adopt a much more or much less characteristic AborE pronunciation as suggested by the text. 3. We will then determine the elements’ meaning; for those elements that have been adopted from Australian languages, it will further be necessary to establish their source language. 4. Another aspect worth investigating is the elements’ role within the sentence. As such, we will attempt to establish the individual appropriations’ part of speech. 5. In order to determine their value as agents of appropriation that ‘other’ the standard language, our analysis must also take into account the AborE lexical elements’ currency in different varieties of AborE, AusE, or even in other varieties of English. Hence, it is useful to distinguish between • ‘localisms’ which are geographically restricted and link the text to a specific area or region, • pan-Aboriginal terms, used and understood throughout the wider Aboriginal Australian community, • words that have entered the lexicon of (Standard) Australian English, and • lexical elements that are also found in varieties of English spoken outside Australia. Again, we need to keep in mind that, due to the design of our research and the resources available, all information obtained will be based on written sources. This poses a problem since the currency of a lexical item is difficult to determine on the basis of written evidence alone, and although dictionaries of different varieties of English may be able to provide useful clues, the information contained therein cannot make up for the lack of real-life data. As such, all statements concerning the currency of the lexical material need to be understood as being of a very tentative nature. 6. In addition, it will also be worth examining if, and to which degree, playwrights employ strategies that ensure their readers’ and audiences’ understanding, and accordingly, to explore possible reasons if these are absent. Hence, we need to ask the following questions: • Do authors apply strategies such as cushioning or contextualisation to clarify the meaning and relevance of the Aboriginal language elements? 150 • If these strategies are missing, is there any indication that this has been a conscious decision on the part of the author? Does their absence serve particular purposes? Contemplating the outward form as well as origin, syntactic function, and currency of the different types of lexical appropriation, however, does not provide sufficient information on how the unique conceptual system that is assumed to underlie AborE discourse is manifested in the language of drama texts. Therefore, the most vital questions posed in the context of our research concern the elements’ underlying meanings and their ability to convey cultural conceptualisations: 7. We thus need to examine the concepts associated with the individual lexical appropriations, and explore whether these are culturally bound and grounded in a distinctly Aboriginal rather than mainstream understanding of the world. Hopefully, this will further allow us to clarify whether the lexical elements convey meanings which belong to a definable set of conceptual domains and to determine if some of these domains are more prominent than others. 8. Last but not least, we will try to determine if the elements classified as lexical appropriations always fill a lexical gap by describing concepts for which no appropriate St(Aus)E expression exists, or whether they also assume functions which go beyond catering for a lexical need. In order to answer the above questions, especially those posed in (7), we will in large parts rely on Jay M. Arthur’s Aboriginal English: A cultural study, which is “a collection of words from Aboriginal English” (1996: 4). While she acknowledges that her work “is not a complete dictionary of Aboriginal English” (1996: 5), it is nevertheless the most extensive compilation of AborE vocabulary presently available, including English and English-derived words as well as a considerable number of borrowings from Aboriginal languages. Arthur has arranged her vocabulary into eight thematic categories: a. ‘Always was, always will be’: words which manifest the continuity of cultural and religious tradition. b. ‘Kin’: words that describe kinship patterns. c. ‘Us Mob’: words which relate to different forms of social interaction and the domain of feelings. d. ‘Country’: words which express the people’s relationship to the land. e. ‘Living with whitefellas’: words connected to the contact experience. f. ‘The quiet run and the wild bush’: words that chronicle how Aboriginal people came into contact with the English language in pastoral industry contexts. g. ‘Aboriginal way’: words which evidence the structural influence of the Aboriginal substrate languages. 151 h. ‘Survival’: words that describe more recently developed concepts of Aboriginality, created in a context of social and political change and struggle for cultural and physical survival. The organisational principle according to which Arthur has arranged her dictionary indeed provides an ideal starting point for an investigation of the meanings expressed by AborE lexical items and their underlying concepts. However, some of her categories were felt to be too broad to adequately characterise all appropriations encountered in the texts so that they were broken down into a more fine-grained classification. The following catalogue of conceptual domains thus constitutes a differentiated rendition of Arthur’s categories: a. The continuation of cultural and religious tradition Terms that denote material and immaterial aspects of Aboriginal culture and belief systems, and exemplify the conservation of cultural and religious knowledge. These also include the names of (local) languages and language groups. b. Kinship structures Terms which describe Aboriginal understanding of family and kinship ties and the roles, privileges, and responsibilities associated with them. c. Human relationships and social interaction Terms that illustrate power relations and interactions between people or describe people with whom the speaker maintains social relationships other than kin relations. d. States of feeling and being and ways of conduct Terms which describe mental and emotional states, including reference to concepts such as ‘feeling shame’; proper and improper forms of behaviour; terms that portray a person’s appearance, character, and habits. e. Body parts and body functions, intimate and personal aspects of live Terms which describe body parts and bodily functions; terms for a range of issues of a delicate nature, including sexual intercourse; descriptions of a person’s state of health. f. Relationship to the land Terms testifying to the bond between a person and his or her home country, describing the connection with, dependence on, and responsibility for the land. g. Nature and environment Terms which describe aspects of Australian flora and fauna and environmental features. h. The contact experience Terms that describe various aspects of institutionalisation; words for concepts introduced by the colonisers, such as designations for introduced 152 substances and for other concepts of every-day life unknown before European colonisation; terms used in employment contexts. i. Novel conceptualisations of Aboriginality and cultural survival Terms that illustrate aspects of Aboriginal culture and society which are informed by more recent social, political, and cultural developments. This includes names for Aboriginal people and their language varieties that have a wider, regional, applicability. After the destruction of a large part of the pre-contact language ecology, these regional names have replaced former identities which were based on original language names. Terms which describe aspects of physical and cultural survival. j. Aboriginal way English words which are manifestations of structural substrate influence, e.g. terms expressing notions of direction, place, time, manner, and quantities; terms that reveal Aboriginal ways of classifying and describing experience. Still, it needs to be said that there are also additional factors for which Arthur’s classification is not entirely unproblematic. While the eight domains according to which her dictionary is organised indeed provide a reasonable and, for the most part, adequate structure for ordering her vocabulary, she does not explain how she developed these categories. What is more, while she provides a thematic outline at the beginning of each chapter, she generally does not state her motivation for allocating individual lexemes to particular domains and not to others. In many cases, her arrangement of vocabulary items is obvious and does not call for further discussion. In others, alternative classifications would have been conceivable. Admittedly, it is not always easy to provide a straightforward and uncontestable classification for all vocabulary items which can be identified as being part of the lexicon of AborE (as the author of the present thesis has had to learn, too). Still, in some cases, we might have wished for a more detailed explanation as to why the author groups particular words in the way that she does. For example, whiskers ‘facial hair, the beard’ is included in category (a) Always was, always will be among a variety of words describing the continuity of cultural and religious tradition. This classification seems unusual, even after reading the definition which states that the word “is used to locate an event in a man’s life by reference to whether it was before or after he had whiskers” (1996: 66, emphasis removed). However, since the usefulness of Arthur’s organisational structure by far exceeds any assumed or actual shortcomings, both the conceptual categories established for the present work as well as the classification of the individual items largely follow hers. The extended set of categories (a) – (j) presented above is supposed to constitute a way to compensate potential inadequacies, as it hopefully allows for a more exact definition of the appropriations’ underlying conceptual domains. On rare occasions, individual items have in fact 153 been assigned to different domains in the present work than in Arthur’s. In addition, contestable classifications shall be justified, which is to say that when necessary, we will discuss the reasons for allocating a particular item to one conceptual category rather than to another. However, even these amendments will not completely prevent that the present work, too, reveals a handful of instances in which the allocation of conceptual categories may seem arbitrary – here we have to acknowledge that these are the possible pitfalls of adopting a predetermined set of conceptual categories that is limited in number. 8.2 The Corpus In the following, we will examine seven plays for instances of linguistic appropriation. The texts, written in the period from 1968 onwards, are meant to represent a cross-section of contemporary Aboriginal drama and were chosen according to several criteria. For a start, it was important to choose texts by comparatively well-known Australian Aboriginal playwrights, whose works have reached a wider audience and have thus had the chance to inform a larger number of non-Aboriginal readers and theatre-goers about Aboriginal issues. Resorting to pieces written by renowned authors has another, entirely practical reason: as has been stated, only a part of the dramas that were successfully performed on stage have also been published, and many plays written by less known or emerging playwrights have never appeared in print. Above, we have learned that during the past decades, the contents portrayed in Aboriginal drama have changed, so that while earlier texts were more strongly influenced by the desire to make a political statement and discuss socio-cultural issues, more recently written plays are often concerned with describing individual Aboriginal experience. Since these differences in content might also be reflected on the level of the language, it seems fruitful to let our corpus cover a period from the 1970s onwards. In addition, this temporal variation in our texts, though encompassing a rather short time span of only four decades, might bring to light possible variation on a diachronic level or testify to changes in the way that publishers have handled texts written by Indigenous Australian writers. The next criterion that has been taken into account while compiling the corpus is that of geographic variation. Depending on the region in which AborE is spoken, the dialect shows varying substrate language influence, which on the lexical level is manifested in the use of words or expressions from different regional or local Aboriginal languages; in some areas, we can further observe the influence of post-contact Aboriginal languages such as Kriol. In addition, while many of the English-derived lexical features of AborE 154 have wider currency and are used widely across Australia, some occur only in parts of the country. The same holds for lexical items that have developed as contact language features. Therefore, an attempt was made to select plays set in different regions of Australia, in both urban and rural locations. Also, the authors’ place of birth and their linguistic and cultural affiliations have been considered in this context. According to these criteria, the following texts were chosen to constitute our corpus; the order in which they will be treated is determined by their publication date: The Dreamers, written by Western Australian playwright Jack Davis and first staged in 1982, published as Davis, Jack. 1982. The Dreamers. In Jack Davis. Kullark/The Dreamers, 67-139. Sydney: Currency Press. The Cherry Pickers, written by NSW playwright Kevin Gilbert and first staged in 1971, published as Gilbert, Kevin. 1988. The Cherry Pickers: The first written Aboriginal play. Canberra: Burrambinga Books. Murras, written by South Australian playwright Eva Johnson and first staged in 1988, published as Johnson, Eva. 1989. Murras. In Jack Davis, Eva Johnson, Richard Walley & Bob Maza (eds.) Plays from Black Australia (Currency plays), 79-107. Sydney: Currency Press. Bran Nu Dae, written by Western Australian playwright Jimmy Chi and first staged in 1990, published as Chi, Jimmy & Kuckles. 1991. Bran nue dae: A musical journey. Paddington: Currency Press. Up the Road, written by Victorian playwright John Harding and first staged in 1997, published as Harding, John. 1997. Up the road (Current theatre series). Sydney: Currency Press in association with Playbox Theatre Centre, Monash University, Melbourne. Windmill Baby, written by Western Australian playwright David Milroy and first staged in 2005, published as Milroy, David. 2007. Windmill Baby. In Vivienne Cleven, Wesley Enoch, David Milroy & Jane Harrison (ed.), Contemporary Indigenous plays, 201-228. Sydney: Currency Press. The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table, written by Queensland playwright Wesley Enoch and first staged in 2007, published as 155 Enoch, Wesley. 2007. The story of the miracles at Cookie’s table. Sydney: Currency Press; in association with Griffin Theatre Company. Map 4. A Corpus of Australian Aboriginal Plays. Due to the small number of plays that will constitute our corpus, it is needless to say that the present analysis cannot do more than exemplify how a limited number of Indigenous Australian playwrights have used the English language to express themselves and communicate their concerns by means of their characters’ discourse. While the results will allow us to make tentative statements on the nature and function of lexical appropriation in AborE drama, we need to be aware that these will merely be able to illustrate how lexical features of AborE may be applied as tools for the appropriation of the colonisers’ language rather than being representative of language use in Aboriginal writing per se. In fact, any attempt at generalising our findings would imply that features exist that can be determined as linguistic ‘trademarks’ of Aboriginal drama, and while our corpus might actually reveal that parallels exist between the different texts, we should be very cautious in our interpretation and avoid any suggestion that there is such a thing as a characteristically ‘Aboriginal style’ of writing. David Milroy Windmill Baby (2005/2007) Jimmy Chi Bran Nue Dae (1990/1991) Jack Davis The Dreamers (1982) Eva Johnson Murras (1988/1989) Wesley Enoch Cookie’s Table (2007) Kevin Gilbert The Cherry Pickers (1971/1988) John Harding Up the Road (1997) 156 8.3 Jack Davis Jack Davis, the “grandfather of Aboriginal theatre” (Jose et al. 2008: 57), was among the pioneers of Aboriginal drama, and to this day, he continues to be one the most celebrated Aboriginal Australian playwrights. Like a number of other well-known Aboriginal writers, including Kim Scott, Glenyse Ward, Richard Walley, and Robert Bropho, Davis had affiliations to the Nyoongah community of south-west Western Australia. His plays, all of which he wrote when he was already in his sixties and seventies, were the first drama works by a Nyoongah playwright to achieve admission to commercial mainstream production (Casey 2004: 129). They continue to be landmarks of Australian drama. Born in Perth on 11 March 1917, Jack Davis was the son of an Aboriginal- Sikh father and an Aboriginal-Afghan mother. Both of his parents had been taken away from their families as children. Davis and his ten siblings grew up in Yarloop, WA, a small town in the south of Western Australia where the Davis family was widely accepted within the community. Concerning his childhood and adolescence and the cultural roots he grew up with, Davis once acknowledged: “I have had access to rich and varied cultural experiences, having been fortunate enough to have my feet in two worlds, Anglo-Saxon and Aboriginal" (in Chesson 1988: 5). As a teenager, Davis and his older brother were sent to Moore River Native Settlement where, instead of the professional training that their father had envisaged for them, the boys were confronted with abominable living conditions and indwellers suffering from malnutrition, improper medical care, with assaults from black guards and the tyrannical and sadistic Superintendent Neale. These experiences have influenced many of his works and feature most prominently in No Sugar (Chesson 1988:5ff, 20ff). After their father’s death, the Davis family moved to the Brooktown Aboriginal Reserve and Jack Davis recalled “a number of very fine old patriarchs living in the district, [...] custodians of a great body of Nyoongah tradition” (in Chesson 1988: 49). In this environment, Davis learnt about Nyoongah lore and culture and gained knowledge of the Bibbulmun language (Chesson 1988: 40ff), one of the local varieties that have merged into the postcontact language known as Nyoongah (Davis 1982: 141). As a young man, Davis held a row of temporary jobs that lead him to different places in WA, where he learned about the local culture but also witnessed the exploitation of Aboriginal people as cheap workforce and the sexual abuse of female Aboriginal workers. After World War II, Davis became involved in Aboriginal activism; he joined the Aboriginal Advancement Council and the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islander (FCAATSI). In 1967, Davis took on the post of the managing director of 157 the AAC Aboriginal Centre in Perth and later on became the first president of the AAC in Western Australia (Chesson 1988: 120ff). In 1971, he was appointed chairman of the WA Aboriginal Lands Trust (Casey 2004: 130). During his time as the AAC Aboriginal Centre’s manager, Davis published his first volume of poetry The First Born and Other Poems (1970). In 1973, Davis took over as managing editor of the Aboriginal Publications Foundation and became the editor of the magazine Identity. In 1975, Davis was among the participants of a six-week workshop held at the Black Theatre in Redfern, where, for the first time, he more seriously engaged in writing drama (Chesson 1988: 169ff). Still, it would take another four years before Davis finally decided to trade his job as an editor for that of a playwright and actor. When, in 1979, the State of Western Australia celebrated its 150th anniversary of colonisation, the establishment of the colony was celebrated as the first time that man set foot in Western Australia, effectively denying the Aboriginal people’s presence. As a response to the official program, Davis sat down to write Kullark, a play which portrays the effects of colonisation on the Aboriginal population of Western Australia. After its premiere in Perth, the play extensively toured the state before it was brought back to Perth where it ran for another sold-out season (Casey 2004: 135ff). After the success of Kullark, Davis decided to rework an older piece he had written in 1972, and in 1982 a new version of The Dreamers was performed by the newly founded Swan River Stage Company (Chesson 1988: 190, 198ff). After its premiere at the Festival of Perth, the play went on a national tour, consolidating Davis’ reputation as a playwright. In the following years, Davis wrote a number of other plays, including Honey Spot (1985), a play for children, as well as No Sugar (1985) and Barrungin (1988), which together with The Dreamers form the First Born Trilogy. All of them have successfully toured Australia and have been staged abroad. By the late 1980s, Davis had become recognised nationally and internationally as one of the leading Australian playwrights. Moorli and the Leprechaun, his second play for children, and In Our Town were staged for the first time in 1989 and 1990 respectively (Casey 2004: 144ff, 268ff). In his plays, Davis attempted a re-writing of the history of European colonisation in Australia from the perspective of an Aboriginal person. Revealing truths that had been overlooked in official records, he was the first Aboriginal playwright to confront mainstream audiences with distressing and uncomfortable aspects of Australian history and introduced them to the often bleak realities of present-day Aboriginal life. According to Davis (in Chesson 1988: 197), writing drama commends itself to an Aboriginal author: I had spent virtually a lifetime writing poetry and hoping to become a writer. Within a few short years I was writing successful plays. I am not really surprised that my Aboriginal background has been a great asset in theatre. The Nyoongah language was always full of humour and music. Theatre, in a bush 158 arena, is the very essence of an Aboriginal corroboree and performances are always full of brilliant dance and mime. There was and is great opportunity for theatre to draw upon the rich Aboriginal oral literature. Davis further continued to publish poetry and was one of the editors of Paperbark: A Collection of Black Australian Writings (1990). Davis always perceived his writing as yet another tool to improve the situation for Aboriginal people: I had long been convinced that writing was the best means of influencing public opinion and bringing about an improvement in the Aboriginal situation, and was determined to build upon the small beginning made by The First-born (in Chesson 1988: 191). In 1981 he was named Aboriginal Writer of the Year and in 1983 became a member of the Aboriginal Arts Board. His work as a writer and activist was acknowledged through a variety of awards, including the British Empire Medal for Services to Literature and the Aboriginal people of Western Australia (1977), the Australia Medal (1986), and the BHP Award in 1988 (Casey 2004: 283, 309); in 1985, he became a member of the Order of Australia and in 1998, he was named an Australian Living National Treasure (Jose et al. 2008: 57). Jack Davis passed away in 2000, but his plays remain to be among the most well-known and successful drama pieces by an Aboriginal author. In his days as playwright, poet, and actor, Davis influenced the work of a number of younger Aboriginal artists, including Lynette Narkle, Ernie Dingo, Bob Maza, Richard Walley, and Jimmy Chi. 8.3.1 The Play: The Dreamers (1982) The text that will be analysed for instances of lexical appropriation is The Dreamers (1982), the second play (but the first to be written) in Davis’ First Born Trilogy, which portrays the fate of an extended Aboriginal family in Western Australia over a period of 50-60 years. The text addresses issues of cultural displacement in contemporary Aboriginal experience and narrates episodes of the life of the Wallitches, an urban family whose living conditions and daily routine are in many ways representative of Aboriginal life in contemporary Australia. The men, father Roy, the eldest son Peter, and cousin Eli are chronically unemployed and spend the major part of the day drinking, yarning, and quarrelling, while mother Dolly tries to make ends meet with what remains of their social security money. The two younger children, Meena and Shane, are still in High School; they only have little knowledge of Nyoongah language and culture. When Uncle Worru, an elderly relative, is released from hospital to stay with the family for the last months of his life, his tales and reminiscences confront the Wallitches with both their family’s history and their heritage. In the course of the play, Worru’s health deteriorates and his mind becomes increasingly absorbed in images of the past; while his condition wors- 159 ens, the family’s situation, too, becomes more troubled as Peter has to serve a prison sentence and Meena decides to leave school. Worru’s death ends the play, but the Wallitches’ story is continued in Barrungin, the last text of the First Born Trilogy. 8.3.2 Interlude: Borrowing vs. Code-switching Jack Davis makes extensive use of AborE vocabulary in his text The Dreamers, which is characterised by the frequent occurrence of words and phrases from the Western Australian Nyoongah language. The term Nyoongah23, lit. ‘man’, has been adopted to describe Aboriginal people of the south west of Western Australia, their language and cultural heritage. The Nyoongah language developed from the synchronisation of a dozen or more varieties originally spoken in the area; it is a result of the disruption of pre-colonial social and linguistic structures and the extinction of a large part of the Aboriginal population of Western Australia. Today, there are hardly any Nyoongah speakers left and the language has been replaced by what has been termed ‘Neo-Nyoongah’ by Douglas (1968), a mixture of English and Nyoongah words (McCarron 1993; Thieberger 1996). The Aboriginal language material found in the play is neither restricted to single lexical items that could straightforwardly be classified as borrowings on the one hand nor to instances of code-switching on the other. Rather, we find single words, phrases of varying length, as well as longer passages in Nyoongah, and in many cases, it is not easily feasible to determine the status of these insertions with certainty. Hence, before we begin with our analysis of The Dreamers, it appears necessary to address some theoretical questions which will hopefully help us in our classification of the lexical appropriations found in the text, and to discuss different approaches which have tried to differentiate between processes of borrowing and code-switching. There seems to be little agreement among linguists about how to define and delimit the processes that apply when situations of language contact result in the insertion of lexical material from one language into another; neither is there any consensus about how to describe and distinguish the outcome of such processes. This uncertainty is also reflected in the use of the relevant terminology: Gardner-Chloros (2009: 10), for example, addresses “the vexed question of terminology” as she discusses different approaches to codeswitching and the relationship between code-switching and mechanisms such 23 There are different orthographies for the term Nyoongah, which reflect the local variation grounded in the dialectal differences that pertained (and still pertain to some degree today) (McCarron 1993). In the following, we will use the spelling preferred by Davis himself and a number of other Nyoongah writers who acknowledge his influence. 160 as borrowing, code-mixing, relexification, and interference. The distinction between borrowing and code-switching, which is of relevance for the purpose of the present analysis, seems to be especially hard to make and a whole range of different viewpoints exist in the literature. In the following, we shall outline the most important criteria that are commonly postulated in order to set codeswitching and borrowing apart and discuss their value for our attempted analysis. One factor frequently considered in the borrowing/code-switching debate concerns the length of the portion of foreign language material that is inserted. However, under close scrutiny, this approach proves to be insufficient: while borrowings are commonly assumed to have limited length, codeswitches can comprise anything from a one-word utterance to longer passages. Some researchers (e.g. Thomason 2001: 135) have argued that code-switching can even occur at the morpheme level. As such, the length criterion does not provide a reliable means of distinction as it obscures the status of single lexical elements. In order to account for the indeterminate status of single-word insertions, Poplack & Meechan (1995: 200) differentiate between established borrowings and what they call ‘nonce borrowings’, viz. elements that have not (yet) entered the lexicon of the target language. Both types are to be distinguished from code-switching which […] may be defined as the juxtaposition of sentences or sentence fragments, each of which is internally consistent with the morphological and syntactic (and optionally, phonological) rules of its lexifier language. […] ‘Borrowing’ is the adaptation of lexical material to the morphological and syntactic (and usually, phonological) patterns of the recipient language. Established ‘loanwords’ (which typically show full linguistic integration, native-language synonym displacement, and widespread diffusion, even among recipient-language monolinguals) differ from ‘nonce borrowings’ only insofar as the latter need not satisfy the diffusion requirement. [Emphasis in original, K.L.] Thus, borrowing involves a high degree of integration. For a start, the phonological structure of a borrowed item is likely to be adapted to that of the target language. Unluckily, phonological criteria cannot be relied on in a written text, and while the element’s spelling may provide some indications, we cannot establish with certainty the degree to which a particular lexeme has been adapted to the phonological structure of English. Integration can also be observed at the level of grammar and the lexicon: the borrowed element receives grammatical morphemes, such as plural markers, comparative and superlative suffixes, and inflectional endings; the use of determiners from the target language and the borrowed element’s position and function in a sentence is subject to the target language’s syntactic rules. In addition, a borrowed element enters the lexicon of the target language and thereby becomes available to all speakers of that language. Nonce-borrowings, too, are assumed to 161 exhibit a considerable degree of structural integration which shows most readily at the level of syntax and morphology, though not necessarily at that of phonology (Romaine 1989: 142). As follows from the above citation, they differ from established borrowings in their frequency of use and consequently in their degree of acceptance. Code-switches, on the other hand, are prone to maintain the grammatical, syntactic, and phonological rules of the donor language. Myers-Scotton (1993) advocates a less strict separation between one-word code-switches and borrowings, which she sees as two ultimately related phenomena. She further points out that integration into the system of the target language cannot function as an absolute criterion, claiming that one-word switches may also undergo integration while different degrees of integration may prevail among borrowings. Accordingly, she (1993: 176) proposes absolute and relative frequency of occurrence of a given element as the main criterion to determine its proximity to the target language’s lexicon. This point of view is not entirely unproblematic: how should we determine how many occurrences are needed, both at the level of the individual speaker as well as within a greater community of speakers, for a lexical element to be accepted as a borrowing without establishing arbitrary cut-off points? Further, in order to make any statement on the frequency of occurrence of a particular lexical item, a large sample of the target language is needed, especially when investigating the occurrence of lexical elements that express concepts of a very specific nature and therefore only occur in a small number of contexts. Gardner-Chloros (1987), too, subscribes to the notion of a continuum but has a more flexible understanding of the frequency criterion. She (1987: 102) argues that […] the distinction between code-switching and loans is of a ‘more or less’ and not an absolute nature. […] If it is an innovation on the speaker’s part, it is code-switching. If it is frequently used in that community – whether or not in free variation with a native element – then it is at least on its way to becoming a loan. In short, a loan is a code-switch with a full-time job. Like Myers-Scotton, Gardner-Chloros favours a diachronic interpretation of the relationship between code-switching and borrowing, indicating that the two may not be understood as distinct but roughly simultaneously occurring processes which yield separate outcomes. They both suggest that the processes of code-switching and borrowing need to be seen as located within the same developmental continuum, as code-switches provide the basis for the emergence of new borrowings that enter the mental lexicon. The quotation from Poplack & Meechan (1995: 200) indicates yet another factor that distinguishes borrowings from code-switches. According to them, loanwords “typically show full […] widespread diffusion, even among recipient-language monolinguals”. Hence, borrowings that have become established 162 in the lexicon of the target language can readily be employed by monolingual speakers. Code-switching, which involves the exploitation of the donor language’s lexicon, demands linguistic proficiency and knowledge of the system of the language. It thus requires a high level of bilingual competence. Where does this leave us? Summing up, we can state that the criteria most commonly cited for distinguishing borrowings from code-switches include a) the degree of integration of the lexical material into the system of the target language, b) the lexical element’s frequency of occurrence, c) its adoption into the mental lexicon of the target language, and hence, d) its availability to monolingual speakers. Even so, several problems arise: as the discussion has shown, drawing a strict boundary between borrowing and code-switching is hardly possible and while we have been able to determine criteria that are supposed to set the two processes and their outcomes apart, none of them is entirely conclusive and can guarantee a straightforward classification of foreign lexical features. In addition, they only have limited applicability in the context of our analysis and the nature of the material we are dealing with. This becomes evident when we try to apply them to a few of the elements found in Jack Davis’ text The Dreamers: Davis’ play includes several instances of lexical appropriation for which a classification seems relatively easily feasible. In The Dreamers, we can observe the use of 1. single lexical elements from Nyoongah and other Aboriginal languages which occur more than once in the text, show signs of structural integration, and are listed in dictionaries on AborE and other varieties of English, that is, they can be assumed to have entered the (Abor)English lexicon, 2. single lexical elements that originate from south-eastern Australian Aboriginal languages and have spread across the country, becoming part of the lexicon of AborE and possibly also AusE, 3. independent clauses, some of which are self-contained sentences, e.g. Gnyny nooniny barmy ‘I will strike you’ (Davis 1982: 107) while others are embedded in a larger sentence, e.g. "Hey Pop, boondah wah?" ‘do you have money?’ (Davis 1982: 88). Further there are a handful of longer passages, e.g. monologues and songs. All of the clauses and longer stretches of traditional language appear to have internal consistency with the Nyoongah grammatical system, some of the clauses, for example, do not contain an overt verb, as in koong minditj, ‘my side hurts’, lit. ‘side’, ‘ribcage’ + ‘sick’. 163 The items in (1) and (2) clearly constitute borrowings and their status as regularly occurring features of the AborE lexicon of AborE is in fact confirmed by the relevant literature. The length criterion and the consistency with the grammatical structures of Nyoongah, on the other hand, suggest that the elements described in (3) are examples of code-switching. However, The Dreamers also contains a number of elements for which a classification as borrowings or code-switches proves a lot more difficult. These show different degrees of morphological and syntactic integration and are not attested as part of the Nyoongah English lexicon in any of the dictionaries consulted. As has been indicated, structural integration cannot function as the sole indicator for borrowing, as borrowed elements have been shown to exhibit different degrees of integration, while, at the same time, also code-switches may to a certain extent be integrated into the target language’s structure. While some of the Nyoongah elements found in the text exhibit morphological integration, mostly in the form of the plural morpheme -s (e.g. tjennuks ‘evil spirits’), the majority of the single lexemes and phrasal units is integrated only at the syntactic level. Nouns are generally used with English determiners, verbal and adjectival elements, on the other hand, frequently exhibit integration only in terms of their position and function within the sentence. As we have seen, frequency of occurrence, too, is not an entirely unproblematic criterion, especially in the more restricted definition provided by Myers-Scotton (1993). In addition, when dealing with a small corpus such as ours, frequency of occurrence cannot provide a reliable measure to distinguish borrowings from code-switches. In practice, several loanwords that are attested by Arthur (1996) and in sources such as Dixon et al. (2004) or the Australian National Dictionary (e.g. boolyaduk ‘cleverman’, doak ‘throwing stick’) only occur once in The Dreamers while other terms not documented in the literature occur repeatedly in the text. We also need to keep in mind that many of the Aboriginal language terms, even those items that have become established as loanwords in Australian English, express very specific cultural or religious concepts and only apply to very limited contexts, so that their frequency of use is generally very low. Many of the terms used by speakers of AborE nevertheless fill a gap in the lexicon as they denote concepts that can otherwise not be expressed in English, and this, in turn, is a frequently assumed motivation for lexical borrowing (see for example the ‘borrowing scale’ in Thomason 2001: 70f). In many cases, a classification of the elements as borrowings seems plausible as their use appears to be motivated by the lexical element’s wider currency. In fact, many Nyoongah terms found in The Dreamers reoccur in all of Davis’ texts, which indicates their currency in Nyoongah English. Even so, due to the limited information on the lexicon of WA Nyoongah English it is impossible to ascertain whether a particular Nyoongah word has become established as a loanword. Also, while nominal elements such as tjennuks ‘evil 164 spirits’ or karda, the name of a dance, have a low frequency in the text, their status as borrowings is supported by their ability to fill a lexical gap in English. Still, most of the verbal and adjectival elements found in the text do not fill such a gap. As will become evident in the following, very similar problems arise when we attempt a classification of the Aboriginal language material found in the remainder of our corpus. The texts The Cherry Pickers and Bran Nue Dae, for example, include a number of Aboriginal language words which are neither attested in a dictionary nor in any other source on AborE and AusE, which suggests that these terms are code-switches rather than established lexical elements. On the other hand, many of these elements exhibit some degree of syntactic and morphological integration and their spelling often indicates phonological adaption to the English language. Also, while The Dreamers contains several longer passages of untranslated Nyoongah, the Aboriginal language material that occurs in the other texts is largely restricted to single lexical items and hybrid elements. The last criterion discussed above maintains that code-switching requires bilingual competence. This, too, is hardly of any value as we are not dealing with real life language data but fictional dialogues. In the literature, there is no indication that any of the playwrights are active bilinguals, although we know that Jack Davis has acquired at least some knowledge of Nyoongah. As such, it is probable that many of the Aboriginal language terms used in the plays have at least a wider regional currency. In conclusion, we need to admit that while for some of the Aboriginal language elements found in the plays a classification as borrowings or codeswitches is possible, the texts also include an amount of lexical material for which this is not easily feasible. We may assume that most of the single lexical items have at least some currency and are thus very likely part of the lexicon of regional AborE varieties. Still, mere assumptions do not provide sufficient proof for their classification as borrowings. Hence, it appears that the most reasonable approach for the present study would be to actually neglect the borrowing/code-switching distinction when dealing with non-English lexical appropriations. Instead, all single items, phrases, and longer stretches of Aboriginal Australian languages shall be treated as instances of insertion of foreign lexical material. These will be differentiated in terms of their length, i.e. we will distinguish single-word insertions from multi-word insertions. Another distinguishing feature is the source language, so that lexical elements that can be traced back to languages spoken in the authors’ native region shall be distinguished from lexemes which originate from languages spoken elsewhere. These terms can be assumed to have spread across the country and entered the lexicon of AborE and possibly also AusE. Whenever possible, the elements’ currency in AborE, AusE, and other varieties of English will be 165 determined on the basis of their being included in dictionaries on these varieties. In the following, the terms borrowing and loan(word) will only be used when referring to single-word insertions which have become established lexical features in AusE or other varieties of English. 8.3.3 Analysis of The Dreamers The great extent to which The Dreamers employs AborE lexical features becomes evident even before we engage in a close reading of the text. The play’s two acts ‘Beeruk – Summer’ and ‘Moorga – Winter’ use Nyoongah vocabulary in their heading, and the play’s title The Dreamers, although not an Aboriginal language word, evokes a central religious concept, viz. that of the Dreaming. The Wallitches’ family name itself is derived from the Nyoongah term walitj ‘night hawk’, a bird that is believed to announce an approaching death (Davis 1989: 36); it anticipates both Worru’s decease and the demise of the Nyoongah culture he symbolises. Also in the dialogue, we find a strong emphasis on Aboriginal modes of expression. Except for a brief appearance of Darren, one of Meena and Shane’s ‘whitefella’ friends, all characters in the play have an Aboriginal background and belong to the (extended) Wallitch family. Most of the adult characters speak a variety of AborE which is situated at the acrolectal end of the AborE continuum and thus comparatively easy to understand for non-Aboriginal audiences. Nevertheless it features a wealth of lexical elements that can be attributed to the Nyoongah English lexicon and function as salient markers of their Aboriginality. Mena’s and Shane’s speech approaches AusE albeit they, too, occasionally employ distinctive AborE features, including the (rare) use of Nyoongah terms. Their idiolects resemble that of Robert, a cousin who works as a legal aid officer. His speech, like his lifestyle, is closest to that of the mainstream society. Uncle Worru’s variety of Nyoongah English shows more differences to StE than the speech of the other characters, both on the lexical as well as on the grammatical level. All characters employ a range of distinctive grammatical features24. These include characteristic verb forms: third person singular may lack -s inflection, while other verbs may not be inflected to express past tense, as in “I tell ‘em a lotta stories. [...] An’ they laugh somethin’ cruel.” (Davis 1982: 84). Elsewhere, the past tense form was is used for plural and 2. pers. singular. Frequently, past participle forms are employed to express simple past tense, as in “You 24 Once again, I am fully aware that a description of AborE grammatical features which is based on a negative comparison with StE is unfit to really capture the nature of AborE. The reason for relying on this approach lies in the purpose mentioned above, which is to provide a brief– and by no means complete – overview of the major grammatical features that set the language used in Davis’ text apart from texts written by non- Aboriginal playwrights. 166 know who done all that?” (Davis 1982: 84), and auxiliaries tend to be omitted in declarative sentences as well as in questions, e.g. “You comin’?” (Davis 1982: 89). While some verbs show irregular inflection, others are inflected regularly where an irregular form would be expected, as in “I runned away with Melba.” (Davis 1982: 134). Future is expressed through both will and gonna, as in “I dunno what I’m gonna do with you.” (Davis 1982: 92). Some passive constructions show use of get rather than a form of (to) be, as in “all got sent Mogumber” (Davis 1982: 134), and expressions such as “’Ow you going?” (Davis 1982: 91) underline that go can occur in a variety of functions in AborE. Occasionally, never is used to negate the verb, and also double negation can be observed, as in “You can’t prove nothin’.”(Davis 1982: 83). Plural forms, too, are realised differently: plural is not always marked by inflection, as in “nearly six mile” (Davis 1982: 93), and in a few cases, regular plural forms are used where irregular forms would be expected, e.g. foots ‘feet’. Occasionally, elements such as lotta indicate plurality, as in “lotta moodgah up there” (Davis 1982: 85f). Whereas some of the Nyoongah single-word insertions exhibit the plural suffix -s, others do not carry English inflection markers, e.g. marta ‘legs’, djenna ‘feet’. In some cases, the omission of prepositions can be observed, as in “if you go Mogumber old settlement” (Davis 1982: 85), and pronoun forms such as the possessive pronoun me, e.g. “me own fuckin’ people” (Davis 1982: 84) and the 2. pers. plural youse remind readers of the influence of Irish English and other British dialect forms. On a few occasions, us is used as a 1. pers. singular pronoun, as in “I dunno, give us a look.” (Davis 1982: 100). In addition to the frequent occurrence of demonstrative them, determiners may be omitted or replaced by this/that, e.g. “Well, you know that Christmas tree, that’s the moodgah, that’s the Nyoongah name.” (Davis 1982: 85). Adverbials may be formed with the suffixes -way and -time and the element -one occurs as adjective suffix, as in “She pretty one too.” (Davis 1982: 84). Some complex sentences show the absence of structuring elements such as conjunctions, as in “Watch out he don’t fall.” (Davis 1982: 112) or relative pronouns, e.g. “What about them big boats come into Freemantle?” (Davis 1982: 127). Elsewhere, a resumptive pronoun is introduced, as in “One wetjala bloke, hippy, he give me two dollars.” (Davis 1982: 105). The lengthening of vowels, as in the term lo-o-ng, ‘long’, indicates intensification, a feature frequently found in AborE. Other noticeable imitations of AborE phonological features indicate the reduction of word-final consonant clusters and the elision of consonants as well as of unstressed, initial vowels, as in “She might wanna give me ‘nother needle.” (Davis 1982: 82). The transcription of the dialogue further suggests occasional h-dropping, as in “‘Ere. And don’t forget to bring me some gnummari. You ‘ear me?” (Davis 1982: 89) and the raising of vowels, as in “Ay, an’ how you gunna git on for a drink?” (Davis 1982: 83). Occasionally, fricatives are replaced by plosives, as in “Nurse gib ‘em to me” (Davis 1982: 84). 167 Davis’ massive use of Nyoongah, especially the monologues and songs, suggests that the author had some degree of proficiency and lexical knowledge of the virtually extinct language. Still, when we compare The Dreamers to his other plays, it becomes obvious that many of the single words and shorter phrases found in The Dreamers also occur in his other texts, which suggests that they have wider currency in Nyoongah English. The longer passages of Nyoongah are followed by an English translation within the main text; all other Aboriginal language elements need to be looked up in the comprehensive glossary that follows the text. The glossary, however, only contains translations for single lexical items and a few of the shorter phrases; it does not provide translations for longer phrases and sentences, the meaning of which must be reconstructed by looking up their single components. Also, no grammatical information is provided. On the level of orthographic representation, all ‘foreign’ language elements, that is, Nyoongah words and phrases as well as terms from other Aboriginal Australian language, are rendered in italics in Davis’ text; English terms which express specific cultural conceptualisations and loanwords that are established in (Aus)English (e.g. kangaroo) are not. Only the Aboriginal language elements of hybrid compounds are in italics. For our analysis of The Dreamers, Davis’ text was examined for instances of lexical appropriation which were isolated in order to determine the type of lexical appropriation strategy applied, the elements’ source language and their meaning, and the underlying conceptual category. In addition, the part of speech of the single lexemes and their currency in different varieties of English inside and outside Australia were established whenever possible. The results of this analysis will be summarised and discussed below. Based on what has been laid out in 8.1, but taking into account the above discussion on borrowing and code-switching and the conclusions drawn from it for the present study, the following types of lexical appropriation shall be identified in the text: (1) single-word insertions from Aboriginal languages (formerly) spoken in the area where the play is set, (2) single-word insertions from languages (formerly) spoken in other parts of the country, (3) multi-word insertions from the languages of the area, (4) hybrid compounds, which combine Aboriginal language terms and English elements, and (5) English-derived AborE lexicon features, including • English terms that have undergone semantic modification, as brought about by extension, narrowing, shift, or metaphor (e.g. black, 1. ‘Aboriginal’, 2. an Aboriginal person, country, ‘the tract of land where an Aboriginal person or community belongs, to which 168 they have a responsibility, and from which they can draw spiritual strength’) (in the following named ‘sematically modified English terms’), • English terms that have undergone phonological modification (e.g. baccy ‘tobacco’), • English lexemes that exhibit a usage which differs from StAusE and StE practice, for example, lexical items that are no longer or rarely employed in AusE (e.g. supper ‘evening meal’), function words, adverbs and adjectives which differ from their StE equivalents in form and/or meaning (e.g. adverbials using -time and -way), distinctive lexical combinations (e.g. big mob or cousin brother), including unique verb phrases and different types of compounds (e.g. lie-smile ‘(to) smile insincerely’, eye glasses ’glasses’), as well as lexical conflations (e.g. secret-sacred or kin terms such as bruz, from ‘brother’ and ‘cousin’) (in the following referred to as ‘Aboriginal usage of English term(s)’). As will transpire in the following, the above groupings ‘semantically modified’, ‘non-standard usage’, and ‘phonologically modified’ tend to overlap in some cases as several English-derived lexical appropriations show semantic modification or an unexpected, non-standard usage plus phonological modification, e.g. whitefella 1. ‘a white person, a European Australian or other person with a similar appearance’ 2. (as adj.) ‘white’, ‘European’. Here, phonological modification has been judged secondary so that these elements were classified as examples of either semantic modification or characteristic AborE usage. In a few cases, English words have been identified as instances of appropriation even though the terms are also found in AusE in an identical form and with the same meaning. These were included in the count as they are of special relevance for Aboriginal people and describe significant aspects of past and present Aboriginality. An example of such a term is mission ‘an Aboriginal settlement which may or may not once have been a religious institution’, which is of special relevance to speakers of AborE due to the experience of institutionalisation and the control which the government and the church exerted over the lives of Aboriginal people. Another one is Land Council ‘a body appointed to represent the interests of Aboriginal people in Aboriginal land’. It further needs to be acknowledged that some of the texts may in fact contain more instances of lexical appropriation than those identified and discussed here. This is because it is not always possible to determine with certainty if a particular English element that exhibits a non-standard meaning or usage actually constitutes a feature of AborE, and only those lexical items 169 were included for which it could be established with certainty that they are part of the AborE lexicon. Here, the information provided by Arthur (1996) and in the relevant literature on AborE was taken as guideline. Some lexical items were found to occur either in their StE or in their AborE sense, depending on the context of the utterance. It should be understood that only the latter were counted as instances of appropriation. In this context, we also have to consider that a number of Aboriginal language terms have become established loanwords in AusE and beyond. These, too, pose a problem. Can terms that have such a wide diffusion be regarded as manifestations of culturally bound conceptualisations and are the concepts they express of particular significance for Aboriginal speakers? Here, the decision was usually based on the ways in which these terms were used in the text and on the meanings and conceptualisations associated with them. This sometimes leads to a rather paradox situation, viz., that a particular word is counted as instance of lexical appropriation in one text analysis but not in another. To provide an example: in The Dreamers, the term kangaroo refers to the meat of the animal which is prepared for supper. It is thus used in a sense that is relatively common in AborE but usually not found in other varieties of English. Elsewhere, the word describes the animal itself as a typical part of Australian fauna, a usage that is not based on a culturally-bound interpretation of the term. Similarly, other established borrowings have been included in the count if their application emphasises Aboriginal people’s ways of understanding the world, but also whenever they are used to describe artefacts or practices specific to Aboriginal cultures. An example of such a term is the word corroboree defined by the AND as ‘a dance ceremony, of which song and rhythmical musical accompaniment are an integral part, and which may be sacred and ritualised or non-sacred, occasional and informal’. While the term is shared with AusE, it relates to an important aspect of Aboriginal culture which justifies the term’s status as instance of appropriation. As Dixon et al. (2006:151f) show, the word has further developed additional meanings in AusE where it may be used to describe ‘any social gathering, especially of a boisterous nature’. Whenever possible, the definitions provided for the Nyoongah words and phrases are taken directly from Davis’ glossary, although in some cases, they are complemented by additional information from Arthur (1996) and other sources for AborE as well as by own observations. The individual sources from which definitions and glosses that specify the lexical appropriations’ meanings as well additional pieces of information have been taken are detailed in the wordbook. Besides, the definitions were cross-checked with the respective entries in the Nyoongah dictionaries compiled by Douglas (1991) and Whitehurst (1997), and the wordlist compiled by Dench which is published in Macquarie Aboriginal Words (Thieberger & McGregor 1994). We nevertheless need to keep in 170 mind that the concepts underlying particular lexical signs may differ across languages so that often, verbatim translations need to be seen as approximations of the meaning in the original language rather than exact renditions of it. This is all the more true when we deal with languages which differ as profoundly in their underlying conceptual frameworks as English and Australian languages do. Longer Nyoongah phrases and clauses are thus very often not translated word by word. Readers should be aware that the information provided below is merely a summary of the data which are in far greater detail presented in A wordbook of selected Aboriginal English words in Australian literature which has beenpublished separately. The wordbook can be found as part of the Virtual Linguistics Campus and is accessible via http://bit.ly/2gUv4Cnat or via QR code: For a better understanding of the context in which the lexical appropriations are used, one or more text passage(s) in which they occur is/are quoted in the wordbook entry. Note that some types of appropriation are used repeatedly in the text, so that the passages quoted constitute only one or few example(s) taken from a variety of occurrences. Italics in the original text are removed in the quotations. Davis’ glossary also includes a handful of Aboriginal language terms which are not Nyoongah words. For these, no source language is provided in his glossary, in fact, it is not specified for any of the terms that they are not Nyoongah terms. Most of the lexical elements that come from a language other than Nyoongah, however, are more widely used so that the information provided by Arthur (1996), Dixon et al. (2006), the AND, as well as on the Nyoon- 171 gah dictionaries by Douglas (1991) and Whitehurst (1997) and Dench’s Nyoongah wordlist was relied on to verify the source language of the Aboriginal language elements. If the donor language could not be verified on the basis of these sources but the term is listed in Davis’ glossary, it is treated as a Nyoongah word. The part of speech of the single borrowed items was determined on the basis of their occurrence and function in the sentence and, if available, the information provided in Arthur (1996), Whitehurst (1997), and Douglas (1991). An exact grammatical determination of the elements in the longer Nyoongah phrases is not easily feasible without any knowledge of the language and has therefore not been attempted. Longer stretches of Nyoongah that exceed the length of a phrase are classified as monologue or song. Several of the lexical elements encountered in the text are also documented in early contact varieties by Troy’s (1990, 1993, and 1994) and Malcolm & Koscielecki’s (1997) works on NSW Pidgin, by Foster et al. (2003) on South Australian Pidgin English (henceforth also SAPE), by Harris (1986 and 1988) on Northern Territory Pidgin English (henceforth also NTPE), and in the relevant literature on Australian pidgins and varieties of AborE cited in the bibliography. However, the information gathered from these sources can only serve as a tentative indication of the lexemes’ past usages. Several terms are documented in pidgin varieties which developed during the colonisation of the northern and western parts of the country in the middle and late 19th century. Still, it is possible that the terms were already used elsewhere in earlier periods. In 5.2 we have seen that the NSW Pidgin and its early southeastern descendants constituted a major influence on the contact varieties that developed in later periods and that a great part of the lexicon of varieties such as the NTPE is ultimately based on the New South Wales input. Thus, many lexical elements attested in the southern contact languages spread north, as is confirmed by borrowings from New South Wales languages that are found in Kriol and other northern varieties. Likewise, many of the elements documented in NTPE are likely to go back to south-east contact varieties even though it has not always been possible to find confirmation in the above mentioned sources. A number of terms are not documented at all in the contact languages. Again, this does not mean that none of them was used in these varieties, but simply that it has not been possible to find any written evidence in the literature consulted. The terms’ currency in present-day contact varieties has not been investigated, but it is likely that many of the more widely distributed terms are also employed in those pidgins and creoles that continue to be used. In order to determine the currency of the single-word insertions from Australian languages and English lexemes in AborE, these were cross-checked with Arthur (1996) and (if available) other dictionaries, glossaries, or word lists of (regional) AborE varieties. Dixon et al. (2006) and other works on re- 172 gional varieties of AusE, e.g. Brooks & Ritchie’s (1994) Words from the West – A glossary of Western Australian terms, as well as the online edition of the Australian National Dictionary have provided information on the words’ use in AusE. Finally, the online edition of the Oxford English Dictionary was consulted for information on the terms’ occurrence in varieties of English outside Australia. As has been outlined above, it is unwise to make any definite statements on a word’s currency and use that are based on lexicographic sources alone, without access to real-life data. Therefore, we will refrain from any suggestions such as “the word X is used in Y and Z” and only specify the sources in which the lexical items are listed. For those elements that are listed in the AND, the date of the earliest citation is provided. Citation dates provided by the OED online have only been considered if the terms are Aboriginal language words, English terms that are either identified as AusE in the respective OED entry, occur in a citation that is from an Australian source or refers to Australian usage, or describe concepts that are specific to Australian contexts. Any additional information that could be obtained on the lexemes’ usage is presented as additional comment. Issues of synchronic and diachronic usage of individual lexemes aside, we must not forget that this study’s main purpose is to trace the ways in which forms of AborE have the potential to provide the means for the expression of an Aboriginal identity and to investigate how a literary text can allow for the transportation of cultural information. Above, we have elaborated on the various ways in which the lexicon of AborE varieties may be appropriated to express culture-specific concepts, and the thematic categories according to which Arthur (1996) has structured her dictionary have helped to determine a set of conceptual domains which shall be briefly repeated here: a. The continuation of cultural and religious tradition b. Kinship structures c. Human relationships and social interaction d. States of feeling and being and ways of conduct e. Body parts and body functions, intimate and personal aspects of live f. Relationship to the land g. Nature and environment h. The contact experience i. Novel conceptualisations of Aboriginality and cultural survival j. Aboriginal way However, while the conceptual categories presented above allow for a relatively straightforward classification of the Nyoongah single-word insertions and English lexemes, the large amount of multi-word insertions found in The Dreamers once again challenges the conditions laid out for our analysis as it is not always possible to determine an adequate conceptual category for 173 them. The stretches of Nyoongah language which have been classified as songs can easily be assigned to the conceptual category (a) Continuation of cultural and religious tradition since they are representations of cultural practices remembered by Worru. Most other instances of multi-word insertion, however, pose a far greater challenge. Many do not easily fit into any of the above categories as they express propositions that could just as well be expressed through English. Indicating the speaker’s proficiency in and identification with the traditional language, their function is comparable to that of Myers- Scotton’s (1993) ‘core-borrowings’ which do not fill a lexical gap but replace existing English words. The same applies for a few of the single-word insertions. As such, these instances of appropriation are best assigned to a category that pays respect to the speaker’s linguistic knowledge and desire to incorporate what he or she remembers of the ancestral language: k. Traditional language maintenance Admittedly, (k) is not a conceptual category. Instead, it shows many parallels to our category (j): while the lexical elements in (j) bear witness to the structural influence of the Aboriginal language substrate, those elements included in (k) are examples of how the text makes room for the representation and, at the same time, the continuation of Nyoongah language use. The elements found in this category therefore signal the speaker’s linguistic affiliations, reminding the reader and the audience of his or her Aboriginal background and identity. As a last step, we shall try to relate our findings to the wider context of the play, that is to say, we will investigate to which extent the concepts expressed by the lexical appropriations and the conceptual categories they invoke reflect the thematic outline of the text. In addition, we will determine which effects are created by the different types of lexical appropriations, how these affect the tenor of the play, and what feelings they are likely to create on the part of potential readers and audiences. 8.3.4 The Results The text analysis reveals that The Dreamers contains a total of 190 different types of lexical appropriation25. Davis’ text makes use of all the different types of lexical appropriation strategies that have been outlined above: we find lexical items borrowed from the author’s ancestral language Nyoongah, in- 25 All numbers refer to different types of appropriation, not the actual number of tokens found in the text. Thus, the term Nyoongah, which occurs more than 25 times in Davis text, counts as one instance of appropriation. Lexemes that exhibit spelling variations, e.g. fella and fellow were counted as one type, so were singular and plural forms of the same lexeme. 174 cluding one borrowing compound which combines two Nyoongah lexical elements (goonamia ‘toilet’, from goona ‘excrement’ and mia ‘hut’, ‘temporary shelter’), as well as Nyoongah multi-word insertions and English terms that have changed their semantic scope or exhibit an AborE usage. In addition, the text contains a small number of single-word insertions from other Aboriginal Australian languages (such as the aforementioned corroboree from the Sydney language or kangaroo from the northern Queensland language Guugu Yimidhirr) and hybrid compounds comprising Nyoongah and English elements (e.g. boolya man, mirrolgah stance, waitj dance, yongara dance). Only 36 elements are documented in earlier Australian pidgin varieties; of these, 21 items can be traced back to NSW Pidgin. Note that, in the following, no individual sources will be provided for the definitions and glosses which specify the lexical appropriations’ meanings. These are detailed in the wordbook. a) Single word insertions from Nyoongah form the bulk of lexical appropriations in the text; their number amounts to 88 items. Note that the complex elements bitjarra gnoorndiny ‘sleep’, lit. ‘sleep’ + ‘sleep’, kobble wert ‘hungry’, lit. ‘stomach’ + ‘empty’, meowl birt ‘blind person’, from meowl (elsewhere as miyal) ‘eye’, tjen kooliny ‘(to) walk’, from tjenna ‘feet’ and kool- ‘go’, tjenna guppi ‘featherfoot’, from tjenna ‘feet’ and guppi ‘feathers’, and woort beerny ‘(to) strangle’, from woort (elsewhere wort) ‘throat’, have been included in this category. Even though, technically, they have multiple constituents, their meaning and use suggest that they are fixed expressions, which justifies their being treated as compounded single-word insertions. The major part of the single-word insertions are nominal elements (55 types), including two elements best defined as adjective-derived nouns (meow birt, in Davis’ glossary ‘blind person’, elsewhere glossed as ‘blind’ and winyarn, in Davis’ glossary ‘weak-willed person’, elsewhere glossed as ‘frightened’, ‘pathetic’), as well as choo ‘shame’, kynya ‘shame’, both of which are generally used as exclamations. To these we can add the second most frequently occurring Nyoongah English lexical element, Nyoongah, which occurs as noun and adjective, as well as the two pronouns gnyny ‘I’, ‘me’ and nietjuk ‘who’. Thirteen of the Nyoongah words are adjectival elements and another five terms are verbal elements, including the imperative allewah ‘watch out’. The element gnoorndiny ‘sleep’ occurs as verb and as what appears to be a nominalised verb. Six of the Nyoongah single-word insertions are adverbs and another two elements are best described as interjections (koorawoorliny, an expression of disbelief, and woolah, a shout of praise). Two elements have not been assigned any part of speech: the affirmative kia ‘yes’ and the negative yuart ‘no’ are most commonly used at the beginning of an utterance to signal emphasis, agreement, or disagreement and thus serve an emotive function. 175 Finally, there is the question word wah which is used with the meaning ‘is there?’, ‘do you have?’. None of the Nyoongah elements is documented in earlier contact varieties, and only eight items are established for AusE or other varieties of English; in fact, only 13 of the Nyoongah single-word insertions are listed in Arthur (1996) as AborE lexical items, which suggests that most only have restricted, regional currency. The items recorded in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal varieties of English are: boolyaduk ‘cleverman’ (AborE), bridaira ‘boss’, ‘master’ (AborE), choo ‘shame’ (AborE), kynya ‘shame’ (AborE), doak ‘throwing stick’ (AusE), gidtji ‘spear’ (AusE), gnoop ‘wine’, lit. ‘blood’ (AborE), gnumarri ‘tobacco’ (AborE), goonamia ‘toilet’ (AborE), kwon ‘arse’ (AborE), kylie ‘boomerang’ (AusE), manatj ‘police officer’, ‘the police’, lit. ‘black cockatoo’ (AborE, AusE), minditj ‘sick’ (AusE), moorditj ‘good’, lit. ‘hard’, ‘strong’, ‘solid’ (AborE), moorlies ‘evil spirits’ (AusE), Nyoongah, 1. an Aboriginal person, 2. ‘Aboriginal’ (AborE, AusE), winyarn ‘weak-willed person’ (AborE), tjarraly ‘jarrah’ (AusE), yorga ‘woman’ (AborE). The etymology of the verb bunjin’ ‘play around (with women)’ is unclear. Arthur (1996:140) suggests that the term, which is derived from the noun bunji-man ‘a white man who sexually exploits Aboriginal women, or who particularly seeks out Aboriginal women for purposes of sex’, might be derived from an Aboriginal pronunciation of fancy man. The online edition of the AND provides Goreng Goreng (south-eastern Queensland) banji ‘friend’ as origin. The term is thus documented for AborE as well as for AusE but not in any early contact variety. b) The 73 English items recorded in the text constitute the second largest group of lexical appropriations. Of these, 47 elements are semantically modified English terms and another 24 items are examples of characteristically Aboriginal usages of English terms26. Two elements are best described as phonologically modified forms of an English lexeme, viz. bacca ‘tobacco’ and nother ‘another’. Again, nominal elements dominate: we find 42 types, including no less than six noun phrases, viz. big mob, little fellow, old fellow, old girl, white man, and young fella, one element that is also used as an interjection (shame), and a proper noun derived from a verb, viz. Patchy, from (to) patch up ‘(to) ask around for contributions’. In addition, we find two elements that are used as both noun and adjective in the text (Wetjala and blackfella) and the pronominal element that one. Another 13 items are adjectival elements and six items are 26 These two categories include the terms Wetjala (semantic modification) and unna ‘isn’t it?’ (Aboriginal usage of English term), which also exhibit phonological modification. 176 adverbs. The text further includes six English-derived appropriations that are verbs. Finally, the three elements ay, eh, and unna are interjections. About half of the English items, viz. 34 lexemes, are documented in earlier pidgin and creole varieties, including 19 items that could be traced back to NSW Pidgin: all gone, bacca (NSW), before, big mob, black (NSW), blackfella(s) (NSW), boss, brother (NSW), camp, cheeky, country (NSW), directly/drecktly (NSW), eh (NSW), fella (NSW), finish, missus (NSW), mob, never, no good (NSW), nother, old fella/ole fella, old girl, one (s), plenty (NSW), poor old fella (NSW), sing out, stop (out) (NSW), tea leaf, that one (NSW), this way/that way (NSW), tucker (NSW), Wetjala (s) (NSW), what for (NSW), white man (NSW). In addition, 32 English items are listed in Arthur (1996) as part of the lexicon of AborE and a considerable number of items have an entry in the online versions of the AND and the OED, although many are defined as ‘pidgin’ or AborE terms in these sources, as for example Aunty, an older woman, often wise in traditional language, having status within her community; also a term of address, big mob, a large group (of people, animals, etc.), a large amount of something, plenty ‘much (of)’, ‘many’, Wetjala, from Engl. whitefellow, 1. a white person, a European Australian or other person with a similar appearance 2. (as adj.) ‘white’, ‘European’, young fella, a young person, usually a young man. Others appear to have only restricted currency in dialectal or regional varieties of English, e.g. coz, a familiar form of address for a cousin, also used as a term of solidarity, cruel, here ‘very’, plenty ‘much (of)’, ‘many’. c) The next major lexical appropriation strategy in The Dreamers is that of multi-word insertion. All in all, 20 examples of this appropriation type were counted, including phrases, clauses, as well as longer, more complex sentences. The Nyoongah multi-word insertions also include four stretches of traditional language that have considerable length, viz. one monologue (or rather, a dialogue with an imaginary interlocutor) and three songs. In addition, we find several instances in which items counted as single-word insertions are combined, e.g. choo kynya, ‘real shame’, lit. ‘shame’ + ‘shame’. These have not been considered here as they were already counted in (a). d) Two more types of lexical appropriation remain to be discussed, viz. hybrid compounds and borrowings from Australian languages other than Nyoongah. These only make up a minor portion of the lexical appropriations found in the text. All five hybrid compounds found in the text are nouns and only one does not include a Nyoongah term: boolya man ‘cleverman’ (Nyoongah and English), gin tailer, a (non-Aboriginal) male seeking for sexual encounters with Aboriginal women (Sydney language and English), mirrolgah stance ‘balance’, the act of throwing a spear (Nyoongah and English), 177 waitj dance, a dance (Nyoongah and English), yongara dance, a dance (Nyoongah and English). None of the hybrid compounds is accounted for in an early contact variety but boolya man ‘cleverman’ is listed as an AborE word in Arthur (1996), in different sources for AusE, as well as in the AND and the OED. e) Two of the three single-word insertions from Aboriginal languages other than Nyoongah are nouns, viz. kangaroo, from Guugu Yimidhirr (Cooktown/northern Queensland) and kulumans, from Kamilaroi or a related NSW language: The remaining term, corroboree, a dance ceremony, ‘(to) dance’, from the Sydney language occurs as both noun and verb. Kangaroo and corroboree are also documented in NSW Pidgin by Troy (1990 and 1993)27. All three lexemes are established loanwords in AusE and other varieties of English even though in these varieties, the term kangaroo has a different semantic scope and usually denotes the animal rather than its meat. Summing up all examples of lexical appropriation and the conceptual categories into which they fall, we obtain the following picture: a. Continuation of cultural and religious tradition (34 items) • 15 single-word insertions (Nyoongah): boolyaduk ‘cleverman’, doak ‘throwing stick’, gidtji ‘spear’, karda, a dance, kylie ‘boomerang’, kunya ‘soul’, ‘spirit of a deceased person’, middar, a dance, moorlies ‘evil spirits’, nyumby, a dance, tjenna guppy ‘featherfoot’, tjennuks ‘evil spirits’, Wahrdung ‘Black Crow’, Wallitch, the characters’ family name, from walitj ‘night hawk’, an omen of death, widartji ‘evil spirit’, yahllarah, a dance. • 10 English items: Dreaming, a collection of events beyond living memory which shaped the physical, spiritual and moral world and which is still manifested in and sustains the present, featherfoot, a person with ‘clever’ powers used on a mission of revenge, kidney fat, the fat surrounding the kidney, secretly removed by ritual killers to cause a delayed death in their victims, livin’, from just living ‘living together in a sexual relationship, one that may have Aboriginal validity’, doctor, a spiritually powerful person whose powers include healing; a ‘clever person’, song, a traditional Aboriginal song, used to hold the knowledge of the ‘law’ or the ‘Dreaming’, story, a true account, which may include spiritual truth of a thing, event or place, strong ‘spiritually powerful’, way1, the manner in which one lives as an Aboriginal person, uses language, and performs social and personal activities; the beliefs 27 Note that kangaroo was originally used by the NSW Aboriginal population to denote all animals introduced by the colonisers except for dogs. 178 and customs which provide meaning for this way of living; the term may also be applied to non-Aboriginal ways, yarn ‘Aboriginal story’. • 4 hybrid compounds: boolya man, a ‘cleverman’, mirrolgah stance ‘balance’, the act of throwing a spear, waitj dance, a dance, yongara dance, a dance. • 3 multi-word insertions (3 Nyoongah songs that have been included in this category both for their content and form): Allewa! Tjenna guppi nyinanliny, a nyinanliny, a nyinanliny, a nyinanliny, Mundika Nyinanliny, Mundika nyinanliny, Ngunyinniny kaka woorniny, A kaka woorniny, Tjenna guppi nyinanliny, Tjenna guppi, Tjenna guppi, Tjenna guppi, Woolah! ‘Watch out, featherfoot there, There, there, there, There in the bushes, There in the bushes, I’m laughing, Laughing, Featherfoot there, Featherfoot, Featherfoot, Featherfoot, Hooray!’ Nitja Wetjala, warrah, warrah! Gnullarah dumbart noychwa.Noychwa, noychwa, noychwa.Wetjala kie-e-ny gnullarah dumbart.Kie-e-ny, kie-e-ny, kie-e-ny, Kie-eny. ‘The White man is evil, evil! My people are dead. Dead, dead, dead. The white man kill my people, Kill, kill, kill, Kill.’ Wahra biny, wahra biny, Koor Ndillah boorndilly dorniny. Yoongoo bootjahrahk kippulyiny kippulyiny, Mahri wahrabiny, wahrabiny, wahrabiny, Woolah! ‘Look at the clouds rolling, rolling, Thunder crashing, smashing. The rain has soaked the earth. Clouds rolling, rolling, rolling, Hoorah!’ • 2 single-word insertions (other Aboriginal languages): corroboree, 1. a dance ceremony, of which song and rhythmical musical accompaniment are an integral part, and which may be sacred and ritualised or non-sacred, occasional and informal, 2. ‘(to) perform a corroboree’, kuluman, a shallow wooden dish. b. Kinship structures (10 items) • 10 English items: Aunty (also Auntie), an older woman, often wise in traditional language, having status within her community, also a term of address, here used to denote a female relative of the parents’ generation28, brother, a close relative 28 In AborE, the terms auntie and uncle are frequently employed to refer to a person of one’s parents’ generation who may but need not be a (close) relative of the speaker. Often, the persons designated or addressed as such have considerable cultural and linguistic knowledge and enjoy high status within the community. The use of auntie and uncle is thus in many contexts comparable to that of terms such as old fella or old girl insofar as they may function as more general terms of respect for older people. Still, in the following, both auntie and uncle will be treated as belonging to conceptual category b. Kinship structures as their scope of reference also covers elderly relatives. Similarly, other kin terms such as brother and sister will be included in this category even though these, too, may also be used to address or to refer to persons who are not direct rela- 179 of the same generation, often a parallel cousin; a form of address for a sibling, or a gesture of solidarity with another Aboriginal person of the same generation, grannies, from granny, a relative of either sex of one’s grandchildren’s generation or of one’s grandparents’ generation, cousin, a relative of either sex, not necessarily close, but of one’s own generation, also an address term, coz, a familiar form of address for a cousin, also an item of solidarity, lot, a section of a family, nephew, a person/a relative of the younger generation, relation, a relation; the term is used much more inclusively than in StE, sister, a female of the same generation, a biological sister or a close cousin, or a person classified as such; also used to express solidarity, uncle, a respectful term of address for an older man. c. Human relationships and social interaction (9 items) • 5 English items: little fella, a child, old fella, also ole fella, 1. an older person, also 2. a person of recognised authority within the community, normally an older person, old girl, a respectful reference to a women of an older generation, sing out ‘call out’, young fella, a young person, usually a young man. • 4 single-word insertions (regional languages): gunny ‘I’, ‘me’, koolangarah ‘children’, nop ‘boy’, yorga ‘woman’. d. States of feeling and being and ways of conduct (13 items) • 7 single-word insertions (Nyoongah): choo ‘shame’, kynya ‘shame’, (also in combination: choo kynya ‘real shame’), moorditj ‘good’, nyoornditj ‘pitiful person’, tjurip ‘pleased’, wayarning ‘frightened’, winyarn ‘weak-willed person’. • 5 English items: Cheeky ‘causing pain’, ‘dangerous, violent’, ‘poisonous’, ‘mischievous, but possibly also dangerous’, make out ‘give the impression’, ‘pretend’, poor, of a person who has died, (a euphemism for) ‘deceased’, ‘late’, poor old fella, from poor fellow, referring to the condition of oneself or others, implying recognition of the plight of the human condition, shame ‘embarrassment’, ‘fear’, a sense for having transgressed the social and moral code of society, intentionally or unintentionally. • 1 multi-word insertion (Nyoongah): noonuk gnitiung ‘are you cold?’. e. Body parts and body functions, intimate and personal aspects of live (20 items) • 16 single-word insertions (Nyoongah): bootjari ‘pregnant’, gnarnuk ‘beard’, goonamia ‘toilet’, kobble wert ‘hungry’, koomp ‘urine’, kwon ‘arse’, marta ‘legs’, meow ‘eye’, meowl birt ‘blind person’, tives of the speaker. See also chapter 11 for a more detailed discussion of the different meanings and applications associated with kinship terms. 180 minditj ‘sick’, moorlin ‘back’, noych ‘dead’, nyoondiak ‘brains’, tjenna ‘feet’, tjuelara ‘skinny’, yimmung ‘forehead’. • 2 multi-word insertions (Nyoongah): kwotjut noych ‘long gone’, koong minditj ‘[my] side/ribcage hurts’. • 1 English item: finish ‘(to) end, to die’, ‘(to) destroy, to kill’. • 1 unclear item: bunjin’ ‘play around (with women)’ f. Relationship to the land (3 items) • 3 English items: camp, a living place, temporary or permanent; the term can refer to the living place of either a single person or a small or large group, and can include in its reference a group of houses or a swag under a tree, but always in an Aboriginal-controlled environment, country, the tract of land where an Aboriginal person or community belongs, to which they have a responsibility, and from which they can draw spiritual strength, nor’west, of or from the north-west of Western Australia29. g. Nature and environment (14 items) English items: • 13 single-word insertions (Nyoongah): bantji ‘banksia’, beeruk ‘summer’, dwerts ‘dogs’, ‘dingoes’, kohn ‘wild potatoe’, kudden ‘red gum tree’ kulkarna ‘mullet’, moodga, the Western Australian Christmas tree, moorga ‘winter’, muttlegahruk ‘sand plain tree’, nyngarn ‘echidna’, tjarraly ‘jarrah’, yonga ‘kangaroo’, yuron ‘bobtail goanna’. • 1 single-word insertion (other Aboriginal languages): kangaroo, here denotes the animal as an item of food. h. The contact experience (26 items) • 16 English items: bacca ‘tobacco’, barefooted ‘without footwear’, thus in transferred sense ‘lacking European possession or knowledge of European ways’, black 1. ‘Aboriginal’, 2. an Aboriginal person, blackfella (also blackfellas), 1. an Aboriginal person, 2. ‘Aboriginal’, before ‘before the present time, i.e. in the past, in the old days, particularly before the time when the country was finally controlled by Europeans’, boss, a form of address from an Aboriginal person to a European man, not necessarily an employer, church married, ‘married in a European church, as opposed to married according to Aboriginal law’, feed ‘meal’, Jacky, a person subservient to whites, missus, a form of address to a white woman, not necessarily an employer, open ‘broke’, supper ‘evening 29 Nor'west has been included in category 'Relationship to the land' as it relates not only to artefacts, practices, and traditions found in the north-west of WA but also to the people and their place of belonging, a concept that is based on the link between a person and the land and its characteristics and features. 181 meal’, tea leaf ‘tea leaves’, ‘tea’, tucker ‘food, particularly European food’, Wetjala (also Wetjelas), 1. a white person, a European Australian or other person with a similar appearance, 2. (as adj.) ‘white’, ‘European’, white man, a non-Aboriginal person. • 9 single-word insertions (Nyoongah): bridaira ‘boss’, ‘master’, boondah ‘money’, gnumarri ‘tobacco’, gnoop ‘wine’, keep ‘water’, ‘liquor’, manatj ‘police officer’, also ‘the police’, lit. ‘black cockatoo’, marngk (also mahngk) ‘tea’, merrany ‘bread’, woonana ‘behind bars’. • 1 hybrid compound: gin tailer, a (non-Aboriginal) male seeking for sexual encounters with Aboriginal women. i. Novel conceptualisations of Aboriginality and cultural survival (1 item) • 1 single-word insertion (regional languages): Nyoongah 1. an Aboriginal person, 2. ‘Aboriginal’, in south-west WA30. j. Aboriginal way (23 items) • 23 English items: all gone ‘not present’, ‘no more’, ay, an interjection, used as rhetorical comment, usually at the end of statements, big mob ‘a large group (of people, animals, etc.)’, cruel ‘very’, drecktly ‘shortly’, ‘very soon’, eh, an interjection, used as rhetorical comment, usually at the end of statements, fella, 1. a person, either male or female though usually male, 2. any animate or inanimate thing, mob, 1. a group of Aboriginal people, linked by relationship and culture, 2. a group of people or animals, 3. an expression of number, never, an emphatic negative, no good ‘not any good’, ‘worthless’, nother ‘another’, one (also ones), (as a noun) used with adjectives, with the resulting combination, while appearing noun-like, still functioning as an adjective, Patchy, an eye patch, a pun on the verb (to) patch up (for) ‘(to) ask around for contributions’, plenty ‘much (of)’, ‘many’, proper ‘real’, ‘really’, ‘truly’, also ‘adequate’, ‘adequately’, reckon ‘say’ as well as ‘think’, solid ‘terrific’, ‘fantastic’, stop (out) ‘(to) remain at a place for some time’, that one, cf. this one, used to indicate sth. with particularity, often used alongside the thing indicated, to distinguish it from another in the same category, (this also that) way2, from way as a productive element in the formation of adverbials of manner and place, here ‘in the direction indicated’, time, a specific period, unna, an in- 30 Used to describe (WA) Aboriginal people who formerly belonged to several smaller language groups and their cultural and linguistic heritage. Covering a much larger geographical area and referring to a whole set of linguistic varieties and cultural traditions, terms such as Nyoongah acknowledge the changes that have affected Aboriginal society since the beginning of colonisation. This is why terms describing a wider, regional identity are included in category (i) Novel conceptualisations of Aboriginality and cultural survival. 182 tensifier to a statement or response to a statement, meaning ‘isn't it?’, ‘wouldn't you say’, ‘don't you think’, what for ‘why’. k. Traditional language maintenance (37 items) • 23 single-word insertions (regional languages): allewah ‘watch out’, bitjarra gnoorndiny ‘sleep’, boh-oh ‘a long way’, boordahwoon ‘so’, ‘directly’, ‘now’, doogeearkiny ‘flee’, doot ‘burnt’, dubbakyny ‘slowly’, dytje ‘meat’, gnoorndiny ‘sleep’, kia, ‘yes’, karlawoorliny ‘hot’, koora ‘longtime’, ‘before’, koorawoorliny, an expression of disbelief, moornawooling, ‘black’, nitjal ‘here’, nietjuk ‘who’, tjen kooliny ‘(to) walk’, warrah ‘bad’, winjar ‘where’, ‘which way’, woolah, a shout of praise, woort beerny ‘(to) strangle’, yuart ‘no’, wah ‘is there, do you have’. • 14 multi-word insertions (regional languages): baal koorliny ‘they were going’, gnank weerdiny ‘after sunset’, gnyny nooniny bahkininy ‘I will bite you’, gnyny nooniny barmy ‘I will strike you’, kia gnullarah bridaira nyinning, lit. ‘yes’ + ‘our(s)’+ ‘boss’+ ‘here’, kia kurnan, kunarn! ‘yes, it’s the truth’, keert koolny ‘going quickly’, wart arny yit ‘move along’, winjar koorl ‘which way (where) are we going?’, warrah wangeing ‘(to) bad mouth’, winjar noonuk ‘where are you?’, woolah, yongarah, kwobinaryarn, kwobinaryarn ‘hurray, kangaroo, excellent, excellent’, yuarl nyinaliny gnullarah, lit. ‘you’ + ‘there’ + ‘ours’. Milbart, Winjar Noonuk? Make a kaal. Gnuny gnitiung.Witjar gnank weerdiny, Milbart. Gnuny wanta kaal koong dookan gnoordiny.Milbart yuarl nyinaliny gnoordiny.Milbart yuarl nyinaliny gnullarah.Milbart kaal wah. ‘Milbart, where are you? Make a fire. I’m cold and the sun is going down. I want to lie with my side to the fire. Milbart, are you coming to lie down with me? Milbart, come here to me. Milbart, make a fire.’ The greatest number of lexical appropriations found in Jack Davis’ text The Dreamers falls into categories k) Traditional language maintenance and a) Continuation of cultural and religious tradition, which contain 37 and 34 elements, respectively. The high number of items in category (a) confirms what has been suggested in the above chapters, namely that the lexicon of AborE greatly contributes to the maintenance and transportation of cultural knowledge. The majority of the elements in this category are Nyoongah single- and multi-word insertions, demonstrating the importance of the traditional languages in the transmission of culturally and spiritually significant concepts. All English lexemes that fall into this category are listed in works on AborE and other varieties of English and thus appear to be more widely used. The value of the Nyoongah language is further stressed by the large number of elements in category (k). Their inclusion in the text provides a stage for the promotion and portrayal of the ancestral language that is only remembered by a small number of speakers and threatened by extinction. The large numbers of items in these categories and the high percentage of Nyoongah elements meet the 183 thematic focus of the play, which contrasts contemporary urban Aboriginal realities with the lifestyle remembered by the old man Worru. The third major category is h) The contact experience, which comprises 26 items and includes several Nyoongah single-word insertions that have developed new or additional meanings and therefore allow Nyoongah speakers to describe concepts related to black and white co-existence and interaction in settled Australia, e.g. boondah, money’, lit. ‘stone’, gnoop, ‘wine’, lit. ‘blood’, manatj ‘police’, ‘police officer’, lit. ‘black cockatoo’, marngk ‘tea (leaf)’, lit. ‘leaf’. The majority of items in this category, however, are English lexemes that appropriate existing meanings and applications and thus communicate Aboriginal people’s viewpoints and experiences. The use of elements such as Jacky, a stereotypical name for a person subservient to whites, exemplifies how the characters also resort to irony to achieve this end. How AborE expresses a perspective not shared with the mainstream society is further manifested in the 23 English-derived items that fall into category j) Aboriginal way. These testify to the different conceptualisations that underlie lexical elements which may deviate in form, function, and meaning from StE. Another 20 items fall into e) Body parts and body functions, intimate and personal aspects of live. Here, the verb finish ‘(to) end’, ‘(to) die’ is the only English item; the etymology of bunjin’ ‘(to) play around (with women)’ is unclear; all other elements are from Nyoongah. The high number of Nyoongah elements in this category, as well as in category d) States of feeling and being and ways of conduct which includes 13 lexical items, eight of which are from Davis’ ancestral language, indicates that the traditional language terms are preferred over English whenever speakers wish to convey concepts of a personal or delicate nature. This aspect will be discussed in more detail below. It should be noted, however, that in category (d), a central concept of Aboriginal ethics and feeling, viz. that of shame is variously referred to by the Nyoongah items choo and kynya as well as by the English term. Nyoongah items also abound in category g) Nature and environment. The Guugu Yimidhirr borrowing kangaroo is the only one among the 14 elements that describe features of the (Western) Australian flora and fauna which is not a Nyoongah term. Category b) Kinship structures, on the other hand, exclusively contains English lexemes that employ semantic modification to describe nonmainstream understandings of family relationships which do not express biological realities, e.g. brother, a form of address for a sibling, or a gesture of solidarity with another Aboriginal person of the same generation, cousin, a relative of either sex, not necessarily close, but of one’s own generation, sister, 184 a female of the same generation, a biological sister or a close cousin, or a person classified as such, Uncle, a respectful term of address for an older man. The nine elements in conceptual category c) Human relationships and social interaction are more or less evenly distributed: four elements are from Nyoongah and another five are English terms. Here, it is noteworthy that while the Nyoongah insertions gunny ‘I’, ‘me’, koolangarah ‘children’, nop ‘boy’, yorga ‘woman’ describe people in more general terms, the English items little fella, old fella, old girl, young fella all involve some type of characterisation by age and/or status. Three English items, viz. camp, country, and nor’west are found in category g) Relationship to the land. Finally, Nyoongah, which describes a regional, Western Australian identity, is the only lexeme found in category i) Novel conceptualisations of Aboriginality and cultural survival. 8.3.5 The Dreamers and the Creation of a Nyoongah Cultural Identity The borrowing Nyoongah and the English lexeme Wetjala are among the most frequently occurring Nyoongah English appropriations found in Davis’ text. Both describe a group of people and their culture: while the term Nyoongah refers to the Aboriginal people of south-west WA, their lifestyle, cultural heritage, and a shared set of experiences and worldviews, Wetjala describes the members of the non-Aboriginal mainstream community and their ‘white’ modes of behaviour. In the text, the two items create an opposition, contrasting the Indigenous people of (Western) Australia with the Euro- Australian society whose members are the descendants of the British colonists. As such, they are major agents in the creation of inclusive and exclusive group identities, a salient aspect of Davis’ text. As has been noted above, Nyoongah is a more recent construct, a regional name which denotes Aboriginality in much of south-west WA and has replaced the names of the smaller language groups that have been destroyed in the wake of colonisation. It therefore encompasses a larger but nevertheless distinctive cultural and areal identity that is based on identification with a (larger) group of people, a particular region, a common ancestral language or a group of related language varieties, and a shared cultural heritage. The term thus underlines what those who self-identify as Nyoongah have in common and evokes a feeling of solidarity among Western Australian Aboriginal people. The English-derived pidgin term Wetjala, on the other hand, denotes members of the mainstream society who take on the role of the outsiders who do not share the same background and understandings, let alone are capable of grasping their significance. The terms Nyoongah and Wetjala thus create a gulf between ‘us’ and ‘them’, between insiders and outsiders. Often, the two terms are employed as the defining parts in combinations such as Nyoongah way and Wetjala way. 185 The large amount of Nyoongah lexical material further stresses the desire to express a distinct Aboriginal identity. The lexical appropriations relating to aspects of Nyoongah cultural lore and religious knowledge, such as the references to dances, spirits, to the figure of the Wahrdung, or to the tjenna guppy or featherfoot, reinforces this regionally restricted identity; so does the use of Nyoongah terms to describe the flora and fauna, e.g. kohn ‘wild potato’, kudden ‘red gum tree’, nyngarn ‘echidna’, yuron ‘bobtail goanna’, which demonstrates knowledge of the local environment and familiarity with the land. It is remarkable in this context that there are actually only three elements that fall into category (g) Relationship to the land in the text, viz. the English terms camp, country, and nor’west, although mention is made of some place names. In the play, it is the character of Worru who constantly reminds us of the family’s Nyoongah heritage. Re-evoking the past in his ‘dreams’ and introducing the Wallitch family to his memories of a lifestyle unknown to them, he sets the family’s present situation in opposition to that of their ancestors and thereby triggers the merging of old and new perceptions of Aboriginality. At the same time, Worru’s language use serves as a tool for the exclusion of the white readership or audience, thus enforcing in them the feeling of being an alien to the world presented on stage. Many of his utterances illustrate how appropriation goes hand in hand with a process of abrogation, defined above as “the refusal of the categories of the imperial culture, its aesthetic, its illusory standard of normative or ‘correct’ usage, and its assumption of a traditional and fixed meaning ‘inscribed’ in the words” (Ashcroft et al. 2002: 37). With AusE no longer the norm, the Euro-Australian audience suddenly becomes the ‘other’, unable to fully understand the discourse and ignorant to the relevance of the utterances. Through Worru’s massive use of Nyoongah single- and multi-word insertions, Davis turns around the power relations, establishing Nyoongah English as the standard in his text and affirming it as a viable code. He thus manages to reverse common power relations that establish the English language as the norm, which, perhaps for the first time, causes the speakers of the dominant language to experience a sensation of linguistic alienation. This is carried to extremes when Worru tries to teach Meena’s and Shane’s Euro-Australian friend Darren Nyoongah way, continuing the practice of passing on knowledge to younger generations: WORRU: [Pointing to his beard] Do you know what this is, Nyoongah way? This is my gnarnuk. [Pointing to his eye] And this my meow. [Indicating his forehead] And this my yimmung. (Davis 1982: 96, italics in original) Even though all of Davis’ published plays include a glossary, readers and theatre audiences are constantly challenged by Davis’ practice of interweaving his text with Nyoongah lexical items which complicates their understanding of the text. Throughout the entire play, but especially when confronted with 186 Worru’s yarns, the reader has to face the trying task of repeatedly going through the lengthy glossary and looking up each individual item in order to grasp what is being said. Being outside the main text, the glossary is not available at all for theatre audiences who have to rely on the context and clues in the remainder of the text as well as on their own interpretation to make sense of passages such as the following: WORRU: Warrah31 Place [sic], Mogumber, awright daytime, but gnank weerdiny, couldn’t walk around, stay near the fire. [Shuddering] Too many tjennuks, moorlies, an’, an’ widartjies. [Gesturing north] They come from that way. They was real bad. Round face, an’ they was white, jus’ like Wetjalas, an’ they ‘ad red eyes, an’ red ‘air, an’ them scream, an’ shout, sing out in the night time, in the pine plantation, jus’ like koolongahs. [SHANE pushes DARREN through the door and throws the ball to him. DARREN falls and yells as he catches it. Worru and Dolly get an enormous fright] Allewah! DOLLY: Choo! Choo! You frightened the livin’ daylights out of me. (Davis 1982: 94, italics in original) From the above passage it becomes apparent that Davis frequently aids his audience’s understanding of the text by placing the foreign language elements in a context that facilitates their interpretation. Elsewhere, he makes Worru’s explain the meaning of particular terms and concepts to the younger family members, educating them as well as the reader/audience: MEENA: [...] Why do Nyoongahs call it mahngk? WORRU: That’s his name. You see leaf of a tree, that’s a mahngk, that one mahngk, too, tea leaf. (Davis 1982: 103, italics in original) Although it may not always be possible to infer the exact meaning of a lexical item, the author provides sufficient context to help the audience come to terms with the key statements of the passage. Still, while this approach works quite well for single lexical items and shorter multi-word insertions, it is impossible to infer the meaning of phrases such as kia gnullarah bridaira nyinning, or yuarl nyinaliny gnullarah. Since they do not express culturally-bound concepts, both passages seem to be nothing more than instances of traditional language maintenance. Yet, these utterances are noteworthy because of their capacity to puzzle those unacquainted with the language. The sheer length of kia gnullarah bridaira nyinning makes it difficult for theatre audiences to make sense of what is being said despite the contextualising function of the preceding text: 31 Italics missing in original. 187 MEENA: Hello Pop, you look super. New clothes? You look real moorditj. WORRU: Kia gnullarah bridaira nyinning. (Davis 1982: 87, italics in original) Readers have to make an effort to look up each term in the glossary and then combine the constituents ‘yes’ + ‘our(s)’+ ‘boss’+ ‘here’ into a meaningful sentence. This, however, is not always easily feasible. The sentence “Milbart, yuarl nyinaliny gnullarah” (Davis 1982: 122) is one of the most prominent examples of the impossibility of directly translating stretches of the traditional language used in the text. Consulting the glossary at the end of the play, the reader learns that the meaning of the individual terms is ‘you’, ‘there’, ‘ours’, but the meaning of the utterance as a whole remains inaccessible. As Hodge (1984: 85) observed, David’s use of Nyoongah thus provides a major tool for the exclusion of the (non-Aboriginal) reader and the audience who “have less chance of understanding ‘Milbert, yuarl nyinaliny gnullarah’, for instance, than Shane […] has of knowing that London is the capital of England.” (quoted in Shoemaker 1989: 254). Frequently unaware of the exact meaning of the Nyoongah lexemes and code-switches, readers and audience suddenly find that ‘their’ language is being turned into a foreign and ‘exotic’ code that demands of them the willingness to get involved with an unknown conceptual world he or she might not readily understand, both linguistically, but also in terms of content. As Polak (2009: 252) suggests, it is not only the form of the language that demands for a special effort on the part of the reader/audience, but also the content of Worru’s yarns that needs decoding. This could already be observed in the excerpt above in which Worru speaks about the evil spirits (“tjennuks, moorlies, an’, an’ widartjies”) that roamed the settlement at Mogumber. The yarn about the moodgah, the Western Australian Christmas tree exemplifies how strongly Worru’s tales are rooted in the oral tradition of storytelling. Note also Worru’s awareness of the fact that his account contains knowledge inappropriate for the two younger men, Eli and Peter: PETER: Aw right, Pop, but you gotta tell us another yarn now. […] WORRU: By right, I shouldn’ be tellin’ you fellas this. [Pointing to ROY] Aw right for him. ROY: It’s all right, Unc. WORRU: All right. Well, you know that Christmas tree, that’s the moodgah, that’s the Nyoongah name. PETER: Yeah? WORRU: Well, when our people was nyoch [dead], their kunya [freshly departed spirit] – that’s what Wetjala call soul, unna [isn’t it]? ROY: Yeah, that’s right, Uncle. 188 WORRU: Well their kunya would go and stay in the moodgah tree, some time for a lo-o-ng time, an’ when the moodgah flowers were gone, summertime, their kunya would leave the moodgah an’ go to Watjerup. That way, over the sea, Watjerup, thaty [sic] way, boh-oh [a long way] PETER: Where’s Watjerup, Popeye? WORRU: Kia [yes], Watjerup, that’s what Wetjalas call Rottnest. An’ if you go Mogumber old settlement, lotta moodgah up there ‘cause, ‘cause that be Nyoongah country for l-o-o-ng time. An’ them moodgah they strong, they kill other tree if they grow near them, bantji [banksia], muttlegahruk [sand plain tree], tjarraly [jarrah], kudden [red gum tree], kill ‘em, finish, cause kunyas make him strong an’ only boolya [magic] man can go there near the moodgah ‘cause the boolya man is strong too, like that tree; an’ ‘e can drink water an’ take ‘oney from the moodgah. Anybody else, that’s warrah [bad], they could be finish, unna? (Davis 1982: 85f, italics in original, my glossing) Hence, in addition to the difficulties presented by the interpretation of the foreign language elements themselves, readers and audiences need to develop a sense for the religious concepts that are linked to the Nyoongah terms. This once more highlights the inadequateness of a direct translation into English. As such The Dreamers is one among a handful of Australian drama texts which “makes [the white Australian reader or theatre goer, K.L.] feel a stranger in the continent, which, after all, has been occupied by Europeans for only two hundred years” (Shoemaker 1989: 253). Still, appropriations that refer to cultural and religious knowledge and practice are not the only elements in the text that contribute to the (partial) exclusion of a non-Aboriginal readership and audience. In Davis’ text, the utilisation of Nyoongah terms which describe everyday concepts provides an additional mechanism to distinguish the family members from outsiders who not only have a differing world view but also do not share the experiences of institutionalisation, exploitation, and racism that have affected Aboriginal people’s lives. As such, non-Aboriginal people cannot relate to the inherent meanings of Aboriginal language terms such as boondah ‘money’ or woonana ‘behind bars’, which reflect different aspects of the contact experience. This also means that they may not even be able to follow the discussion of daily matters: The impossibility of sharing the pains of dispossession, displacement, colonisation, deaths in custody, etc., is made evident in the resistance to translation of Nyoongah words related to everyday experience, such as mahngk (cup of tea), boondah (money), gnoop (blood and also wine), gnummari (tobacco)32. The use of these words implies a sense of solidarity, intimacy and common experience that forms a counter-discourse [...] to assimilating colonial understand- 32 Note that the examples provided by Russo would here be classified not only as relating to everyday concepts but as more specifically expressing aspects of the colonial contact experience. 189 ing. Domesticity becomes a site for decolonisation and subversion (Russo 2007: 50). This not only applies for terms used to talk about everyday concepts. Nyoongah also serves an important function as a code for in-group communication when discussing upsetting issues such as violence and death. Switches and insertions such as kwotjut noych ‘long gone’, lit. ‘dead’ + ‘a long time’ or woort beerny ‘(to) strangle’ address distressing and unwelcome memories and their use may be interpreted as strategies to linguistically soften hurtful realities and coming to terms with the traumatic experiences described. These instances of appropriation are comparable in their purpose to many of the elements that are used to describe body parts and intimate or sensitive aspects of live. As has been noted above, Nyoongah terms are preferred when discussing matters of a delicate or personal nature for which English terms would be felt to be too explicit and overt. Moreover, they would be inappropriate for ingroup conversation as they are readily available to the wider public. What all these speech situations have in common is that the concepts discussed evoke strong feelings, e.g. of anger, fear, sadness, or embarrassment. Rendering the terms’ meanings opaque for cultural outsiders promotes a sense of solidarity among those who share the same experiences and understandings. In other cases, the use of Nyoongah words pertaining to the conceptual domain of the body and private matters allows speakers to criticise or tease each other on an intimate and amicable level, as in “He's talking out of his kwon.” (Davis 1982: 127). Another example is the Nyoongah expression meowl birt ‘blind person’, used by the speaker to chide his interlocutor in an affectionate manner, a function of Aboriginal language elements which has also been observed by Eades (1983: 153) in south-eastern Queensland AborE. The use of Nyoongah language words in these various contexts thus points towards yet another, though related function of the dialect: by exploiting the vocabulary of the traditional language, the speakers take for granted a certain degree of knowledge of the Nyoongah lexicon and an understanding of the rules that regulate the language words’ utilisation. As such, a speech situation is created in which the possible participants are restricted to members of a closed group that is defined by a shared cultural heritage, shared knowledge, and a common system of values and norms. This guarantees that personal matters are only discussed among participants who are likely to maintain relatively close social ties. The intimacy and privacy that is thereby created in conversations between speakers of Nyoongah English indicate the dialect’s value as ‘language of immediacy’ (“Sprache der Nähe”, Koch & Oesterreicher, e.g. 1985), which is used among speakers who maintain close relationships and are equal partners in the talk. In addition to this form of social and emotional proximity between speakers, the language of immediacy is marked by the informality of the conversational situation and the participants’ 190 cooperation in a dialogue rather than a monologue, factors that imply temporal and spatial proximity (Koch & Oesterreicher 1994: 587f). All of these features can be observed when the members of the Wallitch family discuss personal issues. The Koch & Oesterreicher model (2007: 356) further suggests that immediacy is closely associated with strong diatopic markedness, i.e. a high degree of variation based on geographical location. In Davis’ text, this diatopic markedness is clearly represented by the inclusion of regional Aboriginal language words. According to their model, a low diastratic level as well as a comparatively low diaphasic level are further characteristics of immediacy. This is in line with the observation that AborE is less formal than StE and many speakers avoid ‘big words’ and complex structures. We shall come back to the role of Aboriginal language words as proximity markers in the course of this thesis, especially in chapter 11. To conclude, we can maintain that Nyoongah identity is evoked by two different aspects of Davis’ language use, viz. through what is being talked about as well as through how it is communicated. Davis’ use of Nyoongah in the text adds socio-cultural significance by constantly reminding readers and audience of the language’s existence, and, more importantly still, its persistence. It further creates a linguistic setting that is not easily accessed from the outside without getting actively involved with a tongue that, for the reader and the audience, is at the same time familiar and foreign. 8.4 Kevin Gilbert Kevin Gilbert began his writing career in the late 1960s, in a period characterised by political protests and calls for a change in the treatment of the Aboriginal population in Australia. The development at the time went hand in hand with a variety of creative achievements, and a growing number of artists and writers sought to support the political struggle on an artistic level. Thus, it appears emblematic that Gilbert’s writing career started in prison, where he “found that the basic living conditions were substantially better for prisoners than for Aboriginal people on reserves” (Casey 2004: 16), and where he was provided with the opportunity to improve his level of education and develop his artistic skills. Gilbert was born on the 10th of July 1933 in a small town near Forbes in central NSW, the youngest of eight children of an English-Irish-Aboriginal family. Despite his father’s Anglo-Australian background, the family of ten maintained a close connection to his mother’s people, the Wiradhuri community of Condobolin where the child learnt about Wiradhuri culture (McMillan 1995: 1ff). Kevin Gilbert once described his heritage the following way: 191 I am a non-tribal Aboriginal, one of the Wiradhuri people. My blood links extend into the Kamilaroi people. My father was white, English-Irish; my mother Aboriginal-Irish. A mixture like that becomes an interesting family cocktail. (Gilbert 1977: 240) Due to his background and upbringing, Gilbert experienced the feeling of living in between worlds. The relationship between black and white in settled Australia and the position of those ‘in between’ would become major themes in his writing. In Condobolin, Gilbert’s father had obtained “four acres of land on Goobang Creek and did a bit of market gardening, droving, butchering, you name it” (Gilbert 1977: 240) to sustain his family, and every year the family would go to Leeton for the fruit-picking season. Gilbert was orphaned at the age of 7 – in his later poem Think (Gilbert 1971: 36), the author relates that his father killed his mother – and he and one of his sisters spent the next years in the care of relatives and in different welfare institutions. As a teenager, Gilbert returned to Condobolin to live with his extended family. In the next years, he earnt his living working as itinerant labourer and fruit-picker, an experience that greatly influenced the plot of his first and most successful play, The Cherry Pickers. At the age of twenty-three, Gilbert married the Euro-Australian mother of his two oldest children. In 1957, one year after his marriage, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife who was shot in a domestic fight. The next fourteen and a half years, Gilbert served time in a number of Australian prisons, including Grafton Gaol which was renowned for its harsh conditions. During his prison term, Gilbert, who had received very little formal education during his childhood, began to educate himself and engaged in the study of Aboriginal history and culture, theology, anthropology, and literature (McMillan 1995: 2ff, 5ff). In gaol, he also discovered his artistic skills and developed a talent for lino-printmaking, his designs showing the influence of Aboriginal symbolism. While Gilbert had access to the prison libraries, inmates were not allowed to write. Consequently, Gilberts’ prison writing was done in secret and he destroyed most of his early poems in order to avoid discovery. Later, visiting artists would help to smuggle his works out of prison, and his first volume of poetry, End of Dreamtime was published in 1971. Three years earlier, in 1968, Gilbert had written The Cherry Pickers, a text based on his and his family’s life and work experience as seasonal workers. A first open air reading of the play was held shortly after its completion, and in 1970, The Cherry Pickers was nominated for the Captain Cook Memorial award. One year later, in 1971, Gilbert’s play was staged for the first time at the Mews Playhouse (Casey 2004: 16ff). After having completed his prison sentence, Gilbert became involved in community work and established the Kalari Aboriginal Art Gallery where young Aboriginal artists received training. He also took up the post of the 192 editor of the periodicals Alchuringa, Identity, and Black Australian News and worked for the Centre for Continuing Research into Aboriginal Affairs at Monash University (Wilde et al. 1994: 312). Gilbert became a devoted fighter for Aboriginal rights and was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra (Jose et al. 2008: 67). In 1988, the year of the Bicentennial, he acted as spokesman for Aboriginal people in Canberra and became the chairman of the Aboriginal Sovereign Treaty ‘88 Campaign (McMillan 1995: 10). Gilbert also authored a handful of other plays, none of which would achieve the same degree of recognition as The Cherry Pickers. He further published several volumes of poetry, including the aforementioned End of Dreamtime (1971) which he later refused to acknowledge as his editor had heavily changed the original manuscript (Jose et al. 2008: 67). Most of his other works underline his involvement in political activism, e.g. Because A White Man’ll Never Do It (1973), a collection of poetry, prose texts, reports, and speeches dealing with issues such as land rights and Aboriginal people’s struggle for justice. The volume Living Black (1977) is a collection of interviews portraying the situation of Aboriginal Australians in modern Australian society. In 1978, Gilbert won a National Book Council Award for Living Black, and in 1988 he was awarded the Human Rights Award for literature for his anthology Inside Black Australia (1988). He refused the award, arguing that he could not accept it as long as Aboriginal people were still refused human rights (Wilde et al. 1994: 312). The text of The Cherry Pickers remained unpublished until 1988 when a revised edition went into print; its distribution coincided with the Aboriginal protests against the 1988 bicentennial celebrations. Gilbert had always refused to have his work produced by a non-Aboriginal theatre company so that the first professional production of the play was not until 1994, one year after his death in 1993 (Casey 2004: 19f; Enoch 2000: 350). 8.4.1 The Play: The Cherry Pickers (1971/1988) Gilbert’s text The Cherry Pickers, written in 1968, is commonly credited as ‘the first Aboriginal play’, a characterisation that even appears as the subtitle of the published text. According to Casey (2004: 5), this appraisal is justified insofar as “Gilbert’s plays certainly appear to be the first drama texts by an Aboriginal Australian to be performed within the Euro-Australian context”33. The first performance of the play in 1971 took place at the Mews Playhouse, a convert- 33 Oodgeroo Noonuccal had also engaged in writing plays in the 1960s. Whereas her poetry was a success at the time, her plays remained unpublished und unheard of until the 1970s when they appeared in print in Aboriginal newspapers and journals rather than being staged (Casey 2004: 7ff). 193 ed coach house in the rear of a private property. It was followed by a production by the Nindethana Theatre Company in Melbourne in the early 1970s (Casey 2004: 16ff). Influenced by Gilbert’s own childhood and youth experiences as an itinerant worker and fruit picker, the text offers an insight into the domestic life of a group of Aboriginal workers, who, as every year, have set up their camp near a Euro-Australian employer’s cherry orchard. For them, the cherrypicking season not only means “money – and food” (Gilbert 1988: 60); it also provides them with the opportunity to get together once a year. In their camp, the Cherry Pickers await the beginning of the season and the arrival of their co-worker Johnollo, a notorious philanderer, but also a hero for the camp dwellers and a symbol of hope: “the only blackfella left […] that can sort of carry us on” (Gilbert 1988: 35). In the meantime, readers and audiences are confronted with an unadorned view of the harsh realities of camp life, characterised by alcoholism, poverty, and the general feeling of deprivation and hopelessness which the characters try to overcome by joking and teasing each other. Despite the humour that prevails throughout much of the text and the joyful atmosphere created by the characters’ banter, the text addresses a number of serious issues that have influenced the political debate of the late 1960s, including Aboriginal poverty, infant mortality, exploitation, discrimination, and lack of self-determination. Another subject matter that is addressed on different occasions is the loss of culture. It bodes ill when old Subina sees the wahwee buggeene, the “messenger of the dead” (Gilbert 1988: 29) and a bad omen. A little later, the group discovers that ‘King Eagle’, the biggest and oldest of the cherry trees, is dying. The play ends on a pessimistic note when ‘King Eagle’ is burnt in a funeral pyre and the workers learn that Johnollo died in a car accident while on his way to the cherry orchard. Before his death, however, Johnollo had sent off a package containing an Aboriginal flag, a symbol of pride and an appeal to his friends to continue the fight for a better future. 8.4.2 Analysis of The Cherry Pickers The Cherry Pickers is one of the first drama texts that represents AborE without presenting the dialect in a ridiculed or stereotyped fashion common to many other (earlier) works of drama and fiction written by Anglo-Australian authors (Casey 2013a: 157). As in most of his works, Gilbert apparently made an effort to capture the speech of the Aboriginal people of NSW in a realistic manner, and Shoemaker (1989: 238) contends that the author’s awareness of “the poetical potential of the patois in his local region is obvious” and that in many passages he “demonstrates an acute ear for colloquial dialogue”. 194 All the Cherry Pickers speak a variety of AborE that exhibits a range of characteristic grammatical and phonological features, many of which are shared with other non-standard forms of English. Once more, verb forms are among the most salient grammatical features in the text. Subject-verb concord may be lacking and contractions such as ain’t are frequently employed, e.g. “Little gerls is to be seen an’ ain’t to be haired” (Gilbert 1988: 21). Regular past tense forms occur where irregular forms would be expected, as in “Fifteen mook-pook calls it give’d.” (Gilbert 1988: 30) or past tense may not be marked at all, e.g. “Johnollo save his money up for a rainy day” (Gilbert 1988: 36). The verb may not be inflected to express 3. person singular, as in “Certainly he make it all sort o’ swing together when he comes.” (Gilbert 1988: 35) while elsewhere, the form was is used also for 2. person singular and plural forms, as in “the very room we was in” (Gilbert 1988: 30). Occasionally, the copula is omitted, e.g. “You no good – geenjee gerl.” (Gilbert 1988: 28), so are auxiliary verbs, both in statements and in questions, as in “Hey boss, you comin’ to the corroborree tonight” (Gilbert 1988: 8). Sometimes, be as copula or auxiliary is replaced by get, as in “a pill that stops babies from gittin’ borned” (Gilbert 1988: 32, italics removed), and the element go again functions as multi-purpose verb: “Don’t you dare go sayin’ them sort o’ things” (Gilbert 1988: 36). Other grammar features include double negation, as in “They don’t need no pill, luv.” (Gilbert 1988: 32, italics removed) or the use of never to negate the verb. In a few cases, regular plural forms are used where irregular forms would be expected, e.g. “all we peoples have got left goin’ for us” (Gilbert 1988: 35). Adjectives may be suffixed by the element -one, as in “Oh, only the young ‘uns geenjing about in the tent.” (Gilbert 1988: 29). Again, us designates the 1st pers. singular: “Git us a cup of jiree, moodgeee, me poor old jinungs are killin' me!” (Gilbert 1988: 31). Gilbert’s text further imitates a number of phonological peculiarities, such as the reduction of consonant clusters and the elision of initial consonants, unstressed vowels, or even entire unstressed syllables, as in ‘member ‘remember’. In some cases, the past suffix –ed is realised as unvoiced/t/, as in “I wish’t I was a young ‘un again” (Gilbert 1988: 29). There is not always an insertion of/n/when the article a is followed by a vowel, as in “a operation” (Gilbert 1988: 32). Features such as h-insertion mark the dialogue as distinctly Aboriginal: “Fa-at. Fhat, woman. Some fhat to put on me bread” (Gilbert 1988: 32). Throughout the entire text, the phonological differences to the standard variety are highlighted by Gilbert’s use of non-standard spellings that mimic the characters’ pronunciation and bring out the AborE accent and speech patterns. Often, distinct realisations of vowels are indicated: EMMA: Hey, talkin’ about gettin’ burnt, you h’aired about the guv’mint forcin’ our black wimmin to take a pill that stops babies from gittin’ borned? (Gilbert 1988: 32, italics in original.) 195 Unlike The Dreamers, Gilbert’s play does not include a glossary so that additional research was needed to determine the exact meaning and origin of the Aboriginal language elements in the text. Since the author had family ties to the NSW Wiradhuri community, it was assumed that a considerable proportion of the Aboriginal language elements in the text are borrowings from the Wiradhuri language formerly spoken in a large area in the south of NSW, stretching “from Dubbo and Mudgee in the north almost to Albury in the south, from Bathurst in the east to almost Hay in the West” (Wafer et al. 2008: 221). The language is no longer in everyday use, but attempts have been made to revive it and two comprehensive Wiradhuri dictionaries have been compiled in the last years (Grant & Rudder 2005, 2010). Gilbert is also affiliated with the Kamilaroi people of north-east NSW and at least one of the characters in the play shares this background: “my Kamilaroi – gorn – gooorrnn” (Gilbert 1988: 34). Hence it is possible that some of the terms are from Gamilaraay34 which is closely related to Wiradhuri (Wafer et al. 2008: 216). Gamilaraay (from gamil ‘no’ and araay ‘having’, i.e. the language that has gamil for ‘no’), was spoken in great parts of north-central New South Wales but is no longer in daily use (Austin & Nathan 1998: n.p.). Therefore, all non-English elements which are not listed in Arthur (1996) and Dixon et al. (2006) were looked up in Grant & Rudder’s A first Wiradhuri Dictionary (2005). In addition, Austin & Nathan’s Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay Web Dictionary (1998), Ash et al.’s Gamilaraay, Yuwaalaraay & Yuwaalayaay dictionary (2003), the Wiradhuri dictionary compiled by Diane Hosking & Sally McNicol (1993), and McNicol & Hosking’s Wiradhuri wordlist in Macquarie Aboriginal Words (Thieberger & McGregor 1994) were consulted for further information. In a small number of cases, it was not possible to determine with certainty the meaning and origin of a lexeme on the basis of the above sources but it is likely that these terms, too, are from Wiradhuri or a related south-eastern Australian Aboriginal language. The play’s linguistic analysis is analogous to that laid out in the previous chapter: again, the different instances of linguistic appropriations have been classified as 1) single-word insertions from the local language(s) 2) single-word insertions from languages (formerly) spoken in other parts of the country 3) multi-word insertions from the local language(s) 4) hybrid compounds, 5) English lexemes 34 The name has various spellings. While Gilbert employs Kamilaroi in his text to refer to Aboriginal people of north-eastern NSW and south-eastern Queensland, Austin & Nathan (1998) as well as Ash et al. (2003) use the spelling Gamilaraay for the language. 196 • that show semantic modification • that have undergone phonological modification • that exhibit a specific AborE usage As in our analysis of The Dreamers, the lexical appropriations found in The Cherry Pickers were cross-checked with Troy (1990, 1993, 1994), Malcolm & Koscielecki (1997), Foster et al. (2003), and Harris (esp. 1986, also 1988), as well as with the remaining relevant texts on Australian pidgins and creoles cited in the bibliography for their occurrence in early contact varieties. Arthur (1996), Dixon et al. (2006), and the online editions of the AND and the OED were consulted to collect information on their use in varieties of English inside and outside Australia. Lastly, the various lexical appropriations have been assigned to the conceptual categories (a)-(k) discussed above. Before we begin our discussion of the text analysis’ results, it is necessary to comment on several outstanding lexical features of the play. Gilbert’s text contains a considerable number of words and expressions which clearly constitute non-standard usages, including a variety of colloquialisms and slang words as well as terms from different regional dialects of English. The elements under discussion could not be established as features of the AborE lexicon, rather, they appear to be characteristic of informal and colloquial language use associated with low diastratic and diaphasic varieties of (Aus)E, and while their use in Gilbert’s text suggests that they are shared with (regional) varieties of AborE, they seem to have wider currency also in non- Aboriginal speech forms. For this reason, they have not been included in our analysis of AborE lexical elements, but it nevertheless seems wise to address their occurrence in the text. The terms can be differentiated into four broad categories, viz. words from regional dialects of British English, Australianisms, colloquialisms, and slang words. The following is intended as a sample; it is not a complete list of all non-standard terms found in the text. All definitions provided are from the online edition of the OED, some are rendered in an abbreviated form. We find a) dialect terms, e.g. boyo, chiefly used as a form of address: ‘a boy, a lad’, ‘a man, a fellow’ (colloq., esp. Welsh English and Irish English), b) Australianims, e.g. pannikin, a small pan or drinking vessel of earthenware or (now usually) metal, billycan, a cylindrical container, usu. of tin or enamel ware, with a close-fitting lid and a wire handle, used for making tea and for cooking over fires in the open, and for carrying food or liquid, c) colloquialisms, e.g. the old Nick ‘the devil’, monies ‘money’, poochie, a pet name for a dog, a dog (orig. U.S.), to pong ‘(to) stink’, sheila, a girl or young woman, a girl-friend (Austral. and N.Z.), to feel one’s oats ‘(to) feel lively’, ‘(to) feel self-important’ (orig. and chiefly U.S.), plonk, 197 cheap wine of inferior quality, wine or alcohol of any kind (orig. Austral.), fluff, a young woman, d) slang terms, e.g. pooftah, a homosexual man, an effeminate or affected man (orig. Austral.), a person who talks incessantly, a blowhard, an intellectually pretentious person (N.Z.), chow, a Chinese person (chiefly Austral.), titter girl, a young woman or girl, knackers ‘testicles’, crackers ‘crazy, mad’, ‘infatuated’, get stuffed, a coarse imprecation, bludger, a parasite or hanger-on, a loafer (Austral. and N.Z). As the definitions show, several of the terms may be assumed to be in current AusE usage. Other lexemes have developed in North American usage, underlining the American influence on AusE (see for example Leitner 2004a) while again others are unmarked for regional usage and may be assumed to have wider currency. None of them could be proven to constitute specifically Aboriginal usages. Further, the text includes a small number of lexemes, most probably slang or dialect terms, which could not be traced in any of the sources consulted. The irregular spelling that is characteristic of the language in The Cherry Pickers further complicates a straightforward identification. Native speakers of different varieties of English were therefore consulted, including a small number of speakers of AusE, in the hope of collecting further information on these terms. However, most of these informants denied having ever heard (or read) any of the forms being used and could only make very tentative comments. In most cases, the meaning of the terms in bold can be easily inferred from the context; yet, any comments on their origin remain speculative: BET-BET: I didn’t eat your damper. I didn’t you big Granny – big fanny – I didn’t – I didn’t eat it! BUBBA: Ya did. Ya skoljeed the lot – you guts!! (Gilbert 1988: 21; my emphasis.) The AND provides to skol with the meaning ‘(to) drink (a glass, etc. of alcoholic liquor) in a single draught’. The above term may be used in a related meaning, considering that little Bet-Bet is accused of having eaten all of the old woman’s food. As with all unknown vocabulary items that occur in Gilbert’s text, we cannot exclude the possibility that the term is a rendition of a Wiradhuri or Gamilaraay word. Yet, as in most Australian languages, the Wiradhuri and Gamilaraay consonant inventory does not include fricatives and it appears rather unlikely that a term with initial/s/is derived from these sources. SUBINA: Fifteen mook-pook calls it give’d. Ten calls for a man, five more to mean a big man. EMMA: Three hands full! Fifteen fingers for a great warrior like the old days. Two hands count for the swingers. One handful for what the man swings. 198 BUBBA: You mean it describes a man’s pehson. His yarung (meaning unclear, K.L.), his booble (‘anus’, K.L.), his moom (‘anus’, K.L.). SUBINA: The white boss maybe. Maybe the messenger point for him to die – but it’s a blackfellah’s messenger when it call out to count the size of a blackfellah’s doongles like that! (Gilbert 1988: 30; my emphasis) Several informants have suggested that the form pehson might be a rendition of person, a proposal that is conceivable if we consider that a number of terms in the text exhibit h-insertion typical of many AborE varieties. This sense, however, does not readily fit with the assumption that the term somehow relates to male body parts. What seems more plausible is that the term is derived from the English verb form ‘(to) pee’35. Also, the origin of the doongles could not be determined but the context suggests that constitutes yet another allusion to male genitalia. It is unclear if the form is derived from the English term dangle ‘something that dangles’, which seems to be a likely origin, or from a local language term. BUBBA: Johnollo is late comin’ this season. ETTIE: Johnollo will be ready when the king is ready – an’ not one skeenjee minute beforehand! They know when the season is to start. (Gilbert 1988: 48; my emphasis) One informant put forward skungy ‘dirty’ which would here function as an intensifier, comparable to the use of the term bloody in other non-standard varieties of English. The online edition of the OED provides the entry scungy ‘mean, dirty, disreputable’ and suggests that the term is chiefly Australian; the AND lists the term as noun, ‘a sly or vicious person, a sponger, a vague term of abuse’, as verb ‘(to) sponge’, and as adjective, ‘disagreeable’, ‘sordid’ and suggests it is derived from the Irish and Scottish dialectal form scunge. The fact that only little information could be obtained by interviewing native speakers of (Australian) English implies that the use of the above terms is very restricted and that they are highly non-standard, although we cannot exclude that the spelling employed in the text hindered recognition. It is not possible to state whether any of the expressions constitutes a specifically Aboriginal usage. Another aspect worth mentioning is that the text contains a number of words for features of Aboriginal religious and cultural practices and lifestyle that are also well established in AusE and other varieties of English. Above, we have seen that Jack Davis, too, made use of established borrowings, yet, their number is much higher in Gilbert’s text where they make up the major part of references to cultural and religious concepts in the play: 35 The author would like to thank Prof. Dr. Erich Poppe for pointing out this possibility. 199 • bora ground (Gamilaraay and English), the site where the boorah ceremony is held (Dixon et al. 2006: 150), • churinga (Aranda), a sacred object of Aboriginal ceremonial (Dixon et al. 2006: 150), • kylie (Nyoongah and other WA languages), a boomerang (OED Online), • nulla (Wiradhuri), from nulla-nulla, a hardwood club, used for fighting and hunting, ‘(to) strike with that club’ (Dixon et al. 2006: 180). The text also includes several terms for huts and shelters, such as • gunyah (Sydney language), a temporary shelter (Dixon et al. 2006: 198), • whurly (Gaurna and other South Australian languages), a ‘gunyah’, a hut (Dixon et al. 2006: 199), • wiltja (Western Desert language), a shelter (Dixon et al. 2006: 199). Other borrowings describe Australian flora, e.g. • nardoo (the AND suggests Diyari or Gamilaraay but the term seems to be more widely used), any of several semiaquatic Australian ferns of the genus Marsilea (family Marsileaceae), which have creeping rhizomes and clover-like fronds and grow typically in water in areas of intermittent flooding (OED Online). • The term bindy is most probably a rendition of bindi-eye (Gamilaraay and Yuwalaraay), a plant bearing barbed fruits, esp. herbs of the genus Calotis, the fruit of the plant (Dixon et al. 2006: 127). Again, most Aboriginal language words have been included in the count even though many are not exclusive to AborE. Some of the terms have acquired additional meanings in AusE or have undergone semantic change, such as bunyip, the name of a large, black amphibious monster that inhabits waterways, which in AusE has developed the additional meanings ‘impostor’ and ‘humbug’ (as in bunyip aristocracy), and is further used in transferred sense. Other lexemes may be assumed to be only rarely used in varieties of English other than AborE, for example, the English term skin, a division of society into which one is born by a law of inheritance (Arthur 1996:86), seems to occur with this meaning most commonly in technical parlance outside AborE. In addition, it describes an important aspect of Aboriginal social structure. The term kangaroo and the combinations red kangaroo and kangaroo dance have been included in the analysis whenever the usage of the two terms in the text refers to the macropod as a totemic animal and its impersonation in dance, another interpretation that is not commonly found in StE. As in The Dreamers, the term kangaroo is also used to refer to the animal’s meat. Five borrowings which denote Australian flora and fauna have not been included in the count even though they are Aboriginal language words. Their 200 omission seems justified, as none of them describes concepts particular to Aboriginal culture and they all have become standard reference terms for particular types of plants or animals and occur in any variety of English with exactly the same meaning: • kookaburra (Wiradhuri and nearby languages), either of two Australian kingfishers, the laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguinae, also laughing jackass) or the blue-winged kookaburra (Dacelo leachii)(Dixon et al. 2006: 68), • nardoo (several Aboriginal languages in south-west Queensland, western NSW and South Australia), a perennial fern, Marsilea drummondi, the spores of which can be ground to flour; the flour of this fern (Dixon et al. 2006: 116) • numbat (Nyoongah), a small, termite-eating marsupial, Myrmecobius fasciatus (Dixon et al. 2006: 69), • wallaby (Sydney language), any of the many smaller marsupials of the family Macropodidae (Dixon et al. 2006: 73), and • wombat (Sydney language), any of the several thickset, burrowing, herbivorous marsupials of the family Vombatidae (Dixon et al. 2006: 78). 8.4.3 The Results The Cherry Pickers contains a total of 125 different examples of lexical appropriation, a result which, despite being substantial, is nevertheless noticeably lower than that established for The Dreamers. Only a comparatively small number of the appropriations, viz. 33 items, are documented in earlier Australian pidgins; of these, no less than 22 items are confirmed for NSW Pidgin. This is not surprising as we are dealing with a NSW variety of AborE that is likely to have retained a high number of elements from the pidgin that originated in the south-east of the country. Most of the AborE lexical elements in the text are single-word elements from south-east Australian languages, hybrid elements, and English lexemes. The text includes only two passages of traditional language that exceed the length of two elements. Not unlike Davis in The Dreamers, Gilbert frequently employs Aboriginal language words from his ancestral language, in this case Wiradhuri, which are not listed in the AND, Dixon et al. (2006), or Arthur (1996) and thus appear to have only limited currency. Still, several elements are used repeatedly and by different speakers, and many verbal and nominal forms show signs of morphological integration and adaption to the sound system and spelling conventions of English, e.g. geenjing ‘fooling around’, gootharlings ‘children’, from gudha ‘child’, ‘baby’, or jinungs ‘feet’, from dyinang ‘foot’. Others, such as wahwee bugeene and mabung ‘messenger’ express specific culturally-bound concepts. The lexeme moom ‘bottom’, ‘anus’ is likely to be known also in south- 201 eastern varieties of AusE, given the somewhat unfortunate name of the annual Melbourne carnival, ‘Moomba’36 and also features in different plays written by Victorian playwrights, e.g. in Tracy Rigney's Belonging (2002) and in Maryanne Sam's Casting Doubts (2002). In addition, in contrast to the large number of multi-word insertions found in Davis’ text, most Aboriginal language material in The Cherry Pickers occurs in the form of single lexical items and hybrid elements. In addition, the play includes two songs in Wiradhuri. a) The largest group of lexical appropriations in The Cherry Pickers is that of English terms. Their number amounts to 69 types and is thus only slightly lower than that stated for The Dreamers. Of these, 40 elements are semantically modified English terms, including the lexeme black ‘Aboriginal’, used 47 times throughout the play, and 28 elements that are examples of characteristically Aboriginal usages of English terms. One appropriation shows phonological modification. Most of the English elements are nominal elements (43 types), including a number of noun phrases, viz. Aboriginal way, big words, black whitefellas, little fella, old fella, the Old Ones, the Old People, poor little fellah, young fellah(s). The two elements black and blackfella occur as noun and adjective and the noun phrase big mob also occurs in adjectival application. In addition, we find one pronoun, viz. you mob. Eight English elements are adjectives, i.e. all gone, big, flash, learned, no good, old, proper, silly, and another five elements are adverbs, i.e. all about, close up, never, true, what for. The text further includes four appropriations that function as verbs (doctor, reckon, sit down, take) and two items, viz. dance and finish, which occur as verb and noun. In the ashes is a prepositional phrase. Finally, eh and longa occur as interjections and prepositions, respectively. Twenty-four English lexemes are documented in earlier pidgin and creole forms; 14 are recorded in sources for NSW Pidgin: all about, all gone/all gorn, big, big mob, black(s) (NSW), blackfellah(s) (NSW), camp, close up (NSW), country (NSW), darkie, eh (NSW), fellah(s) (NSW), finish, longa (NSW), never, no good (NSW), old fella, old man, poor little fellah (NSW), sit down (NSW), tucker (NSW), what for (NSW), whiteman (NSW), whitefella(s) (NSW). No less than 32 items are listed in the AND, in Dixon et al., or in the OED, even though these sources 36 Barry Blake (1991: 84) commented on this naming choice: "Undoubtedly the most unfortunate choice of a proper name from Aboriginal sources was made in Melbourne when the city fathers chose to name the city’s annual festival 'Moomba'. The name is supposed to mean 'Let’s get together and have fun', though one wonders how anyone could be naive enough to believe that all this can be expressed in two syllables. In fact 'moom' (mum) means 'buttocks' or 'anus' in various Victorian languages and '-ba is a suffix that can mean 'at', 'in' or 'on'. Presumably someone has tried to render the phrase 'up your bum' in the vernacular." 202 specify some of them as AborE or ‘pidgin’; 53 English appropriations are established as AborE words by Arthur (1996). The English-derived appropriation that shows phonological modification is gunjis ‘policemen’, ‘the police’, from the English constable. The text further contains a related form, viz. gunjiwarngs, which appears unusual. According to Butcher (2008: 636), gunjie, from gunjabal ‘constable’, is the commonly used term for ‘policeman’ in NSW. Still, the derivation of the ending -warngs is obscure; it might be an element from Wiradhuri or another NSW language which would mean that the term should be treated as a hybrid element. Since we do not have any confirmation for this assumption, we shall treat the noun as of unclear origin. b) The second largest group of appropriations is that of single-word insertions from Wiradhuri and related languages of the area. Their number adds up to 29 items and is thus considerably smaller than the number of Nyoongah single-word insertions found in The Dreamers. In the case of bugeene ‘devil’, ‘evil spirit’, it is not entirely clear whether the element is from Wiradhuri or whether it ultimately goes back to the English word bugan 'evil spirit'. Still, the term is listed in Grant & Rudder’s (2005) Wiradhuri dictionary so that it seems justified to treat the element as a Wiradhuri term. What is more, the texts contains the words binjelli, doonjulla and yarung for which neither a source language nor an exact meaning could be determined, but they, too, are very probably regional language words, which is why they have been included here. The contexts in which they occur suggest that they describe body parts. Not surprisingly, most Wiradhuri insertions are nouns (24 items). Two elements, gwarngee ‘stupid’, ‘soft in the head’, and ngarabarnng ‘silly’ are adjectives, even though the latter may also be used as a noun. The item geenj ‘pervert’ from ‘to stare’ occurs as noun, verb, and adjective. Yuckaiing ‘(to) utter a call expressing emotion’ and nulla ‘(to) strike with a club’, are verbs. Only two items, viz. bingi and nulla, are documented in NSW Pidgin, but bindy ‘prickle’, ‘prickly plant’, bingi ‘belly’, ‘stomach’, boondi, a heavy club with a knob on the end, bugeene ‘devil’, ‘evil spirit’, Kamilaroi, a language group, ‘Aboriginal’ in east-central NSW are attested in AusE. In addition, the terms bugeene ‘devil’, ‘evil spirit’, goonung ‘excrement’, ‘shit’, ‘faeces’, gwarngee ‘stupid’, ‘soft in the head’, Kamilaroi, a language group, ‘Aboriginal’ in east-central NSW, and yarmb'ldyin ‘pretence’, ‘nonsense’ are listed in Arthur (1996). c) Another 12 single-word insertions come from Aboriginal languages other than Wiradhuri and related languages, including five terms from the (not so distant) Sydney language, viz corroboree, a dance ceremony, ‘(to) to perform a corroboree’, gin ‘woman’, ‘wife’, gunyah, a shelter, mook-pook, an owl, Ninox novaseelandiae; here the messenger bird, myall ‘ignorant, especial- 203 ly of European concerns’. The remaining items come from different parts of Australia: bunyip, a large, black amphibious monster that inhabits waterways (Wathawurung or Wemba, Victoria), Churinga, a sacred object of Aboriginal ceremonial (Aranda, Alice Springs region), kangaroo (Guugu Yimidhirr, northern Queensland), kylie, a boomerang (Nyoongah), moom ‘bottom’, ‘anus’ (several south-east Australian languages), whurly, a shelter (Gaurna and other South Australian languages), wiltja, a shelter (Western Desert language). All terms are nouns, except for corroboree which is used as noun and verb and myall which is an adjective. Six elements are established for NSW Pidgin and a further item for South Australian Pidgin English: corroboree (NSW), gin (NSW), gunyah (NSW), kangaroo (NSW), mook-pook (NSW), myall (NSW), whurly. Eleven items are documented in AusE or other varieties of English but only myall is also listed as AborE word in Arthur (1996). d) Eleven hybrid compounds could be found in the text, all of which are nouns: boorah time, from bura, ‘liar’ (Wiradhuri and English), booreye time, from buraay, ‘child’ (Wiradhuri and English), Bora ground, the site where the boorah cermony is held (Gamilaraay and English), Corroboree Men, men performing a corroboree (Sydney language and English), dilly bag, a bag made from woven grass, vine or fibre (Yagara and English), geenjing time (probably Wiradhuri and English), jirri-jirri tea ‘wine’ (Wiradhuri and English), kangaroo dance, a dance (Guugu Yimidhirr and English), mook-pook owl, an owl, Ninox novaseelandiae; here the messenger bird (imitative or Sydney language and English), red kangaroo, here, a totemic animal (Guugu Yimidhirr and English), younghi time (probably Wiradhuri and English). None of them is recorded in an earlier contact variety and only Bora ground, dilly bag, and red kangaroo are listed in the sources for AusE or other varieties of English, though, as expected, the entry for the latter only covers the zoological sense. In addition, we find the term baccaddal ‘tobacco’, the origin of which is not entirely clear as its form clearly differs from bacca which appears to be more commonly used in AborE. According to Hosking & McNicol (1993: 59), Wiradhuri has the term gadhal ‘tobacco’. This indicates that baccaddal may in fact be a blend of the English and Wiradhuri terms. e) The least common appropriation strategy encountered in the text is that of multi-word insertion from regional languages. All in all, two instances could be counted. Both appear to be songs or parts of a song. When adding up all examples of lexical appropriation found in the play and the conceptual categories into which they fall, the following picture emerges: a. Continuation of cultural and religious tradition (39 items) • 20 English items: 204 Aboriginal way, the customs, beliefs, habits, practices and so forth that belong to Aboriginal society, esp. those that relate to traditional life, business, 1. Aboriginal ceremony and ritual, 2. the particular knowledge (including ritual) belonging to a group, concept or tradition, culture, Aboriginal beliefs, values, attitudes and rituals, dance, a traditional dance, ‘(to) perform such a dance’, doctor ‘(to) exert spiritual powers over somebody, particularly to heal’, dream (also dreams), a state of trance or sleep in which one comes to an awareness of some spiritual event or understanding, Dreaming, a collection of events beyond living memory which shaped the physical, spiritual and moral world and which is still manifested in and sustains the present, emu clan, a group of people whose totemic animal is the emu, emu dance, a dance, in the ashes ‘in a traditional manner’, referring to the ashes of the camp fire, Law, the body of religious and cultural knowledge that informs and directs Aboriginal society, learned (also Learned) ‘possessing cultural and religious knowledge’, love song, a traditional song thought to lure a male/female, messenger (also messenger bat), a bird that gives warning to a person or a group, old ‘Aboriginal’, but with an added sense that it is part of Aboriginal culture that belongs to the time before Europeans, Old Ones, the, see Old People, Old People, the, people of the older generations, those living and those passed on, holders of traditional ways of living and wisdom, and spiritual guides for those who come after, skin, a division of society into which one is born by a law of inheritance, Songman (also Songmen), a person who has a significant part in the singing at a ceremony, way1, the manner in which one lives as an Aboriginal person, uses language, and performs social and personal activities, the beliefs and customs which provide meaning for this way of living; the term may also be applied to non- Aboriginal ways. • 6 single-word insertions (regional languages): boondi, a heavy club with a knob on the end, bugeene ‘devil’, ‘evil spirit’, Kamilaroi, 1. a language group name, 2. ‘Aboriginal’ in east-central NSW, mabung ‘messenger’, nulla ‘(to) strike with that club’, wahwee bugeene, here used as the name for the messenger of death. • 6 hybrid compounds: bora ground, the site where the boorah ceremony is held, Corroboree Men, men performing a corroboree, dilly bag, a bag made from woven grass, vine or fibre, kangaroo dance, a dance, mook pook owl, an owl, Ninox novaseelandiae, here the messenger bird, red kangaroo, the largest kind of kangaroo, Macropus rufus, here a totem. • 5 single-word insertions (other Aboriginal languages): bunyip, a large, black amphibious monster that inhabits waterways, churinga, a sacred object of Aboriginal ceremonial, corroboree, 1. a dance ceremony, of which song and rhythmical musical accompaniment are an integral part, and which may be sacred and ritualised or non-sacred, occasional and 205 informal, 2. ‘(to) perform a corroboree’, kylie, a boomerang, mook pook37, an owl, Ninox novaseelandiae, here the messenger bird. • 2 multi-word insertions (regional languages): haieee-hoo-minimillimara mara-hoom hhoom hoom in ee millimara-hoom-hhoom, a song; the meaning of the individual elements is unclear, Yuck-aiee-Ba-ai-mee-Yulangarrah-God-Doungudieeee, a song or incantation that calls on the Creator God Baayami; the meaning of the remaining lexical elements is unclear. b. Kinship structures (6 items) • 6 English items: auntie, an older woman, often wise in traditional language, having status within her community’, also a term of address, cousin, a relative of either sex, not necessarily close, but of one's own generation; also a form of address, fambly, from family, all one's blood relatives; the term is a lot more inclusive than in most other varieties of English, granny, 1. a term of respect for an older woman who need not be a relative, also 2. a relative of either sex of one’s grandchildren’s generation or of one’s grandparents’ generation, ‘lation, a relation; the term is used much more inclusively than in StE, sister, a female of the same generation, a biological sister or a close cousin, or a person classified as such; also used to express solidarity. c. Human relationships and social interaction (13 items) • 5 English items: little fella, a child, old fella 1. an older person, 2. a person of recognised authority within the community, normally an older person, here used to refer to ‘King Eagle’, the biggest of the cherry trees, old man, a figure of authority, you mob ‘you (2. pers. pl.)’, young fellah(s), a young person, usually a young man. • 4 single-word insertions (regional languages): gootharlings ‘children’, miggai ‘girl’, modgeee ‘friend’, ‘mate’, ‘companion’, ‘comrade’, moodjarng, probably from mudyigang ‘an old man’, ‘elder’, ‘old gentleman’. • 3 hybrid compounds: boorah time ‘time for tall stories’, booreye time ‘baby time’, geenjing time ‘time to have fun, time to fool around’38. 37 The term’s etymology is not entirely clear, it may not be an Aboriginal language term at all. Grant & Rudder (2005) include the term in their Wiradhuri dictionary but Dixon et al. (2006) maintain that the term might be derived from boobook, an imitation of the bird’s call from the Sydney language. The OED and AND entries also suggest that the bird's name is imitative but do not put forward a Sydney language origin. 38 The conceptual classification of the items geenj(ee) (n., v., and adj.), and geenjing time proves difficult: despite being derived from the same word form, the items show various contexts of use in the text which suggest different conceptual domains. Thus, while geenj(ee) (n. and adj.) describes a undesirable form of behaviour, geenj(ing) (v.) is an ob- 206 • 1 single-word insertion (other Aboriginal languages): gin ‘woman’, ‘wife’. d. States of feeling and being and ways of conduct (10 items) • 6 single-word insertions (regional languages): geenj(ee) (n., v. and adj.) ‘pervert (n. and adj.)’, from ‘(to) stare’, here more likely used as ‘naughty person’ or in a related sense, as verb with a sexual connotation, gwarngee ‘stupid’, ‘soft in the head’, myall, ‘ignorant, especially of European concerns, sometimes thereby implying a more traditional person, but with negative rather than positive connotations’, ‘stupid’, ngarabarnng ‘silly’, ‘poor, piteous fellow’, yarmb’ldyin ‘pretence’, ‘nonsense’, yuckaiing ‘(to) utter a call to express emotion such as pain or surprise’. • 4 English items: flash ‘ostentatious’, ‘attention seeking’ (as in general English use), but with an added suggestion that this type of behaviour is seen as European rather than Aboriginal, silly, incompetent, childish, (poor) white blackfella, an Aboriginal person who lives in a manner seen by the community as rejecting Aboriginal identity, poor little fellah, cf. poor fellow, referring to the condition of oneself or others, implying recognition of the plight of the human condition. e. Body parts and body functions, intimate and personal aspects of live (14 items) • 11 single-word insertions (regional languages): binji ‘stomach’, binjelli, probably also from Wiradhuri binydyi ‘stomach’, booble ‘anus’, ‘backside’, doolah ‘anus’, ‘backside’, doonjulla, unclear, possibly from Wiradhuri dhundhung ‘vagina’, gullingah, probably from galinggaa ‘bladder’, ‘entrails’, here ‘offals’ given to the station workers, goonung ‘excrement, faeces’, jinungs ‘feet’, mouni ‘vagina’, mullingmah, possibly from mulunma (adj.), ‘inside’, ‘within’, here again ‘entrails’, ‘offals’ given to the station workers, yarung ‘beard’. • 1 English item: finish 1. ‘(to) end, to die’, also 2. ‘the end, an end’, ‘the end of life, death’. • 1 single-word insertion (other Aboriginal languages): moom (also mooms) ‘bottom’, ‘anus’. • 1 hybrid compound: younghi time ?‘baby time’39. vious reference to sexual actions; meanwhile, geenjing time refers to a form of social interaction. Accordingly, the two appropriations have been allocated to different conceptual domains. 39 The origin of this term, too, remains unclear. The central NSW language Ngiyampaa has yuungin 'mate, companion' (Donaldson 1994: 27) and it is possible that a related term exists in other NSW languages, including Wiradhuri or Gamilaraay. It cannot be excluded that the term is a rendition of English young even though this seems unlikely when considering the context in which the word is used: 207 f. Relationship to the land (6 items) • 3 English items: camp, a living place, temporary or permanent; the term can refer to the living place of either a single person or a small or large group, and can include in its reference a group of houses or a swag under a tree, but always in an Aboriginal-controlled environment, country, the tract of land where an Aboriginal person or community belongs, to which they have a responsibility, and from which they can draw spiritual strength, riverbank, an important camping site for Aboriginal people – along the riverbanks of southeastern Australia; these became especially important after the land was increasingly controlled by Europeans. • 3 single-word insertions (other Aboriginal languages): gunyah, a temporary shelter, whurly, a ‘gunyah’, a hut, wiltja, a shelter. g. Nature and environment (2 items) • 1 single-word insertion (regional languages): bindy, a plant bearing barbed fruits, esp. herbs of the genus Calotis; the fruit of the plant. • 1 single-word insertion (other Aboriginal languages): kangaroo, any of the larger marsupials of the chiefly Australian family Macropodidae, here used with reference to the meat of the animal and to the animal as a totem. h. The contact experience (18 items) • 13 English items: big words ‘formal English’, ‘flash language’, black velvet 1. an Aboriginal woman as the focus of a white man’ s sexual interest 2. sexual intercourse with an Aboriginal woman, black (also blacks) 1. ‘Aboriginal’, 2. an Aboriginal person, blackfellah (also blackfellahs), 1. an Aboriginal person, 2. ‘Aboriginal’, darkie an Aboriginal person, a non-white, feed ‘meal’, guv’mint, all public authorities and their officials whether State or Federal, Jacky, a person subservient to whites, take ‘(to) remove a child from its family and community, to be raised outside its culture, either by the government, or by private concerns with the tacit consent of the government’, tucker ‘food, particularly European food’, whiteman, a non-Aboriginal person, whitefella (also whitefellas), a white person, a European Australian or other person with a similar appearance. • 2 single-word insertions (regional languages): Toodles: Boorah time? Emma: Tall story time. Toodles: Booreye time? Emma: Baby time. Toodles: Younghi time? Emma: That's ya git babies ain't it? (Gilbert 1988: 72f) 208 jiree ‘tea’, widgellee (also weejellee and widgelli) ‘alcohol’, ‘wine’. • 2 hybrid elements: baccaddal ‘tobacco’, jirri-jirri tea ‘wine’. • 1 unclear element: gunjiwarngs (also gunjis) ‘policemen’, ‘the police’. i. Novel conceptualisations of Aboriginality and cultural survival (1 item) • 1 English item: identity ‘Aboriginal identity’. j. Aboriginal way (16 items) • 16 English items: all about ‘everywhere’, all gone (also all gorn) ‘not present’, ‘no more’, big ‘large’, ‘important’, ‘powerful, esp. spiritually powerful’, big mob ‘a large group (of people, animals, etc.)’, ‘a large amount of something’, close up ‘near’, eh, an interjection, used as rhetorical comment, usually at the end of statements, fellah(s), 1. a person, either male or female though usually male, 2. any animate or inanimate thing, longa, 1. ‘next to’, ‘with’, 2. ‘in’, ‘at’, ‘(to)’, never, an emphatic negative, no good ‘not any good’, ‘worthless’, proper ‘real’, ‘really’, ‘truly’, also ‘adequate’, ‘adequately’, reckon ‘(to) say’ as well as ‘(to) think’, sit down ‘(to) stay or remain at a place, not necessarily permanently, but for a significant length of time’, true (also tru-oo), an intensifier of a statement or response to a statement, meaning ‘it's really so’, ‘is that really so’, ‘truly’, way2, a productive element in the formation of adverbials of manner and place, what for ‘why’. k. Traditional language maintenance (-) As in the first play analysed, the major part of lexical appropriations encountered in The Cherry Pickers falls into the category a) Continuation of cultural and religious tradition which, with a total of 39 items, includes more than one quarter of the total number of types encountered and is almost twice as large as the second largest category. This time, English elements dominate in conceptual category (a). In addition to the 20 English words, we find six one-word insertions from regional languages, six hybrid compounds, five borrowings from Aboriginal languages spoken elsewhere, and two longer passages of Wiradhuri. Almost three quarters of the elements in this category appear to have wider currency in AborE, AusE, or even beyond. This fact, as well as the high number of English lexemes, hybrid compounds, and established borrowings from Aboriginal languages are probably the reasons why the appropriations in this conceptual category, though numerically exceeding those found in The Dreamers, are less outstanding than the references to Nyoongah lore and religion in Davis’ text and do not achieve the same effect of accentuating the importance of Aboriginal culture and religious and cultural knowledge. 209 The next major category is h) The contact experience, which includes 17 terms. Again, we find Aboriginal language words that relate to alcohol and tea, viz. widgellee ‘alcohol, wine’ and jirri-jirri tea ‘wine’, as well as jiree ‘tea’. This notwithstanding, English words also dominate in this category, so that many references to institutionalisation (guv'ment, all public authorities and their officials whether State or Federal, take ‘(to) remove a child from its family and community, to be raised outside its culture’), or to introduced substances such as tobacco (baccaddal) are expressed in the coloniser’s language. Once more, the term Jacky, a person subservient to whites, is used ironically, as is darkie, designating an Aboriginal person. Again, category j) Aboriginal way is also prominently represented. In Gilberts’ text, 16 English lexemes underline Aboriginal ways of categorising experience. These include all about ‘everywhere’, big ‘large’, ‘important’, ‘powerful, esp. spiritually powerful’, longa 1. ‘next to’, ‘with’, 2. ‘in’, ‘at’, ‘to’, sit down ‘(to) stay or remain at a place, not necessarily permanently, but for a significant length of time’ as well as several items that have already featured in The Dreamers. As in The Dreamers, most of the 14 items in category e) Body parts and body functions are Aboriginal language words from Wiradhuri or Gamilaraay. Even though it has not been possible to establish a source language for the terms doonjulla and yarung, they, too are very probably regional language words. Moom ‘bottom’, ‘anus’ is from a Victorian language but appears to be more widely used in south-east Australia. Again, finish is the only English term in this conceptual category. Taking a closer look at the elements in this category, one cannot fail but notice the high frequency of terms referring to genitalia and the derrière. Hence their use once more underlines the Aboriginal language elements’ function as agents of social and emotional proximity and provides local language alternatives when English terms are found to be either too explicit or too easily accessible for cultural outsiders who are not part of the cherry pickers’ world and lifestyle. Their high frequency is also closely connected to the general tenor of the play that sparkles with bonhomie, playfulness, and sexual innuendos, which is further strengthened by the 13 lexical appropriations that fall into category c) Human relationships and social interaction. The cheerful banter between the characters is stressed by the Wiradhuri- English hybrid compounds in this category, boorah time ‘time for tall stories’, booreye time ‘baby time’, geenjing time ‘time to have fun, time to fool around’, younghi time ‘baby time’. Wiradhuri terms, such as moodgee ‘mate’ and moodjarng, ‘old gentleman’, and English terms, such as old man and old fella, underline the solidarity and friendship that pertains among the characters. Again, many of the English terms in this category relate to the age and status of those characterised. 210 Conceptual category d) States of feeling and being and ways of conduct comprises ten elements. As in The Dreamers, we find Aboriginal language words which describe a person as gwarngee ‘stupid’ or ngarabarnng ‘silly’, as well as the English item silly which here describes childish or incompetent conduct. The English black whitefellas communicates a concept that criticises inadequate behaviour and lacking solidarity with the Aboriginal community. The next two conceptual categories are b) Kinship structures and f) Relationship to the land, both of which comprise six items. Again, all terms that relate to kinship are English-derived words and most were also employed in Davis’ text; fambly ‘all one's blood relatives’ is the only kin terms which is new. The six terms in category f) Relationship to the land are either English lexemes (camp, country, riverbank) or different loanwords which describe temporary shelters (gunyah, wiltja, whurly) and have wider currency in AusE. Two terms, the established loanwords bindy and kangaroo belong into category h) Nature and environment and category i) Novel conceptualisations of Aboriginality and cultural survival, includes a single item, the English term identity. None of the appropriations found in the text has been assigned to category k) Traditional language maintenance. 8.4.4 On the Fringe of Society: The Cherry Pickers’ World The most salient aspects of Gilbert’s language use are certainly the prevalence of characteristic English forms and widely established loanwords that describe specifically Aboriginal concepts. In addition, a comparatively high number of hybrid compounds combining elements from Aboriginal languages and English words can be observed. The overall number of lexical appropriations in The Cherry Pickers is noticeably lower than in Davis’ text which boasts a wealth of Nyoongah elements. The Dreamers also showed a preference for terms from the local language Nyoongah in a number of contexts, such as when dealing with features of religious and cultural knowledge and practice. In The Cherry Pickers, English elements dominate even in this context. As has been stated above, the large number of lexical appropriations established for The Dreamers is further due to the many Nyoongah insertions in Davis’ text which have been assigned to category (k) traditional language maintenance and which underline the high degree of identification with the Nyoongah linguistic and cultural heritage. Even though also The Cherry Pickers includes a substantial amount of lexical material from Wiradhuri and Gamilaraay, the conveyance of a regional identity is less pronounced than in Davis’ text. Rather, Gilbert’s text promotes the creation of an identity that is influenced by a more comprehensive conception of Aboriginality. Linguistically, this is reflected in his use of Aboriginal language words which are established borrowings in AusE or have a wider currency in AborE varieties and English-derived appropriations. This 211 broader identity is also emphasised by the frequent application of the term black in the sense of ‘Aboriginal’. In terms of usage and frequency, it is comparable to the use of the term Nyoongah in The Dreamers but has a much wider group of referents than the regionally restricted south-west Western Australian term. At the same time, the term black aids the creation of an exclusionary identity adopted by the Aboriginal characters who are constantly aware of their not belonging to the wider (white) Australian public. In several scenes, reference is made to the different sets of understanding and culturally-bound worldviews that set the world of the Cherry Pickers apart from the mainstream society: BUBBA: Hey Chucksa, how’s old King Eagle? He doin’ O.K., ain’t he? CHUCKSA: I don’t know, Bubba. He’s a little slower and dying a little I think. I don’t know. Maybe he’s just gittin’ old and a bit tired out. I hear there’s a bloke called ‘green fingers’ over at Oliver’s place who can almost make the threes talk back to him. He’s black and King Eagle won’t let a whitefellah look at him because the King only understands blackfellahs’ ways. Right? (Gilbert 1988: 43, my emphasis) These worldviews are also manifested in the plentiful references to the characters’ cultural heritage and practices. As in The Dreamers, they are no longer part of the workers’ daily lives but mostly surface in recollections of former times. While the older women lament the loss of their people, culture, and language and wonder what will happen after the old ‘uns are gone, other characters are determined to fight against the loss of their culture. The cultural practices have nonetheless developed into anachronisms in a constant struggle for economic survival: TOMMLO: Enough!! This has to be done! ZEENA: (defiantly) If it has to be done, then why ain’t you and I, two Australian Aborigines, dancing this Sacred Dance under an Australian gum-tree? A gum-tree with the Sacret Bora Ground symbols carved deep into its guts? We two are corroboreeing beneath a cherry-tree. Doesn’t this prove that some advance has been made because ‘cherry tree’ means money – and food? (Gilbert 1988: 60, emphasis in original) Apart from these remainders of the characters’ heritage and culture, the camp dwellers’ being different from the white society is most effectively communicated by the portrayal of Aboriginal itinerant workers’ living conditions. Suffering from extreme poverty, denied equal rights and wages, and unable to feed their children properly, the Cherry Pickers are ‘second class’ human beings who seek consolation in bottles of ‘plonk’, significantly referred to by Subina as her “’mergency treatment” (Gilbert 1988: 34). Openly addressing these issues and bringing them to the attention of white audiences, The Cherry Pickers reflects Gilbert’s involvement in the political struggle for Aboriginal rights and equal treatment that is also echoed in much of his poetry. 212 Despite the omnipresence of poverty and misery, the play still celebrates Aboriginality and the solidarity that prevails in the camp. Many scenes depict a cheerful atmosphere of camaraderie and friendship among the characters who defy the odds as well as the Australian mainstream society that looks down on them. As Shoemaker (1988: 237ff) suggests, Gilbert’s language choices largely contribute to the creation the text’s genial feeling, and the playfulness of the dialogue contrasts with the hardship of the itinerant workers’ lives: SUBINA: Yeah. It’s so bad and I am so broke that I’m thinking o’ going out an’ sellin’ my mouni for a couple of notes! BUBBA: (uproariously) Sell our old thing? Ha, you wouldn’t even git a loan or deposit on it! Your old mouni ain’t ‘blackvelvet’ any more, luv. It’s useless wrinkled old boot leather. (The three old women scream with laughter.) SUBINA: (yelling) Yeah luv, well there’s still many a blackman – and white ones tries to git into my old boot [...]. (Gilbert 1988: 31, italics in original, my emphasis in bold print) It is not surprising to see that also Wiradhuri terms are frequently employed in such contexts. Like the repeatedly occurring colloquialisms and slang terms, they enable the speakers to express intimate or delicate concepts in a jocular and frivolous fashion. Further, the Aboriginal language terms obscure the conversation for outsiders who neither share the Cherry Pickers’ world-view nor their living conditions and create an in-group code that emphasises the bond between those participating in the exchange. In a scene towards the end of the play, the cheerful atmosphere culminates in a nonsense exchange dominated by banter and joking which creates an antithesis to the sad news that will follow. This scene involves wordplay and even rhyme: EMMA: (shouting) Sing no sad songs now, it's geenjing time. TOODLES: It's geenjing time? EMMA: It's fun-play time. TOODLES: Boorah time? EMMA: Tall story time. [...] EMMA: How’s yer ditty? TOODLES: It ain’t pretty – but it’s like hot velvet in the nitty-gritty! EMMA: How’s ya knackers? TOODLES: They drive me crackers – you got a solution? (Gilbert 1988: 72f, italics in original, my emphasis in bold print) Elsewhere, the characters set themselves consciously apart from the mainstream community by parodying it and ridiculing white modes of speaking. They mock the big words used in educated StAusE, which are often de- 213 scribed as hard to grasp by Aboriginal speakers and, moreover, seen as unfit for in-group communication: TOODLES: (indignant) None of your amphiskkulus cheek – you infairnal ole trogolocity! EMMA: Don’t you go swallowin’ you ‘cyclopediums an’ spittin’ ‘em out at me ole boy ‘cause I’ll spit your prudential providorials an’ spit ‘em straight back inter yer wax-filled quamsy-philliams! TOODLES: Gwarn! You’re just a philophial old piss-pot an’ no matter what you ever do, you ain’t gonna be my equal ‘cause I got a University Dipsoma so stuff that up yer skraftomanian an’ smoke it! EMMA: Gee, I can’t help bein’ iggerant! I wanna learn to spout all them big words you use – but I can’t ever ‘member them! TOODLES: I can’t ‘member them neither – but they sure sound flash! (Gilbert 1988: 74f, italics in original, my emphasis in bold print) This is another example of how a text can subvert the linguistic power relations dominating in the Australian context. Again, we find that the standard language is abrogated, that is, it is denied its status as the only correct and legitimate form of communication: Gilbert’s characters do not claim authority over the language by establishing the Indigenous code as the norm, as Worru does by his massive use of borrowings and code-switches and his attempt to pass on knowledge of the Nyoongah language to the white boy Darren. Instead, they mock the dominating code, the language of power in Australia. The colonisers’ language, which has become a symbol for and a tool of linguistic imperialism and the destruction of the traditional language ecology, is redefined as a code that can and should be ridiculed. This humorous outburst of mimicry celebrates the pickers’ resilience to suppression by asserting a distinct linguistic identity, establishing their dialect as the only suitable code for expressing their realities. The workers also chide pretentious behaviour, associated with those who attempt to mimic whitefellah ways. In one scene, the cherry orchard owner is described as a “white blackfella” (Gilbert 1988: 40), indicating the high regard in which he is held by his workers. The opposite construct evokes a much stronger feeling, grounded in what is perceived as a betrayal of one’s heritage and the solidarity among the Aboriginal workers. Despite their deprivation, the old women show pride in their Aboriginality and disregard those who deny this identity: PRIVATE: My name is Jeremiah Goolagong, dear lady. BUBBA: Yer name is Jerry Chickenmar Gooly to us blackfellas an’ if we ain’t s’phisticated enough for yer then git yerself over to town an’ live with them poor black whitefellas who think they’s too flash to mix with the rest of us blackfellas who live out here. (Gilbert 1988: 44, italics in original, my emphasis in bold print) 214 Throughout the text, we can observe that individual scenes differ noticeably in the amount of Aboriginal language words and the degree of nonstandard language used. As such, we find that some scenes pose a challenge to the reader and the audience as they boast slang and dialectal expressions or nonce formations. Others show frequent use of one-word insertions or lexemes which are represented in non-standard spelling: EMMA: I feel all dried out meself, like, this year. Us old’uns jest about all gone now I think. [...] Say – you got any jiree in the billycan, Bubba luv? – or any widgellee in the bottle? BUBBA: Nothin’ in the bottle but plenty of jiree in the billycan, luv. EMMA: Git us a cup of jiree, moodgeee, me poor old jinungs are killin' me! (Gilbert 1988: 31, my emphasis) Elsewhere, the language used includes fewer elements that hinder the understanding of the text, and in some scenes, the variety portrayed is StAusE. This leads to noteworthy discrepancies: whereas the old women mock the standard language and abuse ‘black whitefellahs’ who ‘talk flash’, Zeena uses formal English in the corroboree scene to debate the usefulness of cultural practice and discuss how Aboriginal culture presents itself in the second half of the 20th century: ZEENA: Oh, I’m not complaining. I am merely trying to tell you that we can’t live, nor find a new life, by embracing a stone-age identity in the nuclear age. We should be rightfully proud of our old culture for it was the expression, the cry, the search for beauty by man. This truth we should hold and advance by, not revert to that cultural age. Man must advance, must mature, and must never, never revert back for life is a constant process of growth. (Gilbert 1988: 61, emphasis in original) It is not entirely clear why the author chose to have his character express herself in such an elaborate fashion but we may assume that Gilbert here resorted to formal English to better convey his message to the white reader and audience. The intellectual wording is probably supposed to give weight to what is being said and underline the importance of the discourse. The result, however, is a feeling of artificiality and stiltedness. As Shoemaker (1989: 238) points out, Gilbert here “sacrifices naturalism and plausibility to make a sociopolitical point about Aboriginality. The language of Zeena […] is so elevated as to strain credibility, in a play which seems to be striving for linguistic credibility”. The formality and stiffness of the above quotation makes it stand in complete opposition to those that depict Emma, Bubba, and Subina yarning around the campfire. The old women are the ‘heart and soul’ of the camp and exemplify the strength and perseverance of the Aboriginal community. While their language reflects the roughness of the Cherry Pickers’ lives, many of the non-standard features can be understood as markers of immediacy according to the Koch/Oesterreicher model: we find a strong diatopic markedness that is 215 expressed through the incorporation of Aboriginal language words. In addition, their language constitutes a clearly identifiable lect, one which is marked by a colloquial and sometimes vulgar style, aspects that are indicative of a low diaphasic and diastratic level. This is supported by contextual evidence: whenever the three women are present, the dialogue either revolves around aspects of colonisation, such as the exploitation of Aboriginal workers, poverty, inequality, and the loss of the pre-colonial social and cultural structures, or focuses on intimate matters and involves a high amount of sexual innuendos. Above we have stated that The Dreamers embraces an amount of Nyoongah phrases and longer stretches of traditional language, which demands an extra effort on the part of the reader/audience to understand the meaning of the text. Many lexical appropriations hence serve to create an exclusionary identity that leaves the mainstream readership/audience in the unfamiliar position of being the outsider. Gilbert’s text, on the other hand, favours the use of English elements and single-word elements from Aboriginal languages, many of which are more widely used. While no glossary is available to the reader, the meaning of many of the Wiradhuri and Gamilaraay terms can often be inferred from the context of the conversation. Even though on a few occasions the terms’ exact meaning may remain unclear, readers and audiences are provided with sufficient contextual information to make sense of the longer stretch of conversation. Elsewhere, cushioning provides an immediate aid for understanding the foreign terms: TOODLES: Boorah time? EMMA: Tall story time. TOODLES: Booreye time? EMMA: Baby time. TOODLES: Younghi time? EMMA: That’s ya git babies ain’t it? (Gilbert 1988: 72f, emphasis in original) Hence, the text does not evoke the same feelings of exclusion triggered by the massive use of Nyoongah language employed in Davis’ plays. There remain, however, some features which have the power to alienate speakers of AusE, viz. the heavy reliance on colloquial and slang terms, the use of nonsense words, and the corruption of existing lexemes. These underline the nonstandard quality of the language portrayed. The spelling that reflects the characters’ pronunciation and mirrors AborE phonological features further challenges readers and may occasionally hinder the recognition of particular terms. Both authors challenge their readers and audiences as they deviate from StE; their means, however, differ. Worru’s idiolect introduces a strange new world that is exotic and unfamiliar due to the sheer force of the tradition- 216 al language and cultural concepts the reader and the audiences are suddenly immersed in. The candid and frequently coarse, “nitty-gritty” talk depicted in The Cherry Pickers, on the other hand, confronts them with a variety of English that exhibits a strong non-standard influence, is peppered with sexual overtones, and introduces uniquely Aboriginal ways of expression. The language’s abrasiveness and frankness reflects the unadorned realities of an itinerant workers’ camp. As such, in the case of The Cherry Pickers, the feeling of being an outsider is not so much based on the cultural and linguistic gap that presents itself. Rather, it is grounded in the unfamiliar role as an onlooker observing the workers’ lives outside the mainstream society and their almost defiant fight for survival, reflected in a linguistic code which appropriates English to fit their communicative needs and express their realities. 8.5 Eva Johnson Born in 1946, Eva Johnson is from the Mulak Mulak people of the Daly River region in the Northern Territory (Currency Press. 2007-2015a). At the age of two, Johnson was taken from her family and placed in the Methodist Mission on Croker Island. A few years later, at the age of ten, the young girl was transferred to an Adelaide orphanage where she would stay until starting her professional life. This is probably why Casey (2007: 224, 2009: 196) suggests that Eva Johnson belongs to the Nunga40 people of South Australia. Johnson, who is credited with being the first female Aboriginal playwright by McCallum (2009: 313), is variously described as “a playwright, a poet, a director, an actor and a teacher” (Casey 2004: 283f), as well as a “[…] feminist, political activist, travelling performer and public speaker” (Australian Plays n.d.). She has further worked as a drama teacher and nurse. Johnson also holds an Associate Diploma in Community Development from the South Australian Institute of Technology and a degree in Aboriginal studies from the University of Adelaide. As an activist, Johnson has been involved in land rights and women’s issues, as well as in the continuous fight against racism. Apart from her writing, she is probably most well known for her role in one episode of the much celebrated 1980s TV mini-series Women of the Sun (AustLit 2002-2015a). 40 Note that many Aboriginal people of South Australia object to non-Aboriginal people using the term Nunga (Flinders University. n.d. General Information Folio 5: Appropriate Terminology, Indigenous Australian Peoples). 217 Johnson says that she “began writing in the late 1970’s when Aboriginal people were no longer content to remain invisible” (Johnson 1994: 10). The first of her plays to be produced was Tjindarella, written for and presented at the 1984 First National Aboriginal Women’s Art Festival and the Adelaide Fringe Festival where also her drama text Onwards to Glory was produced. Four years later, in 1988, the play Murras was first staged at the Fringe Festival Center as part of the Adelaide Festival; it later featured in the Black Theatre Season at Sydney’s Belvoir Street Theatre. In the following years, Eva Johnson authored a number of other plays, including Mimini’s Voices (produced in 1989), What Do They Call Me? (produced in 1990/published in 1996), and Heart Beat of the Earth (produced in 1993). Her poetry is published in collections such as Inside Black Australia and Spirit Songs (Casey 2004: 253f, 284; 2009: 196). Already in 1985, Johnson received the Aboriginal Artist of the Year Award (AustLit 2002-2015b), and in 1993, she was awarded the Australia Council Inaugural Red Ochre Award (Casey 2004: 28f). Being part of the Stolen Generations, Johnson’s work frequently addresses government policies of assimilation, such as the removal of children and the forced relocation of Aboriginal people. While much of her writing is autobiographical, Johnson perceives her role as that of a mouthpiece for the Aboriginal community, raising awareness for individual and shared histories: My writing allows me to speak. The characters in my plays are real; they are living a life on stage, perhaps their lives, perhaps that of another Aborigine and their experiences. I write about people who have been under prescribed treatment for over two hundred years, who have endured the harshness, the traumas, of a hostile racial history in their own country. These historical events are different configurations of racism but these are lived experiences. My writing exemplifies these experiences. (Johnson 1994: 9) At the same time, she is well aware of the power of the written word as a form of protest, one that began with poets and playwrights such as Kevin Gilbert and Ooodgeroo Noonuccal. Johnson’s desire to engage in this protest is grounded in the fury she feels when reflecting upon the treatment of Aboriginal people in Australia, realising the struggles they will continue to face in the future: So, initially, anger became a catalyst for my writing. Anger became a valuable political tool for analysis, confrontation, redress, and in fact acted as a neon repellent against any notion of serving the government in the very institutions that mould Aboriginality into useless captive tokens. Writing became my partner in the war against injustice. Writing became a therapeutic balm, using works of creative expression to expel negative thought, writing words of self-affirmation, love and wisdom. (Johnson 1994: 10) It is hence not surprising that her drama Murras prompted theatre critic and lecturer John McCallum to observe that “[n]othing Jack Davis ever wrote 218 approaches the naked anger of this play” (2009: 313). In addition to her continuous fight against racism and injustice, Johnson’s work is renowned for “[breaking] new ground by establishing space for the Aboriginal woman’s voice within Australian theatre” (Casey 2007: 224). 8.5.1 The Play: Murras (1988/1989) Johnson’s text Murras, described by McCallum as “a non-realistically condensed drama tracing an Aboriginal family moving from the fringe of a small town to the city”, is set in the late 1960s and early 1970s, shortly after the 1967 referendum that led to an amendment in the Australian Constitution, and during a time which saw the emergence of Aboriginal activism in response to ongoing practices of assimilation and the taking of Aboriginal land. The first scenes, set in 1967, introduce the members of the family, mother Ruby, grandmother Elsie (Granny), and Ruby’s children Jayda and Wilba who live as fringe dwellers in a rural South Australian location, no longer on their ‘country’ but in proximity to it. In this environment, the children are encouraged by their mother and grandmother to keep up cultural practices of dancing, weaving bags, carving, and hunting. At the very beginning of the play, Ruby listens to the radio news announcing the planned relocation of Aboriginal people to the city as part of the assimilation policies at the time. Despite the family’s averseness to leaving their home and moving to an urban environment, they have no choice but to prepare for their relocation. Shortly before their move, Granny, determined not to leave her country and the burying place of her son Charlie, dies and is taken back to her Dreaming by the Mimi Spirit. In the original production, the Mimi was performed by the now distinguished Aboriginal dancer and choreographer Stephen Page (Johnson 1989: n.p.). After a time gap of a few years, the family is portrayed living in their new city home. Here, Wilba struggles to cope with the racism he encounters at school. His sister is now a domestic worker in a hospital kitchen where she, too, is subject to discrimination by her superiors and co-workers. Unlike her brother who rebels against the unfair treatment he is subjected to, Jayda tries to blend in with the mainstream community. Much to her mother’s distress, Jayda no longer shows any interest in occupations such as weaving of dilly bags and practising the dances her grandmother had once taught her. When confronted by Ruby about her change of behaviour, Jayda suddenly reveals having found out that she has been sterilised without her knowledge or consent. She will never have children to whom she can pass on this knowledge. After another leap in time, the final scene depicts Wilba who has become an angry young man and activist involved in the land rights movement. At the same time, his mother deplores the family’s cultural alienation and her children’s fate. 219 Murras portrays protection and assimilation policies, such as the secret sterilisation of Aboriginal women and the relocation of Aboriginal people which effectively destroyed the people’s connection to the land and promoted assimilation into the mainstream society. Johnson’s text further addresses the traumas of child removal, exemplified by the young Department of Aboriginal Affairs worker who visits the family to inform them about their relocation to the city. Having grown up in a white environment, the young man fails to understand the family’s bond with their living place and only notices the material deprivation that prevails in their home. 8.5.2 Analysis of Murras Except for Mr Russell, the Department of Aboriginal Affairs worker who is a speaker of AusE, all characters use an acrolectal form of AborE which nevertheless shows a range of now familiar salient grammatical structures, as well as features hitherto not observed. As in the texts previously discussed, articles may be omitted or substituted by this or that, as in "Mum, I thought I saw Wilba with bad tub. Don’t tell me he’s gonna clean up. Probably tip that water out [...]." (Johnson 1989: 87), and we can observe the use of demonstrative them, e.g. “get them yabbies out” (Johnson 1989: 86). Further, we find regularly occurring zero-copula constructions, as in “this bucket real heavy” (Johnson 1989: 86). Auxiliaries are also frequently omitted, in declarative sentences as well as in questions, e.g. “What you saying?” (Johnson 1989: 86). Prepositions may be omitted, sometimes alongside the article, as in “he not goin’ city, me neither.” (Johnson 1989: 87). Verbs are usually not inflected to express third person singular, past tense, or past tense forms that express a condition, e.g. “He always say you be like him.” (Johnson 1989: 87). They may further exhibit double negation, as in the example “I’m not going nowhere, I ain’t” (Johnson 1989: 86), which also shows the contraction ain’t. Subject-verb concord may not be observed, as in “Well, it probably don’t matter now [...].” (Johnson 1989: 86), and was is used also for plural and 2. person singular subjects, e.g “you was the best” (Johnson 1986: 86). Elsewhere, we find prepositional verbs not found in StE, e.g. listen for ‘listen to’. The form gotta usually replaces have to while gonna expresses future. Occasionally, future is not marked at all, as in “He find his mother, one day, he know he gotta.” (Johnson 1989: 94). In a few instances, the characters’ speech leans more strongly towards the contact varieties, reflected in the verbal transitivity marker -em which is usually an indicator of creole influence: “Then cattle come, big dam come, dry ‘em up all creek [...]” (Johnson 1989: 93). In some sentences, there is no overt subject, as in “All time work hard, dig for jams, make fire, make basket, dilly bag, pandana mat...and carving” (Johnson 1989: 85) whereas elsewhere, the subject is followed by a resumptive pronoun, as in “Charlie, he moon, Wilba, he parrotfish, Jayda, she seagrass” (Johnson 1989: 89). Structuring elements, such as conjunc- 220 tions or relative pronouns, may not be present, as in “what he drink that wudjellas drink for, make him sick, make him die?” (Johnson 1989: 86, emphasis in original) and declarative sentence structure may be retained also for questions, as in “What I’m gonna do, Charlie?” (Johnson 1989: 86). In a few instances, the superlative suffix -est may be attached to an adjective for emphasis. Many of the features described are less frequently observed after the family’s move to the city, especially in the children’s speech. Another salient feature that can be observed is the formation of adverbials by attaching the suffixes -time and -way, as in “Long time, before pipeline, river all time had water.” (Johnson 1989: 93). Apart from that, the spelling suggests only a handful of non-standard phonological features, such as the occasional reduction of progressive and gerund forms, e.g. goin’, leavin’, and the elision of word initial unstressed vowels, resulting in forms such as ‘nother (Johnson 1989: 93). As in The Cherry Pickers, there is frequent reference to totems, e.g. dugong, parrotfish, and other aspects of the characters’ religion and culture, such as the moon dance and other dances, the carving of emu eggs, and the weaving of bags. Still, the use of Aboriginal language terms is considerably less pronounced than in the two plays previously analysed. The text is followed by a short glossary which lists the Aboriginal language words occurring in the play. This glossary further includes the English-derived term wudjella and the term didgeridoo which, in fact, is not an Aboriginal language word although it is often assumed to be one. As in Davis’ The Dreamers, Aboriginal language terms and the term wudjella ‘whitefellow’ are printed in italics in the text. An introductory note explains that the Aboriginal language words used in the text are from the Ngarrenjeri (or Ngarrindjeri) and Pitjantjatjara languages; yet, the source language is not specified for the individual words. Ngarrindjeri is a South Australian language formerly spoken in the lower Murray River, Lakes, and Coorong region of south-eastern South Australia, an area stretching west as far as Encounter Bay on the Fleurieu Peninsula (Education Department of South Australia 1990: 68; Gale & French 2007: xv). The last fluent speakers of Ngarrindjeri were reported in the 1960s, and by the end of the 20th century, the language was no longer fully spoken even though Aboriginal people in the area continue to use individual words and a few short phrases in their variety of English. Those Nagrrindjeri terms that have been retained are usually embedded in an English matrix, resulting in what is frequently referred to as ‘Nunga English’ (Gale & French 2007: xiii). Nunga English, which is comparable to other varieties of AborE to the extent that it represents a wider regional linguistic and cultural identity in South Australia, developed in a time during which Aboriginal people from different language groups came into contact on missions. Thus, today, Nunga language and culture is a blend of elements from “Ngarrindjeri, Narungga, Kaurna, Kukatha, Wirangu and others, with a heavy overlay of European culture, especially 221 that rooted in the mission experience”(Amery 2000: 13). Like other regional varieties of AborE, Nunga English is not a homogenous variety so that speakers’ individual codes depend on factors such as location and affiliation with a particular language group. None of the major ‘Nunga languages’ of the wider Adelaide area, viz. Ngarrindjeri, Narungga, and Kaurna, is still spoken fluently today (Amery 1995: 72f), and Amery (2000: 12) suggests that most of the Indigenous language words used in Nunga English “come from Ngarrindjeri, though there are many from languages on the west coast and some from Narrunga. Comparatively few terms originate from Kaurna”. Further substrate influences are provided by languages such as Pitjantjatjara, a dialect of the Western Desert language which is spoken in the north-west of South Australia and south-west of the Northern Territory, extending a short way into Western Australia. The language that has (-tjara, ‘having’) the term pitjantja/pitjany for ‘coming/going’ has been written down for several decades and is used in a number of religious, educational and other contexts. Thus, a lot of language knowledge has been retained (Goddard 1993: 1f). In the 2006 Census, Pitjantjatjara was established as one of the most widely spoken Aboriginal Australian languages, with more than two thousand speakers. In order to determine the origin of the Aboriginal language terms used in the text, Goddard’s (1992) Pitjantjatjara/Yakuntjatjara to English dictionary was consulted. There exist only few sources which document the lexicon of Ngarrindjerri; some information is contained in Gale & French’s (2007) Ngarrindjeri Learners’ Guide. Yallop & Grimwade’s work (1975) is a discussion of George Taplin’s Ngarrindjeri material collected in the second half of the 19th century but also contains additional information. Teichelmann & Schürmann’s publication (1840) is another early source on Ngarrindjerri, so is Meyer’s (1843). Further information on languages of the area was provided by the Nharangga warra: Narungga dictionary (2006) and Thieberger & McGregor’s (1994) Macquarie Aboriginal Words, especially the Kaurna wordlist by Amery & Simpson and the Bundjalung wordlist by Margaret Sharpe. As will become evident in the following, several of the Aboriginal language words used in Johnson’s text could not be traced back to Ngarrindjeri or Pitjantjatjara but are documented in sources for other languages of the area. This may be due to the little information that could be obtained on the Ngarrinjeri lexicon, and it is possible that the terms in question belonged to several languages of Southern Australia. In any event, we can assume that they are part of the lexicon of the regional Nunga English variety. The remainder of the procedure followed in the analysis of Johnson’s text corresponds to that of the previous analyses and will thus not be detailed again. The only novelty here is that in addition to crosschecking the lexical items with the OED, the AND, and Dixon et al.’s (2006) Australian Aboriginal Words in English, Jauncey’s (2004) Bardi grubs and frog 222 cakes: South Australian words has been consulted for information on the terms’ currency in South Australian AusE. As in the two previous analyses, a handful of words have not been counted as lexical appropriations even though they describe aspects of Aboriginal culture. As indicated above, the term didgeridoo is not an Aboriginal language word: the AND suggests that it is imitative. Like boomerang, which has also not been included in the count, the word has become a standard reference term for the object designated, in the English language and beyond. The term kangaroo has not been counted as instance of appropriation as it is used in its StE sense in the text. 8.5.3 The Results Johnson’s text Murras exhibits a much lesser degree of lexical appropriation than Davis’ and Gilbert’s plays; only 60 items were counted that could undoubtedly be attributed to the lexicon of AborE. Yet, it needs to be mentioned that Johnson’s text is also much shorter than the other two – with a mere twenty-two pages, its length is only about one third of that of Davis’ The Dreamers41. Almost half of all the appropriations found in the text (25 items) are documented in earlier Australian contact varieties and thus appear to be long established in AborE; 13 items have been recorded in sources for NSW Pidgin. The number of Aboriginal language words is relatively small and only single-word insertions are used in the text. Although only nunga is listed in Arthur (1996), several terms seem to have at least regional currency in the Nunga English varieties spoken in Southern Australia. In addition, the text includes two hybrid compounds. The remainder of the lexical appropriations found in the text are English lexemes. a) The majority of the 51 English lexical elements, viz. 30 items, are semantically modified English terms; another 20 items are best defined as Aboriginal usages of established English words, and one element, viz. ‘nother, is a phonologically modified English term. Twenty-four English lexemes are nominal elements, including the noun phrase poor fella. As before, the three elements black, blackfella, and wudjella occur as noun and adjective; the noun phrase big mob, too, is used adjectivally. The item dance occurs as noun and verb. Eight of the English elements are verbs (belong, drop, finish, flog, gammon, kill, make out, reckon) and another eight are adjectives (all gone, cheeky, flash, no good, nother, plenty, proper, same). Five lexemes are adverbs (all time, long time, too, too much, what for) and the element aye is an interjection. 41 The number of pages refers to the texts published in the anthology Plays from Black Australia (1989). 223 Almost half of the English lexemes, viz. 24 items, are documented in earlier contact varieties, including 13 elements recorded in NSW Pidgin: all gone, all time, big mob, black(s) (NSW), blackfella(s)/blackfulla(s) (NSW), cheeky, country (NSW), finish, fulla(s)/fella (NSW), gammon (NSW), kill, long time (NSW), mob, no good (NSW), nother, ones, plenty/plendy (NSW), poor fulla (NSW), ration, same (NSW), too, too much (NSW), what for (NSW), wudjella(s)/white fullas (NSW). No less than 40 English items are documented in sources for AusE and other varieties of English; 39 of these are also listed in Arthur (1996). b) The next largest group of appropriations, comprising a mere five elements, is that of single-word insertions from regional languages which here means languages (formerly) spoken in South Australia that have contributed to the lexicon of South Australian Nunga English. All of the lexical elements from South Australian languages are nouns, except for nunga, 1. Aboriginal people of South Australia, 2. of or relating to Nungas, ‘Aboriginal’, which can also function as an adjective. Even though the small variation in terms of the items’ word classes suggests a high degree of inclusion in the Nunga English lexicon, Nunga is also the only item that is documented in an Australian contact variety (SAPE) and established as part of the wider AborE and AusE lexicon. c) Both single-word insertions from Aboriginal languages spoken elsewhere are nouns: doolum ‘head lice’ is from a NSW language; it is attested in Bundjalung. The item gadjeri is most probably from a Northern Territory language: The name Gadjeri (Gadjari, Kadjeri) is known over a wide area of northern Australia. It means "old woman," implying status and not necessarily age. Gadjeri is also the “sacred mother”, or “mother of us all”, and the theme of birth, death, and rebirth is pervasive throughout all of the myths concerning her. She symbolises the productive qualities of the earth—of all natural resources, including human beings (Berndt 2005: 3249). None of the two lexemes is documented in early contact varieties, AborE, or any other variety of English, even though gadjeri has an entry in the Encyclopedia of Religion (Jones et al. 2005). d) Finally, two hybrid compounds could be found in the text, both of which are nouns. Neither dillybag (Yagara, Brisbane area, and English) nor mimi spirit (Gunwinygu, central Arnhem Land, and English) are confirmed for any early contact variety but both are documented in sources forAusE and in the OED. In total, the lexical appropriations in Murras are distributed across the conceptual categories as follows: a. Continuation of cultural and religious tradition (12 items) • 8 English items: 224 dance, 1. an Aboriginal ceremonial dance, also 2. ‘(to) perform such a dance’, dreaming places, sites of dreaming significance, Dreaming (also dreaming), a collection of events beyond living memory which shaped the physical, spiritual and moral world and which is still manifested in and sustains the present, law, the body of religious and cultural knowledge that informs and directs Aboriginal society, (one) time, the Dreaming, which encompasses past, present, and future that exist simultaneously and as one, stories, the belief system of a person and the society, especially as manifested in accounts of the dreaming, way1, the manner in which one lives as an Aboriginal person, uses language, and performs social and personal activities, the beliefs and customs which provide meaning for this way of living, women’s business, from business, the particular knowledge (including ritual) belonging to a group, concept or tradition. • 2 hybrid compounds: dilly bag, also dillybag ‘a bag made from woven grass, vine or fibre’, mimi spirit, a mythical being. • 1 single-word insertion (regional languages): Inma ‘special ceremony’, ‘dance’. • 1 single-word insertion (other Aboriginal languages): gadjeri, in the text glossed as ‘Aboriginal woman’, ‘friend’ but also the name of the ‘fertility mother’. b. Kinship structures (2 items) • 2 English items: family, all one’s blood relatives, relation, a relation; the term is used much more inclusively than in StE. c. Human relationships and social interaction (4 items) • 4 English items: drop ‘(to) hit’, flog ‘(to) belt’, floggin’, a ‘belting’, kill ‘(to) affect someone, generally by hitting’, ‘(to) injure’, may also be used metaphorical and with non-human agents. d. States of feeling and being and ways of conduct (7 items) • 7 English items: cheeky ‘causing pain’, ‘dangerous, violent’, ‘poisonous’, ‘mischievous, but possibly also dangerous’, flash ‘ostentatious’, ‘attention seeking’, used with the implication that this type of behaviour is more typical for Europeans and not in line with Aboriginal norms of group-oriented and cooperative behaviour, gammon ‘(to) pretend or lie’, make out ‘(to) give the impression’, ‘(to) pretend’, poor fulla, cf. poor fellow, referring to the condition of oneself or others, implying recognition of the plight of the human condition, shame ‘embarrassment’, ‘fear’, a sense for having transgressed the social and moral code of society, intentionally or unintentionally, shame job, an event or situation which can cause a person to feel shame. 225 e. Body parts and body functions, intimate and personal aspects of live (3 items) • 1 English item: finish ‘(to) end, to die’, • 1 single-word insertion (regional languages): murras ‘hands’. • 1 single-word insertion (other Aboriginal languages): doolum ‘head lice’. f. Relationship to the land (3 items) • 3 English items: belong ‘(to) relate to one’s country, especially with a sense of spiritual affinity’, born place, a person’s place of birth, country, the tract of land where an Aboriginal person or community belongs, to which they have a responsibility, and from which they can draw spiritual strength. g. Nature and environment (-) h. The contact experience (9 items) • 7 English items: blackfella(s) (also blackfulla(s)) 1. an Aboriginal person, 2. ‘Aboriginal’, blacks, Aboriginal persons, feed ‘meal’, government, all public authorities and their officials whether State or Federal, government fellas (also government fullas), cf. government man, person(s) employed by government bureaucracies, ration, a supply of food and sometimes clothing and tobacco given to groups or communities by governments, religious bodies or private agencies such as cattle stations, wudjella (also wudjellas and white fullas, from Engl. whitefellow), 1. a white person, a European Australian or other person with a similar appearance, 2. ‘white’, ‘European’. • 2 single-word insertions (regional languages): boogadies ‘shoes’, gundies ‘underwear’. i. Novel conceptualisations of Aboriginality and cultural survival (1 item) • 1 single-word insertion (regional languages): nunga(s), 1. Aboriginal people of South Australia, 2. of or relating to Nungas, ‘Aboriginal’. j. Aboriginal way (19 items) • 19 English items: all gone 'not present', 'no more', all time ‘always’, aye, an interjection, used as rhetorical comment, big mob, a large group (of people, animals, etc.), a large amount of something, fulla(s) (also fella) 1. a person, usually male, 2. any animate or inanimate thing, long time, here in the sense of ‘a long time ago’, ‘back then’, mob, a group of Aboriginal people, linked by relationship and culture, a group of people or animals, also an expression of number, no good ‘not any good’, ‘worthless’, nother ‘another’, ones, (as a noun) used with adjectives, with the resulting combination still functioning as an adjective, plenty (also plendy) ‘much (of)’, ‘many’, proper ‘real’, ‘really’, ‘truly’, also 226 ‘adequate’, ‘adequately’, reckon ‘(to) say’ as well as ‘(to) think’, same ‘like’, ‘similar to’, time, a specific period, too ‘very’, ‘very much’, too much ‘very’, ‘very much’, ‘a great deal’, ‘a lot of’, way2, a productive element in the formation of adverbials of manner and place, what for ‘why’. k. Traditional language maintenance (-) For the first time, category j) Aboriginal way, which includes 19 English elements that are used in a specific non-standard way, is the largest of the conceptual categories, comprising almost one third of all the English-derived appropriations found in the text. While many of the items in this category were also recorded in The Dreamers and The Cherry Pickers, Johnson’s play also includes items hitherto not encountered, such as the widely used English words same ‘like’, ‘similar to’, or too much ‘very’, ‘very much’, ‘a great deal’, ‘a lot of’. The large number of items in this category evidences that the language of Murras is influenced by pidgin and contact language features, which already transpired when we examined the text’s grammatical structures. Despite the thematic focus of the play which contrasts life in a rural location with the cultural alienation brought about by assimilation strategies and relocation to the city, category a) Continuation of cultural and religious tradition is only the second largest conceptual category, including a modest 12 items. Aside from eight English items and two hybrid compounds, only two Aboriginal language words are featured in this category, viz. gadjeri and Inma, both of which are from languages spoken outside South Australia. This number is significantly smaller than the numbers established in the two previous analyses where we found that eleven Aboriginal language words relate to cultural tradition in The Cherry Pickers and no less than 17 in The Dreamers. In addition to widely known English lexemes such as dance, Dreaming, and law, we find the element one time which is not confirmed as an AborE lexical element in any of the sources consulted, but relates to a crucial idea within the realm of Aboriginal religion as it underlines the continuing nature of the Dreaming which encompasses past, present, and future that exist simultaneously and as one. The next major conceptual category, comprising nine elements is h) The contact experience. This time, we do not find any Aboriginal language terms that refer to introduced substances such as alcohol, tobacco, or tea or to experiences of institutionalisation. The only non-English items in this category are boogardies ‘shoes’ and gundies ‘underwear’. Still, the impact of official control on the lives of Aboriginal people in the era of assimilation is documented by English lexemes such as government, government fellas, and ration. The conceptual field of d) States of feeling and being and ways of conduct includes seven items. While regional language words dominate in this category in The Dreamers and The Cherry Pickers, Johnson’s text exclusively displays English terms relating to this domain. The elements cheeky, poor fulla, and 227 shame were also encountered in the analysis of The Dreamers and are established in the lexicon of AborE. Only shame job ‘an event or situation which can cause a person to feel shame’ is new but closely related in its meaning to shame. All of the four items in c) Human relationships and social interaction, on the other hand, are new. All of them describe some type of physical or emotional violence: drop ‘(to) hit’, flog ‘(to) belt’, floggin’, a ‘belting’, kill ‘(to) affect someone, generally by hitting’, ‘(to) injure’. Three items are found in category f) Relationship to the land. In addition to the now familiar element country, the items belong and born place manifest the importance of a person’s affiliation with a tract of land and the feeling of uprootedness that accompanies the policies of removal which the playwright criticises in her play. With a mere three elements out of a total of 60 items, category e) Body parts and body functions, intimate and personal aspects of live is much less prominent than could be expected. The text features two Aboriginal language words, viz. murras ‘hands’, from which the play received its name, and doolum ‘head lice’ but lacks any references to concepts of a more provocative nature. The small number of items relating to the body or intimate concepts is as astonishing as the fact that only two items fall into category b) Kinship structures, viz. family and relation. Recall that all characters in the play belong to the same nuclear family and several scenes stress the importance of family bonds. Category i) Novel conceptualisations of Aboriginality and cultural survival comprises the element nunga, another Aboriginal language word that describes a wider regional identity. Unlike current convention, nunga is not capitalised in Johnson’s text. Categories g) Nature and environment, and k) Traditional language maintenance are not represented at all in the text. The complete absence of elements in g) Nature and environment is another notable point. Like The Dreamers, Johnson’s play contrasts the family’s life in a rural environment with that in the city. Whereas this theme provides Worru with the opportunity to use a variety of Nyoongah vocabulary items, only St(Aus)E lexemes are used to describe the natural environment in Murras. Summing up, we can state that English lexical elements dominate in Johnson’s play, a fact that is highlighted by the preference for English also in the description of cultural aspects. The number of Aboriginal language words in the text is strikingly small; in addition, not all of them come from South Australian languages. Still, this does not mean that Johnson only relies on established borrowings. In fact, only the word nunga is documented in AborE and AusE. Generally speaking, it appears that in Murras, lexical appropriations are not equally important for stressing the themes and topics addressed. 228 This is consistent with the finding that many of them fall into category j) Aboriginal way. 8.5.4 Murras – These Hands Were Made for Carving Murras portrays the effects of 20th century protection and assimilation policies, using the example of a rural family and their being forced into an urban environment. As such, several of the themes addressed in Johnson’s play reflect the contents characteristic of much of the earlier (play-)writing: Johnson describes the impact of governmental control on Aboriginal people’s lives and the arbitrariness with which authorities have enforced various rules and regulations, factors that have greatly contributed to the loss of cultural knowledge and practice. The falling apart of the family and their cultural alienation are anticipated when Ruby and Wilba discuss past events which led to the father’s death. Charlie, the family patriarch and a custodian of Nunga lore, has fallen victim to alcoholism, a reaction to the loss of his land and to the influence white oppressors had on his lifestyle. Before his death, Charlie passed on some of his knowledge to the younger men, including his son Wilba: WILBA: [...] he showed Jumbo how to ride, track, hunt and dance. What he have to die for, mum? What did my father have to die, what he have to drink that wudjella drink for, make him sick, make him die? RUBY: Your father died because he lost his land, everything. But he never forgot how to carve, hunt and dance. But plenty more dyin’, Wilba, plenty more. Dying here inside, for their land. When you got nothing, all you want to do is die. WILBA: [...] He taught me how to dance the moon dance. Taught me how to carve emu eggs. Mum, he was too good to die, he didn’t hurt no one. (Johnson 1989: 86f) The above exchange is characteristic for large parts of Johnson’s text. The play strives to underline the significance of cultural practices and the life in proximity to one’s country in order to maintain an Aboriginal cultural identity. Still, many passages largely rely on StE vocabulary and there is very little use of Indigenous language terms, much less than we would expect to occur in these contexts. If we find lexical appropriations that describe cultural or religious concepts, most of them are English-derived. This sets the language of Murras clearly apart from a text such as The Dreamers in which the contrast between the Nyoongah lifestyle remembered by Worru and the Wallitches’ existence as city dwellers is also strongly manifested on the lexical level. The near-absence of Aboriginal language words in Murras is especially conspicuous in scenes such as the above in which the family members exploit the StE lexicon to discuss issues such as the significance of the bond between a person and the land, but also when describing materials traditionally used for making artefacts or when referring to cultural practices: 229 RUBY: [...] You’ll be allright, Granny, as long as we take plendy pandana, talc stone and emu eggs. And you can still teach Jayda to dance. (Johnson 1989: 88) WILBA: As long as I can still go hunting, paint and make spears. JAYDA: And weave baskets and mats and – (Johnson 1989: 91) This suggests that the degree of lexical appropriation found in Murras is far less pronounced than in the previously analysed plays. This would nevertheless be a hasty conclusion. In Davis’ text, the high frequency of Aboriginal language terms and the occasional code-switches to Nyoongah function as the most obvious and distinct markers of the characters’ Aboriginality. In Johnson’s play, the marking of Aboriginality takes on less evident forms. Examples of such a more subtle indexation of ‘otherness’ are English terms that have been assigned to the conceptual category Aboriginal way. These show how the characters resort to lexical forms that are not shared with the AusE of the mainstream society and demonstrate salient modes of expressing realities, e.g. “We don't wanna go, what for? No good, I tell you.”(Johnson 1989: 85) or “Mum, I'll be okay, there's big mob of us.”(Johnson 1989: 105, my emphasis). The characters also resort to English-derived AborE vocabulary in a number of other contexts. English terms are employed to describe people, as in blackfulla, wudjella or to comment on their status as a colonised people, e.g. government fellas, ration. Apart from that, English terms are also used to speak about Aboriginal culture and religion. The following short passage contains no fewer than six different types of lexical appropriation, four of which express concepts relating to religious ideas or concepts which ultimately derive from cultural and religious understandings, such as the connection between people and places and moral codes. Since all of them are English words, they are less obvious as examples of appropriation for the reader who does not ‘stumble over’ foreign words that have unfamiliar forms and opaque meanings: RUBY: Charlie, they mess’n up our country, puttin’ shame on our children. They got no law, no shame. They no good. I’m goin’, I’m goin’, take Jayda away from here. They killin’ our dreaming places, no good... (Johnson 1989: 96, my emphasis) Many of the English terms are documented in earlier pidgins and are also listed in Arthur (1996). This indicates that they are long established and widely known and used AborE vocabulary items. In a few instances, the English elements are complemented by or contrasted with Aboriginal language words. An example is the term nunga, which is used alongside blackfulla to denote an Aboriginal person. Elsewhere, we encounter the terms gadjeri ‘Aboriginal woman’ and Inma, a dance ceremony, the only Aboriginal language words in the text that are used to describe con- 230 cepts which have cultural and religious significance. Twice, wudjella women are contrasted with gadjeri women. Using a traditional language word for the latter, Johnson, too, enforces the ‘us-them’ contrast that is also expressed in the statement: GRANNY: Wudjella woman got diffrent way to gadjeri woman. They don't have woman's dreaming, special dance, Inma. (Johnson 1989: 88, italics in original, my emphasis in bold print) Note that, while gadjeri co-occurs with its English counterpart wudjella, the single-word insertion Inma is preceded by an English explanation of its meaning. Other Aboriginal language words describe comparatively ‘mundane’ every-day concepts such as items of clothing, e.g. boogardies ‘shoes’ and gundies ‘underpants’; doolum ‘head lice’, identifies an unpleasant physical condition. Due to the small overall number of Aboriginal language words, we also encounter very few terms which evoke shared experiences and understandings or concern delicate or painful issues, that is, we find only few lexical appropriations that act as agents of proximity. The text further includes only two kin terms, viz. family and relation. This, too, seems unusual, given that all characters are members of the same (core) family and the need for family unity is stressed throughout the play. What is more, Murras addresses the effects of government policies on families. Since Murras also entirely lacks lexical appropriations which describe other forms of human relationships and social interaction, the text does not evoke the same feelings of emotional closeness, solidarity, and warmth that are transported in Davis’ and Gilbert’s plays. The most important lexical appropriation in the text, and the last singleword insertion that remains to be discussed, is murras ‘hands’, which is also the name of the play and its leitmotif. The significance of the word is grounded in its direct relationship with the play’s thematic focus on cultural maintenance and change. In the rural environment, the characters’ murras carry out activities such as carving and weaving; they are thus essential for keeping alive these practices and passing them on to the younger generation. Using their hands to collect food and make fire is furthermore crucial for the family’s every-day survival: RUBY: […] Better live here outside. We got no doors to lock out family. Look, look my murras. [She raises her hands out of the water] All time work hard, dig for yams, make fire, make basket, dilly bag, pandana mat…and carving. [She looks at Charlie’s totem, centrestage] Charlie, you were the best carver, your murras were strong, you was the best. (Johnson 1989: 85f, italics in original, my emphasis in bold print) 231 At that point in time, Charlie’s strong hands have long since stopped carving the totem poles for which he was renowned and his wife and children have adopted the role as carriers of cultural tradition. Meanwhile, the term murras also underlines the women’s role as nurturers and caretakers. In a passage centred on the supposed amenities of the family’s new home, we find what at first view appears to be an example of cushioning. Taking a closer look, it becomes evident that the glossing of the Aboriginal language word actually carries out a different function: it serves to underscore the significance of the actions discussed and the role of murras as the agents performing them. RUSSEL: [interrupting] What I’d like to talk to you about is your new home. It’s very modern, you’ll notice the difference. It has electricity. Yes, you can’t see it but it’s there. It’s like magic; it provides power for lights, heaters, washing machines, refrigerators, almost anything. You won’t hardly have to use your hands. WILBA: ‘Murras’. RUBY: We call them ‘murras’. RUSSEL: What? Electricity? JAYDA: No, these hands, our ‘murras’. RUSSEL: ‘Murras’. Yes, well, as I was saying, everything will be at your fingertips. WILBA: As long as I can still go hunting, paint and make spears. JAYDA: And weave baskets and mats and – RUSSEL: [interrupting] You can join classes, yes, there are classes for everything these days. Look, I did: now I do my own banking, book-keeping and I can chair meetings and run seminars. (Johnson 1989: 91, italics in original, my emphasis in bold print) Thus, rather than providing an explanation of the word’s meaning for the reader’s or the audience’s sake, the supposed cushioning underscores the different world views of those taking part in the conversation. The short exchange contrasts the family members with Russel who, having been taken away from his family and raised in a European environment, needs an explanation to understand the term. Still, it is not only the semantic meaning of the word murras that is beyond his understanding. He is as ignorant of the importance of the cultural practices as he is of the family’s reasons for wanting to remain in the rural environment. After the family’s move to the city, activities such as carving and weaving bags fall into oblivion. Ruby’s hands are too weak to continue, and her children no longer see any meaning in these things in their new environment: RUBY: […] Wilba’s murras are scarred by the wudjella’s chains. His murras are clenched fists now. Jayda don’t make baskets no more. She bleeds from her womb the seeds of death. She carries the scars from the wudjella’s medicine. There’s no place for baskets here, she says. And my murras are 232 too weak. They no longer carve. They are empty now. Moon, water, sea grass, dugong, parrotfish … gone. All gone. (Johnson 1989: 106, italics in original, my emphasis in bold print) In Ruby’s final lament, the image of the powerful murras becomes twisted: the children’s hands are now tied by the white man’s actions and Ruby has become too weak to continue the fight for her culture. Due to the small number of Aboriginal language words in the play, readers and audiences should have comparatively little difficulty in understanding the text, especially since the dialogue provides sufficient context to interpret the meaning of the single-word insertions. This has been shown for the terms gadjeri and Inma and can also be observed elsewhere, as in “These boogardies hurt my feet.” (Johnson 1989: 100). The English-derived appropriations, though differing in their meaning or usage from the StE practice, are less likely to cause severe comprehension problems. Still, despite the high degree of intelligibility on the lexical level, the language of the text is clearly different from AusE and many passages make the reader experience a feeling of linguistic alienation nonetheless. In the following scene, Granny uses exclusively Standard English vocabulary to narrate a Dreaming story, but her account appears almost as exotic as Worru’s yarns in The Dreamers: GRANNY: You know who we are; Yeah, you, Ruby, you are dugong42, Charlie, he moon, Wilba, he parrotfish, Jayda, she seagrass. Me, I’m from water. Dreaming say, dugong was bitten by leech. Moon watch her. Dugong leave her land and go into sea. Moon follow, but he can’t get wet, So he call parrotfish, make him son. Parrotfish look after dugong. Both live from seagrass from bottom of the sea. Moon always there, watch all time. And he here, still he look for you, dugong. Water, dugong, parrotfish, seagrass, All same spirit, so we gotta stay together, right here. (Johnson 1989: 89) We can observe a variety of terms that refer to environmental features or animals that represent totems and are associated with the Dreaming, thus establishing a link between humans and the mythological ancestors and connecting the present to the time the world was created. Still, the particularly Aboriginal ‘flavour’ of this paragraph cannot be attributed to the ‘foreignness’ 42 According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term dugong is originally from Malay and has been borrowed into English where it is now the standard reference term for a species of sirenias. 233 of the lexicon. Rather, it mainly results from the way Granny appropriates the colonisers’ language on the structural level. In the short passage, we can observe salient AborE grammatical features, such as zero-copula constructions, the use of resumptive pronouns, the omission of determiners, as well as the absence of past and third person singular inflection. In addition, the syntactic structure relies heavily on the ‘chaining’ of individual elements, phrases, and short sentences. This is in many ways representative for the entire text, which is most strongly marked by non-standard verb forms that result from the omission of copula and auxiliary verbs and the lack of past tense and 3rd person singular inflection, as well as by the omission of determiners and prepositions. This structural adaptation also increases the ‘exotic’ quality of passages which exhibit additional lexical appropriation, as in “What Sister want to check me for? She think I got germs, all time put that purple paint on me.” (Johnson 1989: 87, my emphasis). In passages where these grammatical features do not persistently occur, the dialogue receives an entirely different character. Despite occasional instances of lexical appropriation, these passages approach colloquial AusE: GRANNY: […] You know they tried to take Charlie away from me. One wudjella man wanted me, for himself. I told him I gave him away to 'nother woman. But I hid him, hid him in my sugar bag. I was nearly sittin‘ on top of him while I was lyin‘ to that wudjella. He was a good boy, kept real quiet. I kept hidin’ him until he met your mother. Hm, well, soon I’ll find his spirit again. (Johnson 1989: 97, italics in original) Thus, the text takes control over the English language not so much by introducing Indigenous lexical material, but by adapting the dominant code to the structure and rhythmic patterns of the traditional languages and contact varieties. 8.6 Jimmy Chi Born in 1948 as the son of a Japanese-Chinese father and a Scottish-Bardi mother (Thompson & Chi 1991: 24; Jose et al. 2008: 136), Jimmy Chi’s heritage reflects the ethnic diversity of his hometown Broome. Located in the far north of Western Australia, the relatively isolated coastal town of Broome developed as a major pearling port in the second half of the 19th century, after the discovery of the Pinctada Maxima, one of the world’s largest pearl oysters. The developing pearling industry attracted Europeans, Japanese, Chinese, Malays, Filipinos, and Indonesians (Shire of Broome 2012: 5ff). Together with the local Aboriginal population, the pearlers laid the foundation for the town’s multicultural mix. In the 2011 Census, 29.1% of the population of the Broome area 234 claimed Aboriginal heritage (ABS. 2012e. Cat.No.2075.0 Census of Population and Housing). Much of Chi’s life and his family’s history were marked by institutionalisation. During World War II, his father was interned. His mother, the daughter of a white cattle station owner, was taken from her family as a child and sent to Beagle Bay mission where she underwent training as a domestic (Stephenson 2007: 170). Chi himself attended St. Mary’s in Broome, a Catholic school run by Irish nuns and German priests (Gilbert 2001: 326). Here, he experienced racism not only from his Euro-Australian classmates but also from other Aboriginal students for whom he was ‘not Aboriginal enough’: School was wonderful but I was subjected to racism – often from black, predominately tribal, schoolmates. Even though I was related to them they never realised it: they used to call me munyi munyi – meaning eye, slanty-eyed if you want. I’ve had racism from whites, from blacks, from everybody just about (Chi in Thompson & Chi 1991: 24). For Chi, it is not only the white Australian society that is to blame for discrimination and the promotion of prejudice. He describes that even in his multicultural hometown of Broome, there is a system of “social classes which go first white, then coloured, then blackfella and bush blackfella, then the absolute nigger, and last the ignorant stonejack.” He feels that such attitudes are not restricted to a part of the society, rather, he suggests that “prejudice like that [...] runs through all levels of society and [...] Aboriginal people are as guilty of it as anybody else” (Tompson and Chi 1991: 24). After leaving school, Chi went to the University of Western Australia in Perth where he began to study for an engineering degree. In the urban environment, far away from his home in Broome, he developed schizophrenia. Gilbert (2001: 320) ascribes his illness to the experience of cultural displacement and racism, other sources suggest it was the result of a serious car accident (Tompson and Chi 1991: 25; Jose et al. 2008: 136). Chi finally had to give up his university studies and returned to Broome where he engaged in writing music, an occupation which he describes as a way of therapy, “a comfort, a spiritual source I found that made me write about all the pain that was in me about a lot of issues, and helped me relate to the world again” (Thompson & Chi 1991: 25). Many of the songs that feature in Bran Nue Dae were originally written and produced by his band Kuckles (Gilbert 2001: 320). Chi also collaborated with band colleague Mick Manolis in the production of a book on Aboriginal music which was published in 1983 and was among the founders of Broome Musicians Aboriginal Corporation which endeavours to support young musicians (Thompson & Chi 1991: 24). In the second half of the 1980s, Chi’s idea of writing a musical gradually became reality. Bran Nue Dae, which Chi had scripted together with Mick Manolis (Tompson and Chi 1991: 28), was elaborated during several workshop 235 sessions with the assistance of people such as playwright Jack Davis and the Aboriginal stage director Brian Syron. Andrew Ross, who had successfully worked with Jack Davis and established his reputation as sensitive director of Aboriginal works, was approached to direct the play (Gilbert 2001: 320). In February 1990, only six weeks after Ross had obtained the re-drafted script, Bran Nue Dae premiered at the Festival of Perth, performed by a largely Broome cast (Bibby 1991: vii-viii). Two national tours followed and the play, winner of the Sidney Meyer Award, was staged in major venues. A third, local tour brought it to Aboriginal communities in a number of rural and remote locations (Gilbert 2001: 320; Bibby 1991: vii-viii). In 1991, while still touring, Jimmy Chi received the Human Rights Award for Literature and Other Writing (Jose et al. 2008: 136) Chi’s second musical, Corrugation Road, premiered in 1996. The play which Gilbert (2001: 322) describes as a “surreal romp loosely based on his own experiences in psychiatric hospitals” deals with issues such as mental illness and abuse. Both Bran Nue Dae and Corrugation Road have been influential in the development of the Black Swan Theatre Company, and Bran Nue Dae helped to get underway the careers of the well-known Aboriginal actorplaywrights Ningali Lawford and Leah Purcell (Gilbert 2001: 322; Jose et al. 2008: 136). In January 2010, the feature film Bran Nue Dae was released, directed by Rachel Perkins and starring, among others, Ernie Dingo and Ningali Lawford, two of the original stage production’s cast members, as well as Deborah Mailman (Kershaw et al. 2009). 8.6.1 The Play: Bran Nue Dae (1990/1991) “The greatest success, after Davis and partly with his encouragement, was Jimmy Chi’s musical Bran Nue Dae” (McCallum 2009: 313). Chi’s work, which is often described as the first Aboriginal musical (e.g. Gilbert 1992: 134, 2001: 320; Thompson & Chi 1991: 24), makes use of what Gilbert (2001: 320) defines as the “most Westernized and commercialized of theatre forms”, the Broadway musical, and appropriates it “to make a political protest while broadly appealing to the popular imagination”. The play’s subtitle ‘a musical journey’ anticipates the plot which portrays the two Aboriginal main characters, the teenager Willie and ‘Uncle’ Tadpole, on their quest for a place of belonging which takes them from Perth to Broome. The structure of Bran Nue Dae reminds of a song-cycle that describes the course of a journey in a succession of songs. According to Brisbane (1995: 14), the play’s story “is as silly as that of any grant opera”: expelled from the mission school run by the German priest Father Benedictus for stealing ‘Cherry Ripe’ bars, and longing for his home and his girlfriend Rosie, Willie finds himself among the homeless in a park in 236 Perth. Here, he meets Tadpole, whose explanation of their family ties leaves both Willie and the reader/audience wondering who is who in the Johnson family: TADPOLE: You know what! Your mother is my uncle brother and that’s my brother but this is my sister so he call you uncle. That’s how come I’m your sister brother and I’m your uncle and so I’m your uncle, OKAY? WILLIE: Yeah Uncle, but who is my daddy? (Chi 1991: 19, emphasis in original) The two decide to set off for their home north of Broome. Their journey will become an initiation rite for Willie’s who “learns about survival, sex, and society in general as he undergoes his transition towards adulthood” (Gilbert 1992: 135). After faking a car accident, they convince ‘Marijuana Annie’ and her German hippie boyfriend ‘Slippery’ to take them to Broome. On their way, the group is arrested for the possession of (Annie’s) marijuana and put into Roebourne Lockup. Here, Chi reveals that his light-hearted musical, too, involves a political message: Roebourne Lockup is the very place in which some years previous to the premiere of the musical, John Pat, a young Aboriginal man, was killed while being held in custody, an incident that received nationwide attention (Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody 1991). They meet Tadpole’s cousin brother, a legal aid officer who is under arrest himself. Out of jail and back in Broome, Willie is reunited with his love Rosie whom he was forced to abandon in the first scenes of the play. Rosie joins the travellers, so does Willie’s mother Theresa and the group continue their journey northwards. Towards the end of the play, in a soap opera-like sequence of revelations and confessions, it is unveiled that Tadpole is Theresa’s former husband and Willie’s father, and Slippery is Willie’s half-brother, the son of Theresa and Father Benedictus. Marijuana Annie reveals that she, too, is of Aboriginal heritage and one of the many children of the Stolen Generations. In the last scenes, at Lombadina Mission, the entire family is reunited when Slippery meets his father who preaches forgiveness of sins under a crucifix of ‘Cherry Ripe’ bars. 8.6.2 Analysis of Bran Nue Dae Since Chi’s text work is written as a musical, dialogue alternates with song lyrics. While some of the songs embrace Aboriginal language words and also include other grammatical and lexical features of AborE, most lyrics are written in or approach AusE. The language employed in the dialogue, on the other hand, portrays first and second language varieties of (Aus)English as well as different forms of AborE. The second language varieties spoken by the two characters Father Benedictus and Slippery are characterised by occasional code-switching to German. The transcription further suggests that both have a marked German accent: 237 BENEDICTUS: Ah Villie. Und Slippery und Annie. Ve are all fallen angels and ve all haff a multitude of crosses to bear. You haff kom back, and I haff kom back! Der mission is finished. (Chi 1991: 83) Many grammatical features that can be observed in the varieties spoken by the Aboriginal characters, most notably Willie, Rosie, Tadpole, and Theresa, clearly show the influence of pidgins on AborE varieties spoken in northern Australian locations. In the text, this influence manifests itself, for example, in the use of prepositions such as longa, as in “this fella longa Canberra” (Chi 1991: 84), or the application of the past tense marker bin, which may replace been, as in “What you bin doing?” (Chi 1991:19) or act as copula, as in “He bin Perth for schooling.” (Chi 1991: 2). Bin also occurs in combination with a present verb stem, as in “They bin chuck me out from mission.” (Chi 1991: 18), but also with past participle forms, as in “That’s the place where I bin used to live before.” (Chi 1991: 50). Other regularly occurring AborE grammar features modify the verb phrase. Again, we frequently find zero copula constructions, as in “He deadly boy.” (Chi 1991: 2). Apart from that, neither third person singular nor past tense forms are necessarily marked by inflection, as in “He come from Lombadina.” (Chi 1991: 2) and “you still never tell me your name yet” (Chi 1991: 18); the second example also shows how never may negate the verb. Elsewhere, double negation may occur, as in “I don’t go to no fuckin’ hospital.” (Chi 1991: 24). In addition, auxiliaries tend to be omitted in statements, e.g. “Bro, no one coming.” (Chi 1991: 5), and in questions, e.g. “What you doing bro?” (Chi 1991: 6). Again, the form gotta may replace have to while future is expressed through will but also through gonna, e.g. “You bastards gonna take us there or what?” (Chi 1991: 24). Further grammatical characteristics that indicate a geographically remote northern location include the use of the third person pronouns he/him for both male and female referents, as in “Uh – Uncle, I got this girl Rosie [...] I like ‘im but I don’t know if he like me.” (Chi 1991: 47) but also for impersonal objects, e.g. “There him [...]. There Djarindjin hills.” (Chi 1991: 81). Elsewhere, pronoun forms such as you mob and us mob occur. Possession need not be expressed by possessive pronouns, as in “Where’s you school uniform I scraped and saved for?” (Chi 1991: 76), and occasionally, the omission of prepositions can be observed, as in “He bin Perth for schooling.” (Chi 1991: 2). We can further note the omission of the definite and indefinite articles the and a, as in “Ah no Uncle I’m good man” (Chi 1991: 21) or the replacement of the by that, e.g. “That policeman don’t like that green stuff in the back of your car, I?” (Chi 1991: 31). Rarely, plural markers such as (big) mob may occur, e.g. “big mob motocar” (Chi 1991: 22) and adjectives may have suffixes such as one or fella attached 238 that suggest nominalisation, e.g. “He different one from me” Chi 1991: 47). On a few instances, adverbs may be formed using the suffix -way, e.g. longway. In addition, the spelling suggests distinctive phonological features, such as the substitution of fricatives, e.g. dijwun ‘this one’, Steben ‘Steven’, bella ‘fellow’. The question tag ‘ay’ is realised in the form of the first singular pronoun I, as in “Like us I bro, us blackies starving.” (Chi 1991:7). Consonant clusters may be reduced, especially in word final position, as in “Never min’ my boy... legal aid get you out of here.” (Chi 1991: 34). In some instances, elision may result in forms such as wanta ‘want to’, e.g. “I wanta sing a country song.” (Chi 1991: 54). The lengthening of the initial consonant in the pronunciation of home is employed to convey the intensity of feeling connected to the concept: “Porbella porbella. We hhhhome now. “(Chi 1991: 81). The short glossary that precedes the written text suggests that kuckles is Broome AborE rendition of ‘cockles’. On the lexical level, the use of Aboriginal language terms is again considerably less pronounced than in Davis’ and Gilbert’s plays. At the same time, English derived AborE lexicon and pidgin terms are frequently used. None of the terms are rendered in italics so that they do not visibly stand out from the remainder of the text. The glossary lists terms from Aboriginal languages as well as terms from a variety labelled ‘Broome Kriol’. Unfortunately, no individual source languages are specified, except for in one case where an element is marked as a Malay term (mukan, ‘food’, but see also the wordbook entry and below). None of the Aboriginal language words are listed in Arthur (1996) or Dixon et al. (2006). Due to the great linguistic diversity characteristic of the Australian north, several Aboriginal languages are in use today in the Broome area, and each of them is a potential source for the single-word insertions in the text. According to Hosokawa (2011: 11), the Aboriginal languages spoken […] around Brome today include Bardi, Nyulnyul, Jabirrjabirr, Yawuru, Nyikina, Mangala, Walmajarri, […], Karajarri […] Nyangumarta and Yulparija (a Western Desert Dialect). Of these, only Bardi, Walmajarri and Nyangumarta are relatively strong in terms of number of speakers [...]. None of the three groups, however, originally belonged to the Broome area, although they have become the major Aboriginal groups of Broome today both in number and in political influence. Hosokawa further explains that the first five are Nyulnyulan languages, i.e. they belong to a non-Pama Nyungan family, while Mangala, Walmajarri, Karajarri, Nyangumarta and Yulparija are Pama Nyungan languages. Bardi, which was traditionally used in the northern parts of the Dampier Peninsula, is also spoken in the Aboriginal communities Long Arm Point and Lomdadina/Djarindjin (Aklif 1999: 1). Broome is also home to a unique contact variety, the Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin, a Malay-based contact language which 239 developed in the context of the pearling industry (McGregor 2004: 30, 70). The pidgin is no longer actively used, but according to Hosokawa (1987: 294), an amount of fossilised words and phrases has been retained by the Asian and Aboriginal population and these are regular features in the speech of Asian- Aboriginal speakers of the younger generations, employed as markers of ethnic identity. Other varieties spoken by Aboriginal people in the region are Pidgin English and its descendant Kriol, as well as different forms of AborE. As McGregor (2004: 61) points out, it is not always possible to draw clear boundaries between the three varieties, as they tend to overlap. The Ardiyooloon Bardi Ngaanka: One Arm Point Bardi Dictionary (1999) compiled by Gedda Aklif has served as the major source in determining the Aboriginal language terms’ source languages. Unfortunately, two further sources for the Bardi lexicon, viz. Claire Bowern’s (2003) Supplement to Ardiyooloon Bardi Ngaanka: One Arm Point Bardi Dictionary and Toby Metcalfe’s (1975) Bardi Dictionary are unpublished manuscripts. So is Hosokawa’s (1988) Classified Yawuru dictionary, excerpts of which are nevertheless available online as part of the Rarrdjali Yawuru: Language Pages. Other sources that have been consulted in the course of this analysis include the Nyikina draft dictionary available via the website of the Nyikina organisation Madjulla Inc., McKelson’s (1989) Topical Vocabulary in Northern Nyangumarta, the Nyangumarta- English, Mangala-English, and Yulparitja-English online dictionaries available via the homepage of the Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Center, Richards & Hudson’s (1990) Walmajarri-English Dictionary, and parts II and III of Nekes & Worm’s Australian languages which are available on the CD-ROM accompanying McGregor’s 2006 edition of the work which was originally compiled in the first half of the 20th century. Several of the Aboriginal language terms used in the text occur in more than one language, and this diffusion is not restricted to closely related languages such as Nyikina, Nyulnyul, and Yawuru. The term magabala ‘bush banana’, for example, is listed in sources for Nyul Nyul, Nyangumarta, Karrajari, Yawuru, Mangala, and Nyinkina. Also, baarni ‘large goanna’ is listed in Aklif’s Bardi dictionary despite her contention that it is not a Bardi word. This indicates that a number of words have spread beyond their source language and have entered neighbouring varieties. It is thus very likely that several of the terms for which only one or two source languages are provided in fact occur more widely. In some cases, it has not been possible to determine the original source language. The term mayi ‘food’, ‘vegetable food’, for example, is found in the non-Pama-Nyungan languages Bardi and Yawuru, but also in Karajarri and Nyangamarta which belong to a Pama-Nyungan language family. In this case, it is not clear if the term has originated in one language (or several closely related languages of the same family) and has later been borrowed by the languages of the other family or if it has always been part of the 240 lexical inventory of all languages in the area, i.e. occurring across language family boundaries. As before, the lexical appropriations found in Bran Nue Dae have been classified as 1) single-word insertions from the local language(s) 2) single-word insertions from languages (formerly) spoken in other parts of the country 3) multi-word insertions from the local language(s) 4) hybrid compounds, 5) English lexemes • that show semantic modification • that have undergone phonological modification • that exhibit a specific AborE usage For the first time, however, these eight categories have proven insufficient to capture the range of appropriation types. In addition to lexical elements from Aboriginal languages and from English, Bran Nue Dae makes use of a small number of pidgin terms which are not derived from English, including the previously mentioned Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin term mukan from Malay. These terms, which underline the diverse cultural and linguistic mix of the Broome area, will be discussed separately. Again, Troy (1990, 1993, 1994), Malcolm & Koscielecki (1997), Foster et al. (2003), and Harris (1986 and 1988) were consulted for information on the terms’ occurrence in early contact varieties, and so were Arthur (1996), Brooks & Ritchie’s (1994) Words from the West, and Dixon et al. (2006), for their diffusion in AborE and AusE. The online editions of the AND and the OED have provided additional information on the lexemes’ use in varieties of English both inside and outside Australia. As in the analysis of Johnson’s text Murras, the terms didgeridoo and boomerang were not included in the count. 8.6.3 The Results In total, 82 different examples of lexical appropriation were established for Bran Nue Dae. These include 23 items that are documented in earlier Australian pidgins, 13 of which are listed in sources for NSW Pidgin. The majority of lexical appropriations in Bran Nue Dae are English lexemes. Apart from that, we find single-word insertions from the local languages, pidgin terms, one instance of multi-word insertion, one hybrid element, and one traditional language word from an Aboriginal language spoken elsewhere. The text further features a handful of items for which no etymology could be established. 241 In two cases, this meant that it was also impossible to assign them to a conceptual category. They will be discussed in more detail below. Only few of the words that are not English-derived are also listed in the AND, Dixon et al. (2006), or Arthur (1996), even though Arthur provides quotations from Bran Nue Dae for several of her dictionary entries. Therefore, we may assume that many of the items are restricted to a local or regional variety of AborE spoken in the Broome area. a) Not surprisingly, English lexemes once again form the largest group of lexical appropriations. All in all, 50 English lexical elements were counted, almost two thirds of all the appropriations identified in the text. Note however, that these include the element sit on, which in the glossary is explained to be a gambling term. Since two other items that are also described as gambling terms can be attributed to Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin, it may be possible that sit on, too, is actually a rendition of a pidgin term: “Baker he mukan with sit on/But Larry we got butta in front.” (Chi 1991: 29; my emphasis). With 25 items, the number of English terms that have undergone semantic modification is only slightly higher than those exhibiting characteristically Aboriginal usages of English terms (21 items). Four lexemes show phonological modification. Twenty-five of the English appropriations are nominal elements, including the noun phrases big shame, old man, porbella (from poor fella), and white man, and another four elements, viz. us mob, us people, you mob and dijwun ‘this one’, are used as pronouns in the text. Seven elements are adjectives (all same, black, cheeky, deadly, nother, old, sorry, stalebait). In addition, the noun phrase big mob also occurs adjectivally. Another three elements are adverbs, viz. all day, never, proper. Six English verb forms were found in the text (friend up, mix up, pook, reckon, sing out, tongue for), four of which are phrasal verbs. Two elements function as interjections, viz. ay(e), also I, and eh, and longa is a preposition. Almost half of the English lexemes, i.e. 21 elements, were recorded in earlier pidgin and creole forms, including 13 items documented in NSW Pidgin: all day, all same (NSW), big mob, black (NSW), blackies (NSW), brother (NSW), cheeky, country (NSW), dijwun (NSW), eh (NSW), fella/bella (NSW), longa (NSW), longway (NSW), neber/never, nother, old man, one, porbella (NSW), sing out, tucker (NSW), whiteman (NSW). No less than 39 items are recorded in sources for AborE, AusE and other varieties of English. Of these, 20 are only listed in Arthur (1996) as AborE lexical features, another 15 have an entry in Arthur (1996) as well as in sources for AusE or in the OED. b) The next major class of appropriations in Bran Nue Dae is that of single-word insertions from local and regional Aboriginal languages (24 items). 242 Again, the largest group among the single-word insertions is that of nominal elements which comprises 20 items, including the language group names Bardi, Karrajarri, Nyikina, and Yawuru. The item lulb'd ‘roasted in the earth’ is an adjective and also the language group name Nyul Nyul is used adjectivally. The only verb form found among the Aboriginal language words is jirij ‘ejaculate’. The element arrajina is glossed as ‘nothing’ in Chi (1991: 16) but Aklif’s (1999: 21) Bardi dictionary suggests ‘no’, ‘none’ for arrajina/arrijina. The context in which the term is used supports its function as a determiner rather than as a pronoun: “I'll love you until there's arrrajina Djarindjin hills/arrajina ungarrabin [‘little green turtle’, K.L.] goolil [‘turtle’, K.L.].” (Chi 1991: 58). None of the 24 terms is documented in an early Australian pidgin variety and only the language group name Bardi and magabala, a type of bush fruit, are listed in Brooks & Ritchie (1994) as Western Australian words. c) Only one lexeme comes from an Aboriginal language spoken outside the wider Broome area: the noun bungarra which describes a type of sand monitor is from Nhanta (Geraldton region, south-west WA). Like its counterparts from northern WA languages, the word is not documented in an early contact variety and does not appear to have wider currency in AborE or AusE. d) One hybrid compound features in the text. The lexeme jigal tree ‘bauhinia tree’ (several northern WA languages and English) is a noun. The term does not appear in any of the sources for the lexicon of AborE or AusE and is not accounted in an early contact variety. e) Finally, narba yunyarri ‘water is coming’ is a multi-word insertion from a regional language. As indicated above, Chi’s text also includes a small number of items that do not fit into the categories of lexical appropriation strategies established for the previous analyses. These are pidgin terms which could not be classified as single-word insertions or English-derived terms: 1) savvy ‘(to) understand’, described by Harris as a ‘World Pidgin’ feature shared with Pacific pidgins and other English-based pidgins and creoles. According to the online edition of the OED, the term comes from Portuguese or Spanish saber ‘(to) know’ and spread via early West African pidgin. Savvy is documented in NTPE and is also listed in Arthur (1996) and in the OED. 2) mukan, most probably a Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin term, derived from the Malay makanan, which may be used as noun and verb (Hosokawa 1987: 290). Although the term is glossed as ‘food’ in Chi’s text, the context of the utterance suggests that it is a shortened form of the Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin term makan kaikai, signifying a major victory in gambling (Hosokawa 1987: 292). The term testifies to the contact between Aboriginal people and 243 the Asian workers on board the pearling luggers. It is listed in the OED with the meaning ‘food’, ‘eating’ as chiefly Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei usage. 3) butta, glossed as ‘second best hand in kudja kudja, a gambling game’, very likely also a Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin term. The origin of the word remains unclear; it might be derived from Malay or another Asian language spoken by the pearlers or it could be a rendition of a local Aboriginal language word43. In addition, Chi (1991) uses the noun mungari ‘food’ and the preposition munga ‘just like’, two terms for which no plausible etymology could be established, but which might be instances of single-word insertion. According to the OED, mungaree and variants thereof are derived from Italian mangiare and are used as slang terms, especially in AusE and New Zealand English. The AND further lists munga, mungar, munger, and mungey as abbreviations of Brit. mangaree. Munga, too, is listed by the OED as ‘food’, ‘a meal’. Yet, the term also seems to be used in different WA languages, McGregor (1994a: 58), for example, provides manyarriy as a Warrwa term with the meaning ‘food’ and Nekes & Worms (2006, part III: n.p.) list ma ari ‘food’ as a Jaru word. It is unclear if we are dealing with unrelated lexemes or if the term was borrowed into the WA languages from English. Malcolm (1980-1982: 60) recorded the term munga in the sense ‘(just) like’ in Derby, WA, but he does not provide any information concerning the item’s origin. None of the dictionaries consulted list a similar form, so that again, we cannot say with certainty whether munga is an Aboriginal language word or not. Since the terms’ source languages remain unclear, it is also not possible to determine their semantic category. As single-word insertions from WA languages they would best be categorised as traditional language maintenance, otherwise, they should be assigned to category ‘Aboriginal way’. Summing up the results of the conceptual analysis, we get the following picture (excluding the two items munga and mungari): a. Continuation of cultural and religious tradition (12 items) • 7 single-word insertions (regional languages): Bardi, a language group, bindjin (also bindjins) ‘coolamon’, a wooden carrying dish, Karrajarri, a language group, lulb’d ‘roasted in the earth’, Nyikina, a language group, Nyul Nyul, a language group, Yawuru, a language group. • 5 English items: bush tucker ‘traditional food’, dreaming, a collection of events beyond living memory which shaped the physical, spiritual and moral world and which 43 In the written text, Tadpole tells Annie and Slippery that the word Buddhist is “proper rude thing to say in our language” (Chi 1991: 27). In the movie, the word Buddhist is replaced by Buddha. 244 is still manifested in and sustains the present, language, an Aboriginal language, ‘Aboriginal language’, law, the body of religious and cultural knowledge that informs and directs Aboriginal society, old, ‘Aboriginal’, but with an added sense that it is part of Aboriginal culture that belongs to the time before Europeans. b. Kinship structures (5) • 5 English items: auntie, an older woman, often wise in traditional language, having status within her community; also a term of address, bro, short for brother, brother, a close relative of the same generation, often a parallel cousin, a form of address for a sibling, or a gesture of solidarity with another Aboriginal person of the same generation, cousin brother, a close relative of the same generation, usually a mother’s sister's or father’s brother’s child, used for a person who is biologically a cousin but has the same status as a brother, uncle, a respectful term of address for an older man. c. Human relationships and social interaction (8 items) • 7 English items: friend up ‘(to) become friends’, ‘(to) become a girlfriend or boyfriend’, old man, a figure of authority, here used as an address term conveying respect and expressing solidarity, sing out ‘call out’, ‘cry out’, tongue for ‘(to) long for’, us mob, see us people, us people, a connected group; the term can apply to a whole ‘family’ or a part of it, a group connected in some other way, you mob ‘you (plural)’. • 1 pidgin term: savvy, ‘(to) understand’, here used with the meaning ‘(to) know'. d. States of feeling and being and ways of conduct (5 items) • 5 English items: big shame, from shame ‘embarrassment’, ‘fear’, a sense for having transgressed the social and moral code of society, intentionally or unintentionally, cheeky ‘causing pain’, ‘dangerous, violent’, ‘poisonous’, ‘mischievous, but possibly also dangerous’, porbella, from poor fellow, referring to the condition of oneself or others, implying recognition of the plight of the human condition, sorry ‘sorrowful’, ‘full of grief, grieving’, stalebait, a fishing term, used for people. e. Body parts and body functions, intimate and personal aspects of live (4 items) • 3 single-word insertions (regional languages): jirij ‘ejaculate’, ‘move suddenly’, lagurr ‘eggs’, ‘testicles’, noora ‘posterior’. • 1 English item: kuckle ‘cockle’, here refers to female genitalia. f. Relationship to the land (2 items) • 2 English items: 245 country, the tract of land where an Aboriginal person or community belongs, to which they have a responsibility, and from which they can draw spiritual strength, land rights, the entitlement of [Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples] to possess their traditionally occupied territory. g. Nature and environment (13 items) • 11 single-word insertions (regional languages): arli ‘fish’, barni ‘large goanna’, gided, a food fish, the ‘snapper’, goolil ‘turtle’, gubiny, a fruit, a type of bush food, gunkura, a fruit, a type of bush food, jalungardi (also jalangardi) ‘goanna’, magabala, a fruit, a type of bush food, mayi, bush food from plants, ungarrabin ‘little green turtle’, wali ‘meat‘. • 1 single-word insertion (other Aboriginal languages): bungarra, the widespread sand monitor, Varanus gouldii. • 1 hybrid compound: jigal tree ‘bauhinia tree’. h. The contact experience (12 items) • 7 English items: black ‘Aboriginal’, blackies, Aboriginal persons, feed ‘meal’, mix up ‘(to) mix with another group’, motocar ‘motorcar’, sit on, best hand in kudja kudja, a gambling game, tucker, ‘food’, whiteman, a non-Aboriginal person. • 2 single-word insertions (regional languages): jowijj ‘pants’, linjoo ‘police’. • 2 pidgin terms: Butta, a gambling term, mukan, a gambling term. i. Novel conceptualisations of Aboriginality and cultural survival (-) j. Aboriginal way (17 items) • 17 English items: all day ‘always’, all same ‘like’, ‘similar to’, ay(e), also I, an interjection, used as rhetorical comment, usually at the end of statements, big mob, a large group (of people, animals, etc.), a large amount of something, deadly ‘great’, ‘fantastic’, ‘terrific’, dijwun, from this one, used to indicate sth. with particularity, often used alongside the thing indicated, to distinguish it from another in the same category, eh, an interjection, used as rhetorical comment, usually at the end of statements, fella, also bella, 1. a person, either male or female though usually male, 2. any animate or inanimate thing, longa, 1. ‘next to’, ‘with’, 2. ‘in’, ‘at’, ‘to’, longway ‘far (from)’, neber, from never, an emphatic negative, nother ‘another’, one, (as a noun) used with adjectives, with the resulting combination, while appearing nounlike, still functioning as an adjective, pook ‘poke’, proper ‘real’, ‘really’, ‘truly’, also ‘adequate’, ‘adequately’, reckon ‘(to) say’ as well as ‘(to) think’, side, an area of allegiance; a way of doing things or a sphere of knowledge; the term includes both a geographical and conceptual element. 246 k. Traditional language maintenance (2 items) • 1 single-word insertion (regional languages): arrajina ‘nothing’, ‘no’. • 1 multi-word insertion (regional languages): narba yunyarri ‘water is coming’, here rain. For the second time, (j) Aboriginal way is the conceptual category that contributes the largest number of appropriations. In Bran Nue Dae, it comprises 17 items. All of the lexical elements found in this category are English lexemes, including the hitherto not recorded all day ‘always’, all same ‘like’, ‘similar to’, deadly ‘great, fantastic, terrific’, side, an area of allegiance; a way of doing things or a sphere of knowledge; including both a geographical and conceptual element, all of which appear to have wider currency in AborE. In addition, several of the items in this category are rendered in such a way as to reflect AborE pronunciation patterns, e.g. ay(e) is also represented as I, dijwun is a rendition of this one, and pook of ‘(to) poke’. The second largest conceptual category is (g) Nature and environment which comprises 14 items. Most elements in this category are single-word insertions from regional languages, but we also find one lexeme from a language spoken elsewhere, one multi-word insertion, and the hybrid compound jigal tree. Hence, Chi’s text not only features an exceptionally large portion of appropriations which belong to this conceptual domain, it is also the first text which shows some variation in terms of the different appropriation types in this category. Category (h) The contact experience features 12 examples of lexical appropriation. Common factors in all of the plays analysed so far are the references to the authorities in this category. As in the analyses of The Dreamers and The Cherry Pickers, we find an Aboriginal language word for ‘police’, viz. linjoo, and as in Murras, we also find a term for an item of clothing, viz. jowijj ‘pants’. However, the text does not provide any appropriations describing substances such as alcohol or tobacco. Instead, three items refer to gambling: the two lexemes butta ‘second best hand in kudja kudja, a gambling game’ and mukan lit. ‘food’, here presumably in the sense ‘a major victory’ are very probably borrowings from Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin. The original of the – apparently English – element sit on ‘best hand in kudja kudja, a gambling game’ is unclear. According to Arthur (1996: 186), mix up ‘(to) mix with another group’ is a northern Australian word. It calls to mind multi-tribal environments such as missions, reserves, or stations that served as refugees for the Aboriginal people of northern Australia who fled the violence that accompanied pastoral expansion. Including no more than 12 items, category (a) Continuation of cultural and religious tradition, which constituted the largest conceptual category in The 247 Dreamers and The Cherry Pickers and the second largest in Murras, is now only in fourth position. What is more, five of the seven single-word insertions found in this category are names of Aboriginal language groups, expressing regional and local identities. An interesting aspect of Chi’s play is that it also includes references to traditional modes of food preparation, viz. lulb'd ‘roasted in the earth’ and traditional foods, viz. bush tucker, that occur alongside now familiar and widespread items such as dreaming, law, and language. Eight items are found in category (c) Human relationships and social interaction which reveals the new items friend up ‘(to) become friends’, ‘(to) become a girlfriend or boyfriend’, savvy, a pidgin term originally derived from a Romance language and now used widely in pidgins spoken throughout the world, and tongue for ‘(to) long for’. We further encounter us mob and us people that specify a connected group such as a family or a group connected in some other way. Again, all of the five lexemes found in category (b) Kinship structures are English words. As in the previous analyses, they include the terms auntie, brother (as well as the form bro), and uncle, but also the new lexical element cousin brother which expresses a salient kinship concept, describing a person who is biologically a cousin but has the same status as a brother. Out of the five items recorded for category (d) States of feeling and being and ways of conduct, the terms big shame, cheeky, poorbella, and sorry, too, express concepts widely used in Aboriginal forms of English, and the first three of these items have also featured in the previous three texts. A new item in this category is stalebait, a fishing term, used for people. For the first time, finish ‘(to) end’, ‘(to) die’ is not among the items in category (e) Body parts and body functions, intimate and personal aspects of live which comprises four items. Instead, all of the elements in this category, viz. the three regional Aboriginal language words jirij ‘(to) ejaculate’, lagurr ‘testicles’, noora ‘posterior’, as well as the phonologically modified English lexeme kuckle, which here refers to female genitalia, all have an obvious sexual connotation and provide an unmistakably saucy flavour to the text which is the first play that does not in some way contemplate the demise of Australia’s Aboriginal people. Once more, the English lexeme country falls into category (f) Relationship to the land which also includes the item land rights, a lexeme that is not exclusive to AborE but is of particular significance for the Aboriginal community. While country expresses an ancient, pre-colonial concept, viz. the idea that each person has an inseparable connection to a particular tract of land, land rights relates to more recent political attempts of regaining traditionally owned territory. 248 The Bardi word arrajina ‘nothing’, ‘no’ has been assigned to category (k) traditional language maintenance. Chi’s Bran Nue Dae is thus the second text after The Dreamers that contains an appropriation which does not pertain to any of the other ten conceptual domains. No items fall into category (i) Novel conceptualisations of Aboriginality and cultural survival. 8.6.4 On Our Way to a Bran Nue Dae – The Celebration of Diversity on a Journey ‘Back to the Roots’ Even though Chi’s text includes several elements from the languages traditionally spoken in the Broome area, English lexemes that exhibit meanings or usages which deviate from StE also dominate among the lexical appropriations found in Bran Nue Dae. The greater part of the English lexemes falls into the conceptual category Aboriginal way which includes lexical features that differ in their usage from StE practice, e.g. distinctive lexical combinations and verb phrases, as well as function words, adverbs and adjectives that show differences in form and/or meaning and mark the speech as distinctly Aboriginal. Most of the Aboriginal language words in the text describe aspects of the Western Australian environment, especially the local fauna and thus underline the Aboriginal characters’ connection to the environment and the land. Many of the terms are not restricted to a single variety but occur in several languages of the wider Broome area, so that we cannot identify one particular major donor language. They therefore support the creation of a broader regional identity that centres around the town of Broome. The references to the different language groups of the area, i.e. Bardi, Karrajarri, Nyikina, Nyul Nyul, and Yawuru demonstrate the cultural and linguistic diversity found in the Broome region and emphasise this identification which is based on an area of belonging rather than affiliation to one particular group. The characters’ use of distinctive lexical and grammatical features clearly indicates their Aboriginal heritage, and the Aboriginal language words scattered in the text signpost the north-western location. The use of pidgin forms and the comparatively high number of lexemes that exhibit phonological modification – reflecting the influence of contact varieties and Kriol on the sound system of AborE in northern localities – further highlight this regional identification. Still, the language in Chi’s text does not evoke the same sentiment of a distinct cultural and linguistic identity that is triggered by the abundance of Nyoongah terms in Davis’ text, notwithstanding the fact that Nyoongah, too, describes a wider, regional identity. The majority of the already small number of Aboriginal language words which are used to express cultural concepts are names of local and regional language groups. Like the bulk of the single-word insertions from Aboriginal 249 languages found in the text, their use is concentrated in one scene that shows the travellers at Roebuck Plains where Willie engages and thrives in hunting and collecting ‘bush tucker’. Hence, the greater part of the Aboriginal language words employed in the play denote aspects of nature experience and describe elements of the local flora and fauna. Their use in Bran Nue Dae is therefore very similar to the contexts in which Aboriginal language words are frequently used in AusE, i.e. they are employed to describe environmental features specific to the Australian ecology. Yet, in Chi’s text, the inclusion of words from the local languages in this scene serves an additional purpose, as they depict fruits and animals which formed part of the people’s diet in precolonial times. At Roebuck Plains, the young man Willie is taken ‘back to the roots’ and his heritage resurges in his actions, viz. in his attempts at gathering food, as well as in his and other Aboriginal characters’ language use: [Song: ‘Jalangardi’] TADPOLE: Monsoon clouds are coming. FEMALES: Ngarba yunyarri Ngarba yunyarri [water is coming]. TADPOLE: Gonna bring the Barni [large goanna] too. FEMALES: Ngarba yunyarri Ngarba yunyarri [water is coming]. WILLIE: Magabala [a vine fruit, bush food] Gunkura [a fruit, bush food] Gubiny [a fruit, bush food] for you. Going down to Roebuck Plains. [...] FEMALES, TADPOLE: Jalangardi, jalangardi [goanna] The chase is on Gotta run, pass ‘em gun The chase is on. Karrajarri, Yawuru, Nyikina, Bardi All running, all running Must have that mungari [food], mayi [bush food from plants], And wali [meat] and arli [fish], and arli, and arli. (Chi 1991: 42f, my emphasis and glossing) While the authors of the previously analysed plays relied on references to religious and linguistic knowledge and practices such as dancing, storytelling, and the making of artefacts to stress their characters’ Aboriginality, Chi makes his young character get back in touch with his heritage by hunting and gathering bush food. He thus underlines the value of environmental knowledge and familiarity with practices of collecting food, which, too, constitute forms of cultural wisdom. Due to the comparatively small amount of Aboriginal language words which do not describe aspects of flora and fauna or are the names of language groups, the language used in Bran Nue Dae apparently demands for less effort in the way of cushioning or contextualisation. With the exception of the phrase ngarba yunyarri [‘water is coming’, K.L.], which is not readily understood by 250 the audience/readership without referring to the glossary, all Aboriginal language elements are single lexical items embedded in an English context. Most traditional language words are restricted to the scene at Roebuck Plains where the setting and the characters’ actions make it evident that the elements talked about are environmental features and ‘bush tucker’, even though the actual terms may remain opaque. Still, the exploitation of the local traditional languages’ lexicon in the hunting scene serves to introduce the audience to an unfamiliar and exotic scenario. They are likely to share Slippery’s amazement when the young German observes his travelling companions’ methods of hunting and food gathering. Willie’s and Tadpole’s actions and the fruits and other bush tucker items they collect are as alien to him – and probably also to the major part of the audience – as the Aboriginal language words which are used to describe them. Characteristically for Chi’s text, cultural and linguistic misunderstandings are portrayed in a humorous fashion: SLIPPERY: Vat iss he doing? WILLIE: [Dully.] Chasing barni [large goanna] SLIPPERY: Who iss Barney? WILLIE: Bungarra [sand monitor]. SLIPPERY: Boong arrow? [Making motion of drawing bow.] WILLIE: Jalungardi [goanna]. [SLIPPERY still perplexed.] WILLIE: Goanna. SLIPPERY: Why Anna go? WILLIE: BEEEEG LIZARD. (Chi 1991: 41, my emphasis and glossing) Elsewhere in the text, Aboriginal language words are used to describe body parts or to convey sexual innuendos: “You get under mah skin. Take off your jowijj [‘pants’, KL] and let me in.” (Chi 1991: 55). This application of unglossed Aboriginal terms once more follows the pattern indicated in the previous analyses, as it emphasises their role as agents of immediacy and ingroup communication. Still, rather than calling to mind hurtful experiences or memories of colonial oppression, all the single-word insertions that most readily create an insider code celebrate life and sexuality, manifested in Willie’s initiation into manhood: [Song 'Everybody Looking for Kuckle'] Everybody lookin' for kuckle [‘cockle’, here an allusion to female genitalia] - OOH everybody startin' to itch - OOH everybody lookin' for kuckle - OOH everybody mussee jirij [here ‘ejaculate’] - OOH (Chi 1991: 58, my emphasis and glossing) 251 Apart from the use of regional language words, the characters’ belonging to the wider Broome area is stressed by the use of terms from Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin. Besides adding a local flavour to the text, the Malay-derived terms testify to the town’s multicultural population mix and Broome’s role as a major pearling port in the second half of the 19th and first half of the 20th century. The pidgin words illustrate the ethnic diversity of Broome where, through contact and – as a result of contact – through heritage, Aboriginal identity often also involves an Asian element: [SONG 'Feel Like Going Back Home'] TADPOLE: The luggers are in on the spring tide And the gambling houses are packed Baker he mukan [here ‘a major victory’] with sit on [best hand in kudja kudja, a gambling game] But Larry we got butta [second best hand in kudja kudja, a gambling game] in front. (Chi 1991: 29, my emphasis and glossing) While the play is not as overtly political as many earlier works by Aboriginal playwrights, the plot draws attention to different issues of black and white coexistence in colonised Australia, such as the treatment of Aboriginal people in the justice system. Chi further caricatures the attitude and behaviour of ostensibly well-meaning Christian missionaries whose actions have contributed to the destruction of Aboriginal society. Also, some of the songs protest against the colonisers’ taking Aboriginal land and imposing their culture on the Aboriginal population: [Song: ‘Nothing I Would Rather Be’] WILLIE: There’s nothing I would rather be than to be an Aborigine and watch you take my precious land away. For nothing gives me greater joy than to Watch you fill each girl and boy With superficial existential shit. [...] I love the way you give me God And of course the mining board For this of course I thank the lord each day. I’m glad you say that land rights wrong Then you should go where you belong and leave me to just keep on keeping on. (Chi 1991: 15) Land rights are also addressed in the theme song Bran Nue Dae, in which the character Uncle Tadpole puts in a nutshell the situation of the Australian Aboriginal people at the end of the 20th century and voices his frustration in view of the continuing unequal treatment of Indigenous Australians. Fittingly, this passage relies heavily on the use of characteristic AborE lexical and grammatical features: 252 TADPOLE: [reciting] Us people want our land back, we want ‘em rights, we want ‘em fair deal, all same longa white man. Now this fella longa Canberra, he bin talkin’ about a Bran Nue Dae – us people bin waiting for dijwun for 200 years now. (Chi 1991: 84, my emphasis) Tadpole’s monologue also provides us with an example of how Chi uses parody and irony in Bran Nue Dae to caricaturise the colonisers’ society and its institutions, which have taken control over the lives of Aboriginal people for the last two centuries. The Broome Kriol spoken by his Aboriginal characters appropriates the colonisers’ use of the English language and subverts existing power hierarchies (“this fella longa Canberra”). Elsewhere, mimicry serves a similar purpose. The schoolboys undermine Father Benedictus’ authority by mocking his accent. At the same time, lexical appropriation establishes the group unity of those who suffer from his reign: PETER: Und dis is for all der starving kids in der vorld – [He bites into a Cherry Ripe bar.] DARRYL: Like us bro, us blackies starving. (Chi 1991: 7) Despite these allusions to persisting discrimination and inequality, there is a notable absence of terms that contrast Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people (such as blackfella/whitefella or Aboriginal way/whitefella way) which were extremely prominent in the plays by Davis, Gilbert, and Johnson. This underlines that Chi’s text is much less influenced by the notion of two distinct cultural groups, viz. the distinction between ‘us’ and ‘them’ that is inherent in the other texts. Thus, instead of constructing the ‘other’, the play stresses the need to understand the commonalities that exist between the different cultures. Remember that all characters except for Benedictus turn out to have an Aboriginal background! Meanwhile, Bran Nue Dae also appropriates stereotypical perceptions of Indigenousness: rather than making reference to the traditional aspects of Aboriginal culture which are often considered the only ‘authentic’ representations of Aboriginality, the text enforces the hybrid element inherent in Australian Aboriginal identity. As Gilbert (2001: 320f) points out, the play celebrates Australia’s ethnic diversity, presenting the fusion of different cultural and biological backgrounds as a chance rather than a cause for shame. 8.7 John Harding John Harding was born as one of seven children in 1961 in an inner-city suburb of Melbourne. His maternal grandmother was from the island Erub in the Torres Strait and his maternal grandfather belonged to the Ku-Ku of north- 253 eastern Cape York. (Harding and Ward 2010: 71; AustLit 2002-2015c). When Harding was a teenager, the family moved to an outer Melbourne suburb where they were the only Aboriginal people “in about twenty kilometres” (Harding quoted in Casey 2004: 215). An artistic streak runs in the family: John Harding is the brother of the visual artists and performers Destiny Deacon and Clinton Nain; his mother, Eleanor Harding, was not only a community leader and an activist, but also a member of Nindethana Theatre, one of the first Australian Aboriginal Theatre companies (Casey & Harding 2001: 363). Today, John Harding is known as a performance poet, playwright, screenwriter, actor, comedian, and filmmaker (Casey & Harding 2001: 363). Apart from writing for the stage, Harding created the radio drama Land Rights Rally, developed and produced the Aboriginal sitcom The Masters, and worked for ICAM, an Aboriginal current affairs program, as well as for the ABC TV show Blackout (Harding 1997a: iii; Ward and Harding 2010: 71). In 1989, he was Assistant Director of the National Black Playwrights Conference, and in 1996, the Artistic Director of the Nambundah Festival. In addition to his involvement in the arts, Harding has worked as a public servant: he was ministerial adviser for the Victorian Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Senior Project Officer for the Aboriginal Education Department, and National Aboriginal Employment Coordinator for the Australian Film Commission (Harding 1997a: iii). In 1990, Harding helped to found Ilbijerri Aboriginal Theatre co-op, for which he originally devised his text Up the Road. With Ilbijerri, the play toured in and around Melbourne for a number of weeks in 1991. Originally a one-act piece running for forty minutes, Up the Road was developed into a two act-play when it was workshopped at the Australian National Playwrights conference and at Belvoir Street Theatre. In 1997, Ilbjerri, Playbox, and Company B Belvoir produced the play for a second time and took it on a national tour that also included the Festival of Perth (Casey 2004: 214ff). This second production by Belvoir earned the author an Australian Human Rights Award. Harding’s later plays include No Parking (produced in 2001), Enuff (2002), and Second Helping (produced in 2005). He further co-wrote and featured in Blak and Tran II (produced in 2004) and Natives Striking Blak (produced in 2007) (Ward and Harding 2010: 7), and co-wrote The Dirty Mile: A History of Indigenous Fitzroy (produced in 2006) (AustLit 2002-2015d). In the last years, Harding’s interests have shifted away from the stage and towards documentary making. His 2007 documentary Nganampa Mata portrays the Pitjantjatjara Land Rights Act anniversary; his work Fitzroy Stars: More Than a Game aired in 2008 (Ward and Harding 2010: 71). 254 Not unlike Jimmy Chi, Harding believes that humour and art provide the most effective way to communicate a message so that people will actually take it in: I’m a big sucker for comedy ... I think comedy is one of the best ways to educate people because ... how long would you stand in the Bourke Street Mall and listen while someone in a soapbox is screaming about what white people have done to black people? You’d stand there for only two or three minutes, then you’d go and buy something. [...] [If] that guy or that woman who was in the soap box turned what they were saying into a performance piece, I’d be fascinated and I wouldn’t move, so long as it was a good performance, of course (Casey 2001: 368). A former Aboriginal affairs worker himself, Harding acknowledges that he created the character Ian as his alter ego when he developed his play Up the Road out of the poem Pinstripe Blues (Casey 2004: 16). The text aims to stress that diverse viewpoints and convictions prevail in the wider Aboriginal community: The play’s other origin was to challenge the view that we are an [sic] homogeneous group... When black communities have different opinions we are either: in-fighting or “blacks can’t make their minds up” (Harding 1997b: iii). 8.7.1 The Play: Up the Road (1997) Up the Road is a “family comedy-drama” (McCallum 2009: 319) which takes the reader and the audience to the Koori community of Flat Creek, located somewhere in a geographically remote part of Australia. Flat Creek was once the home of Ian, a young Aboriginal man who now returns from the city to attend the funeral of his uncle Kenny, a well-liked community leader. Nine years previously, Ian left the community to overcome his brother Sam’s death in police custody, and in the meantime he has become a successful Senior Officer in Canberra. Back home, Ian has to face two women whom he left behind: his Aunt Sissy who raised him and his brother after their parents’ fatal car accident, and Susan, his former girlfriend, who is now the single parent of a little girl. He is also reunited with Liddy, a lively and open-hearted young woman who dreams of becoming a professional netball player, and with Charlie, “the first Koori in the district to get their HSC [Higher School Certificate, K.L.]” (Harding 1997b: 24). Charlie is unsatisfied with both his life and the situation at Flat Creek and strongly disapproves of Greg, the white Community Advisor who is well-meaning and popular in the community but unconsciously adopts the superior air of the white person in authority. In his old environment, Ian struggles to come to terms with the emotional and attitudinal distance that his absence has created between him and his family and friends. While he has to deal with their mixed reactions to his return, he must also face his own feelings of guilt. Having left the mission in an attempt to run away from the pain 255 of losing his brother Nat, he feels he has turned his back not only on the living but also on those who have passed away. While the play’s main theme is the protagonist’s alienation from his home and his family, Up the Road is more than the story of a young Aboriginal man returning to his roots. By contrasting the different lifestyles and fates of the three young men Charlie, Ian, and Nat, the author “examines what at times appear to be the only three pathways or choices for young male Aboriginal Australians: ‘one gone fishing, one gone to bureaucracy and one dead’” (Casey 2004: 217). 8.7.2 Analysis of Up the Road The language of Harding’s play approaches AusE and includes very few features that could be ascribed to AborE. On the level of grammar, features that are shared with other non-standard varieties of English are most common, e.g. the use of demonstrative them, as in “I remember the day I had to tell them boys about their mum and dad, the car accident.” (Harding 1997b:2) or double negations such as “you don’t have to prove nothing to me” (Harding 1997b: 9). Occasionally, the definite article is substituted by this/that, as in “that big rock in the gully” (Harding 1997b: 2). Characteristic verb forms are also much less frequent than in the other texts, but some verbs lack past tense inflection, as in “It’d bite the head of anything that come near it.” (Harding 1997b: 4) or show irregular past tense forms, as in “you would have rode your horse into the fucken station” (Harding 1997b: 41). In a few instances, was is used for plural and 2. pers. singular subjects, e.g. “Since they was kids” (Harding 1997b: 15). Elsewhere, auxiliaries may be omitted, as in the sentence “When you been with a man as long as I was with Kenny, you never really lose ‘em.” (Harding 1997b: 1) which also shows an irregular pronoun form. Gonna is repeatedly used to express future, as in “He’s not gonna come back now” (Harding 1997b: 2) and questions may be formed by attaching the question tag eh, as in “So this is heaven, eh?” (Harding 1997b: 6). As in The Dreamers, the form yous may be used as a plural pronoun. Once, we can observe a complex sentence which lacks a relative pronoun as structuring sentence element, viz. “He knows a fella runs a trawler off Ulladulla.” (Harding 1997: 24). The text’s orthography does not suggest many phonological characteristics that differ from colloquial AusE. Although Sue makes direct reference to Aboriginal pronunciation modes when she accuses Ian to “come down here and drop your H’s for a while” (Harding 1997b: 27), h-dropping is rarely orthographically represented in the text. Occasionally, we find that word-final consonant clusters are reduced, as in “Make it a Nescafe, darlin’” (Harding 1997b: 2), and sometimes a change in vowel quality is indicated, as in “You 256 gunna have to forgive and forget girlie.” (Harding 1997b: 2) or in “Couldn’t ya.” (Harding 1997b: 13). Also on the lexical level, Harding’s text noticeably differs from the other plays. Many of the grammatical features in the text are shared with informal and colloquial AusE. At the same time, there is much less use of distinctly AborE vocabulary, and the major part of the items identified as lexical appropriations are English-derived. An extraordinary aspect of the language of Harding’s play is that AborE features not only show in the language of the Aboriginal characters, but also in that of Greg, the only non-Aboriginal character in the play. His speech does not stand out much from that of the other Flat Creek dwellers; he too uses vocabulary items such as mob and employs the question tag eh as a way to underline what has been said and to obtain agreement. On one occasion, he uses eh alongside a Standard English tag: “That was a long time ago, eh, I mean, if he really liked someone, he wouldn’t just disappear on her would he?” (Harding 1997b: 15; my emphasis). He is further familiar with the role of the mopoke as the messenger of death: SUE: [re Uncle Kenny’s death, K.L.] I saw a mopoke this morning. It just sat on top of the back shed, watching the house, letting us know. GREG: They always know, those mopokes. (Harding 1997b: 4) His having adopted characteristic AborE speech styles indicates the close connections he maintains with the people at Flat Creek, perhaps underlining his wish to be accepted as a community member. The play does not include a glossary, which is not surprising, given that no more than three non-English terms occur in the text, viz. gin, Koori and mopoke. None of the terms is printed in italics. All three terms are current in AusE, and while gin and Koori have become established loanwords in the Australian lexicon, in the case of mopoke it is not even entirely clear if the term constitutes a loanword at all. This has consequences for the procedure of the lexical analysis: in the absence of regionally restricted traditional language words that do not form part of the wider AborE and AusE lexicon, no Aboriginal language dictionaries had to be consulted. As such, Arthur (1996), Dixon et al. (2006), the AND, and the OED Online were the sole sources providing information on the loanwords’ meaning and currency in modern Australian varieties of English. The terms’ use in early contact varieties was once more established on the basis of the sources identified above. 8.7.3 The Results Up the Road so far constitutes the play which has the greatest proximity to non- Aboriginal modes of English in Australia. This is also reflected in the relatively low number of lexical appropriations counted, viz. 46 types, the small number 257 of Aboriginal language words, all of which have entered the AusE lexicon, and the complete absence of words from regional languages. The great majority of these elements apparently have wider currency in AborE and many items were already found in the plays previously analysed. The play also features the words Land Council and land rights, which are likewise part of the lexicon of AusE. Both items have nevertheless been counted as instances of appropriation as they are of special relevance for Aboriginal people who in the last few decades have been fighting to have (part of) their traditionally owned land returned to them. Only fourteen items are documented in early contact varieties, including ten elements documented in the sources for NSW Pidgin. While the number of different types of appropriation is considerably low, some elements have an extraordinary high frequency within the text, the question tag eh, for example, occurring more than 40 times. a) No less than 43 out of the total of 46 appropriation types are English lexemes, although it needs to be acknowledged that the origin of gub ‘white person’ which has been included here is not entirely clear: while Arthur (1996: 152) and Dixon et al. (2006: 168) suggest that gub is probably derived from the English gubment, ‘government’, Malcolm & Koscielecki (1997: appendix, p.11) assume that gubba originates from an Aboriginal language term for ‘spirits of the dead’ and the AND provides a quotation which supports this. Thirty-two items show semantic modification; the remaining eleven elements are examples of English lexemes that exhibit Aboriginal usage. Not a single item involves phonological modification. As could be expected, the majority of the English lexemes, i.e. 26 items, are nouns, including the element shame (noun and interjection) and the noun phrase white man. The form our mob/us mob is again used as a pronoun. Other recurring constants are black and blackfella which once again occur as noun and adjective, as does the element blood. Four terms are adjectives (cheeky, deadly, flash, poor) and true and what for are adverbs. The five elements floggin', gammin', jar up, reckon, and rubbish are verbs. The question tags eh and unna are interjections. Twelve terms are documented in earlier pidgin forms, nine of which were already used in NSW Pidgin: black(s) (NSW), blackfella(s) (NSW), brother (NSW), cheeky, eh (NSW), fella (NSW), gammin' (NSW), mob, one, what for (NSW), white man (NSW), whitefella (NSW). The items’ wide currency is attested by the fact that no less than 39 terms are listed in sources for AborE or AusE and the OED. Of these, 17 only have an entry in Arthur (1996) and are thus attested as AborE lexical items, the remaining 22 items are also listed in Dixon et al. (2006), the AND or the OED. 258 b) Two out of the three Aboriginal language words found in Up the Road are nouns. The two Sydney language words44 gin ‘woman’, ‘wife’, and mopoke, a bird, here the messenger of death, are both recorded in earlier Australian contact varieties. The third item in this category, Koori(es), from the eastern NSW language Awakabal, may occur as noun and adjective. Although widely used in AborE and AusE, it is apparently a much more recent loanword and not documented in any contact variety. Gin and mopoke are listed in the AND and the OED. Koorie has an entry in Arthur (1996) and in the AND. Let us now contemplate which items belong to what conceptual categories: a. Continuation of cultural and religious tradition (2 items) • 1 English item: law, the body of religious and cultural knowledge that informs and directs Aboriginal society. • 1 single-word insertion (other Aboriginal languages): mopoke, an owl, Ninox novaseelandiae, here denotes the messenger bird. b. Kinship structures (10 items) • 10 English items: Aunt (also Auntie), an older woman, often wise in traditional language, having status within her community, also a term of address, blood, of relatives ‘close’, brother, here a form of address for a sibling, or a gesture of solidarity with another Aboriginal person of the same generation, bruz from brother and cuz, a ‘cousin-brother’, also used as an address item signalling solidarity, cousin, a relative of either sex, not necessarily close, but of one's own generation; also a form of address, cuz, a familiar form of address for a cousin, also used as a term of solidarity, family, all one's blood relatives; the term is a lot more inclusive than in most other varieties of English, relation (also relations), a relation; the term is used much more inclusively than in StE, sister girl an affectionate variant on sister, Uncle, a respectful term of address for an older man. c. Human relationships and social interaction (3 items) • 1 single-word insertion (other Aboriginal languages): gin ‘woman’, ‘wife’, here used ironically for an Aboriginal woman, alluding to the item’s derogatory connotation in AusE. • 2 English items: floggin’, a ‘belting’, jar up ‘(to) scold’. d. States of feeling and being and ways of conduct (8 items) • 8 English items: cheeky ‘mischievous, but possibly also dangerous’, coconut, an Aboriginal person who lives in a manner seen by the community as rejecting Aborigi- 44 Remember, however, that the origin of the term mopoke is not entirely clear, see also the wordbook entry. 259 nal identity, flash ‘ostentatious’, ‘attention seeking’, gammin’ ‘(to) pretend or lie’, poor, of a person who has died; (a euphemism for) ‘deceased’, ‘late’, rubbish ‘(to) be made to feel of no value’, ‘(to) reckon something or someone of no value’, shame ‘embarrassment’, ‘fear’, a sense for having transgressed the social and moral code of society, intentionally or unintentionally, shame job, an event or situation which can cause a person to feel shame. e. Body parts and body functions, intimate and personal aspects of live (-) f. Relationship to the land (2 items) • 2 English items: Land Council, a body appointed to represent the interests of [Aboriginal people] in Aboriginal land, land rights, the entitlement of [Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples] to possess their traditionally occupied territory; the acknowledgement of this entitlement. g. Nature and environment (-) h. The contact experience (9 items) • 9 English items: black (also blacks) 1. ‘Aboriginal’, 2. an Aboriginal person, blackfella (also blackfellas) 1. an Aboriginal person, 2. ‘Aboriginal’, feed ‘meal’, gub(s), from gubba, 1. a white person, 2. an archetypal white person – the representative of European Australian culture, jacky, a person subservient to whites, mish, abbreviation of mission, see below, mission, an Aboriginal settlement which may or may not once have been a religious institution, white man, a non- Aboriginal person, whitefella, from Engl. whitefellow, 1. a white person, a European Australian or other person with a similar appearance, 2. (as adj.) ‘white, European’. i. Novel conceptualisations of Aboriginality and cultural survival (2 items) • 1 English item: community, a settlement or place where the majority of the inhabitants are Aboriginal. • 1 single-word insertion (other Aboriginal languages): Koori (also Koories), an Aboriginal person, esp. one of NSW and Victoria, the Aboriginal people of NSW or Victoria; as an adjective: of or relating to the Koori people, ‘Aboriginal’. j. Aboriginal way (10 items) • 10 English items: deadly ‘great’, ‘fantastic’, ‘terrific’, eh, an interjection, used as rhetorical comment, usually at the end of statements, fella, 1. a person, usually male, 2. any animate or inanimate thing, mob, 1. a group of Aboriginal people, linked by relationship and culture, 2. a group of people or animals, 3. an expression of number, one, (as a noun) used with adjectives, with the resulting combination, while appearing noun-like, still functioning as an adjective, our mob (also us mob), a connected group; the term can apply to a 260 whole 'family' or a part of it, a group connected in some other way, reckon ‘(to) say’ as well as ‘(to) think’, true, an intensifier of a statement or response to a statement, meaning ‘it’s really so’, ‘is that really so’, ‘truly’, unna, an intensifier to a statement or response to a statement, meaning ‘isn't it?’, ‘wouldn’t you say’, ‘don’t you think’, what for, why. k. Traditional language maintenance (-) Considering how the individual lexical appropriations in Up the Road are distributed across the different conceptual categories, it once more becomes evident that Harding’s language use differs from that of his colleagues: category b) Kinship structures is one of the largest conceptual categories, comprising ten lexical elements, that is, almost one quarter of all finds, which stress the family ties between the characters and the general objective of the play. Thus, kinship terms occupy a much more prominent position in Harding’s text. Up the Road is the first text to employ a blend that also involves semantic conflation, viz. the item bruz that fuses both form and meaning of the lexemes brother and cuz. Other new kin terms pertaining to the domain of the family are the adjective blood, which designates close relatives and sister girl, a variant of sister. Another category that likewise comprises ten terms is j) Aboriginal way. All of the elements in this category have considerable currency in AborE and have also featured in the other plays. Due to the general scarcity of Aboriginal language words in the text, all nine items in h) The contact experience are English terms and there are no single-word insertions which designate introduced items such as clothing, alcohol, or tobacco. The experience of institutionalisation is foregrounded by three items which relate to Flat Creek’s past as a church-run settlement, viz. the variants mish and mission, as well as the element gub(s), for which different etymologies are suggested in the literature but which is treated here as short form of the English-derived gub(b)erment. The next category, d) States of feeling and being and ways of conduct includes eight terms, all of which are English lexemes. This category features two words hitherto not encountered. The verb (to) rubbish ‘(to) reckon something or someone of no value’ is also found in AusE, and according to Arthur (1996: 106), it is possible that this form is derived from the AborE word which is commonly used as noun or adjective in AborE. Another new item found in this category provides an alternative expression for a now familiar concept: like white blackfella in The Cherry Pickers, the term coconut describes an Aboriginal person who lives in a manner regarded by the community as rejecting Aboriginal identity, alluding to the black-white contrast. The remaining cheeky, poor, shame, and its variant shame job have all featured in one or more of the texts discussed above and are established features in many varieties of AborE. 261 After that, the numbers in the individual categories dwindle. The Sydney language word gin is the only single-word insertion in category c) Human relationships and social interaction which comprises four items. The term formerly had a wide currency in AusE but today is considered offensive when used by non-Aboriginal people. The remaining three English lexemes include as a novel element the verb to jar up ‘(to) scold’ which occurs alongside flogging and reckon. Category a) Continuation of cultural and religious tradition, which turned out to be a major category in the previous analyses, comprises a mere two items, viz. the widely accepted English lexeme law and the element mopoke, which is also an established loanword in AusE. The two items Land Council and land rights that fall into category f) Relationship to the land are in fact shared with AusE but have been included due to their significance for Aboriginal people. Two items were also established for category i) Novel conceptualisations of Aboriginality and cultural survival. They are the Awakabal word Koori, another more widely used term describing regional Aboriginal identity, and the English term community. The latter is also found in non-Aboriginal varieties of English, but as Arthur (1996: 228) points out, is of special relevance for Aboriginal people as it indicates the role of the community in Aboriginal society which places more value on the group than on the individual and stresses the diverse nature of contemporary Aboriginal communities that results from colonisation processes. Categories e) Body parts and body functions, intimate and personal aspects of live, g) Nature and environment, and k) Traditional language maintenance are not represented in the text. Like Johnson’s text Murras, Harding’s play uses mainly English lexemes to express crucial culturally-bound concepts, very few of which relate to aspects of cultural tradition or religion. The few Aboriginal language words found in the text are used across the entire country, so that they do not allow for the expression of a regional identification. In addition, while Up the Road includes a range of kinship terms, the play contains very little ‘insider’ code, generated by single-word insertions from regional languages which have been shown to add an aspect of intimacy to the dialogue and are opaque for outsiders. 8.7.4 Up the Road – Seeing the World “Through a Family”45 At this point, it seems fruitful to once again return to what could not be observed in the analysis of Up the Road, instead of exclusively discussing the lexical features that are present in the text, many of which do not deviate much from those detected in the other plays. Above, the setting of the action has vaguely been described as an Aboriginal community somewhere in a 45 Casey and Harding (2001: 370) 262 remote part of Australia. This imprecise characterisation of the locale is due to the fact that Harding’s text does not provide any contextual clues which would allow for determining the exact location of Flat Creek. Once, the southeastern NSW small town Ulladulla is mentioned when Charlie tells Sue that “He knows some fella runs a trawler off Ulladulla” (Harding 1997: 24) but this may be due to the town’s relative proximity to Canberra where Ian lives or to the fact that it provides Sue with the opportunity to playfully call Charlie “Ulladulla fulla”. Since the author himself is from the Melbourne area, it is likely that the action of Harding’s play is situated in the south-east of Australia, perhaps somewhere in rural Victoria. The linguistic features found within the dialogue, too, only permit a very vague specification of where the action takes place: several of the characters use the term Koori, which is the most common term describing Aboriginality in the south-eastern parts of Australia, especially in NSW and Victoria. Another feature that supports a Victorian or NSW location is the use of the term mission, which denotes an Aboriginal settlement that is no longer (or may have never been) church-run. According to the information provided in Arthur (1996: 159), the term is more common in this sense in the south-east of Australia. The question tag unna, on the other hand, seems to be a lot more frequent in WA; Arthur (1996: 221) actually suggests that it is a south-west Western Australian term. Most of the remaining lexical appropriations seem to have wider currency in Aboriginal forms of English. This not only complicates the determination of the setting, but also prevents any expression of a geographic affiliation and thus an identifiable regional or local identity. As a consequence, the text is not only thematically, but also linguistically applicable to many Aboriginal communities in remote parts of the south-east of the country. The near complete absence of traditional language material also has additional consequences. Above, we have observed how vocabulary items are used as means of group formation: in the four texts previously discussed, characters have, to varying degrees, made use of Aboriginal language elements to keep their meanings opaque for cultural outsiders and to strengthen the bond between themselves and the other members of their cultural group. The Aboriginal language terms which most commonly trigger such an effect are regional language words that describe intimate concepts, e.g. terms which relate to the body or to health conditions or have sexual connotations. Others denote aspects of everyday life, e.g. terms for alcohol or the police. In Up the Road, neither strategy applies. In fact, Harding’s play is the first text in which the police, the most obvious representatives of government authority, are referred to by the StE term. This is not to say that the text is entirely deficient in lexical markers of group solidarity. In Up the Road, the connection between the characters is most strongly reinforced by the frequent occurrence of kin terms. While some are 263 exclusively used as markers of solidarity, others serve a double purpose: in some scenes, the terms Auntie or Uncle may be understood as respectful terms of address for influential senior community members, more frequently, however, they describe actual family relationships. Likewise, the term brother, commonly used to underline the comradeship between the male characters, receives an even more emotional connotation when it is used by Ian to address his brother Nat. All of the kin terms that function as lexical in-group markers are easily understood by the audience and readership. Some terms are found in a similar sense in colloquial mainstream usage, as for example brother which is probably the most well-known lexical manifestation of male solidarity in the Englishspeaking world. Other elements such as bruz may not be as widely used but are nevertheless transparent also for non-Aboriginal people. The use of kin terms as solidarity markers is therefore yet another indication of the wider applicability of Harding’s text. Many are also shared with other (ethnic) varieties of English where they serve a similar function: by evoking close connections resembling that of a family, speakers wish to emphasise the validity of their community as a distinct group. For them, solidarity terms provide a medium of resistance against those in power, which is of special importance in colonial contexts and in situations in which ethnic and other minorities feel the need to assert themselves against the mainstream society. What is interesting in this context is that in Up the Road, kin terms feature most notably in one scene which depicts Ian and Charlie drinking together in a bar. Here, the characters use brother, bruz, and cuz in a way which not only expresses in-group or community solidarity, but also underlines the solidarity between the male characters: IAN: I got no problem brother. I get drunk, I fall down, go to sleep, wake up, go home! No problem! CHARLIE: Yeah, well, that’s not what they reckon up here. You know what the Koori grapevine’s like, cuz. (Harding 1997b: 18, my emphasis) IAN: Thanks, bruz! Here, have another one, lighten the load, eh? CHARLIE: Ta, bruz. (Harding 1997b: 21, my emphasis) Rather than creating a ‘black insider-white outsider’ scenario and focusing on aspects of culture clash or the relationship between Australians of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, Up the Road portrays the in-group conflicts which arise when a community is faced with the challenges of political and social change and its members’ personal, sometimes conflicting decisions. In this context, the lexical emphasis on group-unity makes it even more evident how much potential for friction lies in individual choices. In a few 264 scenes, kin terms are actually employed to pursue ends that are quite the opposite of those described above: used ironically, the lexical solidarity markers deepen the emotional gap between the characters: IAN: I meet ten Susan Lockerbees a month, so don’t think I had to come all the way down here to get a lecture off another one sister girl. (Harding 1997b: 28, my emphasis) Despite having grown up on the settlement, Ian’s nine-year absence has earned him the role of an outsider in Flat Creek. While building up a new life in Canberra, he has adopted a lifestyle and outlook on things that is informed by experiences unknown to those whom he left behind. Only Aunty Sissy readily acknowledges Ian’s own pain and reminds the other characters that he, after all, is family: SISSY: Poor Ian. He’s lost them all now. He’s the only blood left. (Harding 1997b: 2, my emphasis) Emphasising questions of solidarity and in-group tensions rather than evoking an identifiable cultural identity, the language employed in the play underlines Harding’s idea that Up the Road is a family drama which has wider universality. The author even suggests that the play’s general theme applies beyond ethnic boundaries: […] it’s about any rural family … Just because [I’m] black, I made the family black. If I was a white country boy from Tocumwal, I would have written the same play, but it would have been a white farmer and his wife sending their son off to Melbourne Uni, and then he came back a doctor for a funeral and couldn’t fit in (Casey & Harding 2001: 370). And yet, it is the characters’ Aboriginality which fuels the conflict created in the play. In the plays we discussed earlier, references to aspects of institutionalisation are generally employed as a reminder of shared experiences, setting the Aboriginal characters apart from the mainstream society. Here, they are another medium to contrast Ian’s Flat Creek past with his present ‘flash’ lifestyle in the city. Sue underlines the feeling of estrangement she experiences when accusing her former lover of the same ignorance associated with white authorities: SUSAN: [...] You stereotype as much as gubs do but you can’t see past that fat ego of yours Mr Admin. Officer Level Three, can ya? (Harding 1997b: 28, my emphasis) Her use of a distinctly Aboriginal form emphasises the gulf between the Flat Creek reality and Ian’s association with white bureaucracy. Underlining her own Aboriginality, Sue turns Ian into the ‘other’, a representative of officialdom. Not unlike the kinship terms, words which relate to the experience of institutionalisation may fulfil an opposite function when used (self-)ironically. 265 Rather than emphasising shared experience, they can be employed as tools to widen the distance between the characters. Again, it is the relationship between Sue and Ian which triggers this usage in Harding’s text: SUE: He’s done fine without me all these years. I don’t think he needs some mission gin messing up his life. (Harding 1997b: 13) Aunt Sissy, in contrast, takes Ian’s side and shows pride in his career achievements. She turns mainstream racist rhetoric around by ironically contrasting her successful nephew with the caricature of the powerless and subservient Aboriginal: GREG: [...] I thought he was some token jacky sent down from Canberra for the funeral. SISSY: Hey, hey, this jacky can stop our funding tomorrow if he wanted to. (Harding 1997b: 8, my emphasis) Given the high degree of semantic transparency of the lexical elements employed in the text, Harding’s language does not relegate white audiences to the position of the outsider-onlooker, but allows them easy access to the world of Flat Creek and the emotional struggles of its inhabitants. Hence, both the play’s theme as well as the medium in which it is presented permit the readers and members of the audience to identify more readily with the characters whose realities are less alien to them than those of the Wallitch family or Bubba and her fellow workers. Despite the comparatively low number of different lexical appropriation types, the constant repetition of characteristic vocabulary elements such as Auntie or eh creates the effect that the text as a whole is perceived as markedly Aboriginal, even if the language at times appears somewhat artificial. It is unclear if the heavy reliance on widely used lexemes was a conscious decision on the author’s part, who may have wanted his text to be as representative of the wider Australian Aboriginal community as possible, or if it reflects Harding’s ideas about the lexicon of south-eastern varieties of Aboriginal English, or possibly even gives an account of his own speech style or of that of people he knows. So far, The Cherry Pickers remains the only text from outside Western Australia which uses a considerable portion of traditional language. 8.8 David Milroy A highly successful writer, stage director, and musical director, David Milroy is currently one of the most prominent figures in the field of Aboriginal thea- 266 tre. Born in Perth in 1957, Milroy, like Jack Davis and Jimmy Chi, is a native of Western Australia and has family links to the Palyku46 people of the Pilbara in north-western Western Australia (Currency Press 2007-2015a). Milroy’s engagement in the arts began long before his writing and directing career. Starting as a musician, Milroy was among the founding members of AbMusic, a corporation set up to assist and support Aboriginal Western Australian musicians. In the 1980s, he helped to set up Dumbartung Aboriginal Artist Advisory which had as its aim the promotion of Aboriginal arts rights; (Performing Lines 2012). David Milroy incidentally got the chance to perform in a play when he toured with a theatre group as a musician and one of the actors left at short notice. This turned out to be the next step on his way to becoming a writer and director (University of Minnesota 2008). From 1995 to 2003, Milroy was the Artistic Director of Perth’s Yirra Yaakin (AustLit 2002-2015e), but in the course of his career he has also worked extensively with several other theatre companies, including Black Swan, Barking Gecko, and Perth Theatre Company, for which he has written, co-written, and directed a range of pieces and provided musical direction. Already in 2002 he received a Sidney Myer Award for his contributions to Aboriginal theatre. His writing credits include Runamuk (performed in 1997) for which Milroy drew on his own experiences as a musician on the road, King Hit (1997/2007), the story of the former Aboriginal boxer Geoffrey Narkle, written in collaboration with Narkle himself, and Cruel Wild Woman (1999), written in collaboration with his sister Sally Morgan (Casey 2004: 227; Cleven et al. 2007: 87), author of the 1987 bestseller novel My Place. One of Milroy’s most successful works so far is Windmill Baby, written in collaboration with Ningali Lawford47, an actress, singer, and dancer from the Fitzroy Crossing area in the Western Australian Kimberleys (AustLit 2002-2015f). In 2003, their play was the first Aboriginal work to win the Patrick White Award. In the following years, Windmill Baby went on to receive the Western Australia Equity Award (2005), the Deadly Award for best sound score (2006), and the Kate Challis RAKA Award (2007). Premiering in 2005 in Perth, the play has extensively toured Australia and has been produced for various festivals abroad (AustLit 2002- 2015g). In 2006, Milroy received an Australia Council Fellowship which provided him with the opportunity to continue his theatre work (Performing Lines 2012). His more recent plays include Waltzing the Wilarra (2011), and Crowbones and Carnivores (produced in 2012). He further works as a freelance 46 The spelling of the language names corresponds to that employed by the Wangka Mara Pilbara Aboriginal Language Center. 47 Ningali Lawford is not officially credited as co-writer in the 2007 publication of Windmill Baby but Milroy thanks her for her input in the author’s note that accompanies the play. 267 writer and has composed music for a number of theatre and film productions (Performing Lines 2012). In an interview, Milroy, whose mother and grandmother were taken away from their family as children, explained that for him, one impetus to become involved in working in Aboriginal theatre was that theatre gave Aboriginal people the chance to tell their own stories in their own way. He argues that many are still unaware of the history of Aboriginal people and that an “out of sight, out of mind attitude” still prevails among Euro-Australians. Nevertheless, his work is not exclusively aimed at white audiences. In addition to creating main stage pieces, Milroy has been actively involved in work at the community level, supporting projects which promote cultural maintenance and pass on knowledge of Dreaming Stories and the local language to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youths. Other projects he has been supporting are concerned with health care issues in geographically remote communities. He is also actively involved in the Palyku people’s Native Title Working Group (University of Minnesota 2008). 8.8.1 The Play: Windmill Baby (2005/2007) Windmill Baby is the only monodrama which will be analysed in the course of this work. In the author’s note, Milroy explains how the play’s outline developed during a one week stay in the Fitzroy Crossing area where “snippets of Toyota conversation and homestead history” (Milroy 2007a: 203) that he picked up while visiting relatives started to combine with images of the red and dusty landscape. Like so many Australian Aboriginal drama texts, the play also involves biographic elements, as it constitutes “a blending of a number of yarns, legends and oral histories from the Pilbara and Kimberley that had swirled around in my head for many years”, and the author acknowledges that “[m]any of the characters and stories in Windmill Baby including the dog are based on, in some part, real events, people, and animals” (Milroy quoted in Casey 2013a: 169). The outcome of this mixture stars Maymay, an elderly Aboriginal woman, who returns one more time to the homestead of a deserted cattle station in the West Australian north where she was once employed as a domestic. Hanging out the washing which has been sitting in a rusty tub for decades, she begins to narrate stories from the time when she used to work for the white ‘boss’ and his ‘missus’, so tender and delicate that Maymay recalls “I used to think she was made out of wax. She had to keep out of the sun so she didn’t melt” (Milroy 2007b: 208). In the course of her narrative, Maymay introduces the audience to her husband Malvern who was the station’s head stockman, the crippled gardener Wunman, the envious servant girl Sally, the wise old elders Aunty Darballa and Billy Gogo, and Skitchim, the dog. Talking about – 268 and occasionally also talking to – the ghosts of her past, the old woman’s memories give the audience an idea of the harsh living and working conditions on northern Australian cattle stations in the middle of the last century. She recalls the cruelty with which the ‘boss’ treated his workers and his unhappy and out of place wife and painfully remembers losing her first baby daughter Ruby, who was buried in Wunman’s garden, a “proper happy place” (Milroy 2007b: 216) in an otherwise bleak environment. As the play unfolds, the reader/audience also learns about the real nature of the unfinished business which brings her back to the station: Maymay tells the tale of the forbidden love between Wunman and the ‘missus’, and gradually reveals the fate of the ‘Windmill Baby’ which sprung from this unhappy liaison. The setting and the circumstances described in Milroy’s award-winning play once more reflect his desire to bring to mind those aspects of Australian history that are so easily glossed over by official historiography and to confront the mainstream community with an Aboriginal perspective of the not so distant past. Bereaved of their land and food sources, Aboriginal people only had a limited set of options that would ensure their survival. Working on pastoral stations provided an alternative to a life on missions or settlements and allowed Aboriginal people to remain close to their country; yet, it also meant existing in a state of dependence created by the hierarchies between the old and the new landowners. Maymay’s account calls to mind a time when Aboriginal workers on cattle stations were working mostly for rations, receiving little or no money and were often subject to their employers’ moods. Still, her reminiscences of the hard times and the sadness that resonates in her accounts of loss and pain are counterbalanced by the wit and wry humour of her narration, making the play “hard as quartz, sadly poignant and hilarious all on the one page”, as the judges of the Patrick White Award have maintained (Behrendt 2007: x). 8.8.2 Analysis of Windmill Baby Windmill Baby being a monodrama, the narration is dominated by the elderly woman’s acrolectal AborE which at times approaches colloquial AusE while at others shows features shared with contact varieties. However, Maymay is not the only one who gets her say. Repeatedly, she slips into the role of one of the characters in her stories, including a younger version of herself. She thus makes the ‘boss’, the ‘missus’, Malvern, Wunman, and the other camp dwellers and station domestics come to life and allows them to speak through her, reviving past dialogues while at the same time commenting on the events from the present perspective: OLD MAY: I bin just fall in love with him then and there, because underneath that big hat was a ... bald head. And a bald head can do strange things to a woman. But he weren’t interested in me. 269 MALVERN: I’m a cleanskin. No woman gonna brand me. OLD MAY: No matter, my branding iron was at Aunty Darballa’s camp. She had all the love songs. But she didn’t think too much of Malvern. AUNTY DARBALLA: Aw, girl! You don’t need a love song, you need something for your eyes, he proper ugly. YOUNG MAY: But, Aunty, he’s proper handsome from his eyebrows up. (Milroy 2007b: 212.) As in most of the other texts discussed so far, the characters’ speech styles are best described as acrolectal forms of AborE which show some variation in their integration of AborE features. That is to say, while many features occur repeatedly, none of them is employed consistently throughout the text. The degree to which particular grammatical features are used not only varies across speakers, there is also a certain amount of variation within the idiolect of the individual characters. Like Bran Nue Dae, Milroy’s play includes a number of features that are shared with pidgins and creoles. Still, the characters’ speech is far less marked than could be expected from a play set on a cattle station in the Australian Kimberley region, where the majority of the Aboriginal population spoke (and continue to speak) Kriol as a first or second language. Again, the most regularly occurring AborE grammatical features manifest themselves in the verb phrase. They include the omission of the copula, as in “He proper cheeky too!” (Milroy 2007b: 222) and of auxiliary verbs, both in questions and declarative sentences, as in “You hear that...? Listen. Wind picking up.” (Milroy 2007b: 208). In addition, third person singular may not be marked by inflection, as in “The missus like Wunman and Wunman like the missus.” (Milroy 2007b: 218). Past tense may be expressed by uninflected forms, as in “You come out first so your name is Wunman and your brother come out last so his name is Twoman.” (Milroy 2007b: 209), and was may be used also for plural subjects, as in “And you know, there was two fellas who loved each other” (Milroy 2007b: 224). Occasionally, past participle forms may express simple past tense, as in “The next day we seen the mail truck kicking up the dust.” (Milroy 2007b: 208). Elsewhere, the past tense marker bin may be used in combination with an invariable verb stem to replace the simple past form: “I bin fall in love with him then and there [...].” (Milroy 2007b: 212). Future is sometimes expressed through gotta/gonna, as in “The missus said you gotta work in the veggie garden.” (Milroy 2007b: 210). The form gotta may also replace ‘have to’. Other salient grammatical features concern the use of determiners: definite and indefinite articles may be entirely omitted, as in “Must think I got man out here.” (Milroy 2007b: 207) or definite articles may be replaced by 270 this, that, or demonstrative them: “And that windmill started turning and the water started pumping and all them kangaroos started wagging their tails because everything started coming up green.” (Milroy 2007b: 211). Elsewhere, a definite article is inserted where none is required, as in the following passage in which Old Maymay talks about the cell phone her daughter gave her as a birthday present: “[...] but what I really wanted was the new 611 model that takes the photograph.” (Milroy 2007b: 211). We can further observe a distinctive use of pronouns: the pronominal element he, which in Bran Nue Dae was used as a pronoun for both male and female referents is here applied also for inanimate referents: “Oh my, fifty years has knocked the stuffing out of this old station. He look like graveyard.” (Milroy 2007b: 207). Once, we encounter a periphrastic possessive marker, viz. “I was supposed to be the boss for Wunman” (Milroy 2007b: 218). Further, plurals may not be marked by inflection, as in “After six weeks I was glad to get to Myall Bore about two mile from Derby.” (Milroy 2007b: 214) or regular inflection may occur where irregular plural forms would be expected, as in “I didn’t really care for mans” (Milroy 2007b: 212). As in all texts analysed so far, double negation may occur: “I’m not wearing no pretty jowitch” (Milroy 2007b: 215) and never may be used to negate the verb phrase, e.g. “Windmill Baby, we never got across that river but I did my best.” (Milroy 2007b: 227). Rarely, superlative suffixes are used to intensify adjectives, as in “they had the biggest row” (Milroy 2007b: 223). The question tag ay may be attached to a declarative sentence to form questions, as in “You checking up on me too, ay? (Milroy 2007b: 209) and in a few cases, complex sentences are formed without structuring elements, as in “You don’t come, you get a bullet like poor runaway fella gonna get.” (Milroy 2007b: 224). The spelling used suggests only minimal phonological deviation from St(Aus)E. Occasionally, we can observe a reduction of word-final consonant clusters while elsewhere, h-dropping can be inferred, e.g. “You tell Malvern I’m sorry for knockin’ ‘im out.” (Milroy 2007: 214). In a few cases, elision of consonants leads to forms such as “I wanna call her Ruby” (Milroy 2007: 216). Again, there is only a moderate use of Aboriginal language terms; those that occur are not set apart from the remainder of the text by italics. An interesting lexical phenomenon is that the text features several terms relating to pastoral context that are employed with reference to people. While some appear to be features of AborE, e.g. “I’m a cleanskin. No woman gonna brand me” (Milroy 2007b: 212), others are used more widely as English slang words, e.g. “when I was a young heifer” (Milroy 2007: 212). The former term, alluding to the ‘clean’ skin of an unbranded animal, is documented in AborE, albeit with the meaning ‘an uninitiated, hence uncircumcised man’ (Arthur 1996: 184). It appears that Milroy’s metaphorical use of the word for an unbranded animal somehow combines the two meanings as it describes a bache- 271 lor who, while being ‘unmarked’ as a woman’s possession, has also not yet been initiated into the adulthood experience of marriage. Once more, a short glossary follows the text, detailing the meaning of several of the AborE terms used in the play. In addition to the single-word insertions employed in the text, the glossary also includes definitions for compound words (cow goona ‘cow poo’) and unfamiliar English-derived terms and phrases (gumbones ‘teeth’, love songs, traditional songs thought to lure a male/female, smelling like cake ‘drinking vanilla essence’). Again, there is no detailed specification of the Aboriginal language terms’ individual source language(s), but given that the setting of Milroy’s text is the (central) Kimberley region, an inland area east of Broome, it is likely that many of the terms used by Milroy are from one or more Kimberley languages. Hence, as in the analysis of Bran Nue Dae, we are dealing with a highly diverse linguistic landscape in which a number of varieties existed in close proximity to each other. These include the non-Pama-Nyungan languages Bunuba, Gooniyandi, Nyikina, Ungummi, and Kija, as well as the Pama-Nyungan languages Jaru, Walmatjarri, Mangala, and Juwalyni (McGregor 2004: xxvi). In the post-contact situation, socio-economic factors such the establishment of missions and reserves and the employment situation in the pastoral and coastal industries caused speakers from different language backgrounds to interact and mix as they – voluntarily or involuntarily – left their ancestral countries to settle elsewhere (Mühlhäusler & McGregor 1996: 116). Colonisation in both the Kimberley region as well as in the adjacent Pilbara did not begin until the second half of the 19th century (Mühlhäusler & McGregor 1996: 103), so that contact with the European colonisers was comparatively late. Today, the degree of vitality of the Kimberley languages varies: McGregor (2004: 37ff) suggests that while some of the Pama-Nyungan languages, such as Warlpiri and Walmatjarri, may be spoken by more than thousand people, speaker numbers for other (non-PN) languages are much smaller. For some of the languages of the Nyulnyul and Worroran group, only a handful of fluent speakers remain; other languages are no longer spoken at all but individual words may be remembered. McGregor (2004: 62) further maintains that most Aboriginal people in the Kimberley region now speak a post-contact variety as their first language, viz. a form of Pidgin English which arose in the 1870s and 1880s on the Kimberley cattle stations, Kriol, or Aboriginal English48. He explains: “These days children almost everywhere in the Kimberley learn Kriol as their first language” (2004: 66). 48 McGregor’s (2004) account of Kimberley contact varieties also includes Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin which is not of interest for the present analysis as its use is restricted to the coastal areas. 272 The traditional lands of the Palyku, to whom the author has family connections, are found in the Pilbara, an area south-west of the Kimberley region. Here, the arrival of the European colonists caused an upheaval of the traditional language territories, resulting in the movement of speakers: Since the arrival of whites, however, groups have been scattered and moved into new areas. In particular, many speakers of languages traditionally located in the desert region of the northern Pilbara have moved north into the Kimberley centres of Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek and Broome, where they sometimes outnumber speakers of the local traditional languages (McGregor 1988: 1). Only a handful of the Pilbara languages are still spoken but Sharp & Thieberger (1992: 2) maintain that many individual words are still widely known and used in the area. One of the Pilbara languages which are still in active use is Martu Wangka, an Aboriginal creole which developed in the 1940s and combines elements from five different Pilbara languages (Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre 2014a). Many speakers have shifted to English, and, in addition to Standard English, a variety termed ‘Pilbara Aboriginal English’ by the Wangka Maya Pilbara Language Centre is spoken in the region (Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre 2014b). Due to the great diversity of potential substrate influence on the AborEs spoken in the region, a whole range of dictionaries and wordlist had to be consulted to determine the origin of the Aboriginal language terms used in the text, viz. the One Arm Point Bardi Dictionary by Gedda Aklif (1999), the Ngarla- English Dictionary by Alexander Brown and Brian Geytenbeek (1991), Sally Dixon’s Juwaliny Dictionary (2008) and Yulparija Dictionary (2009), the AuSIL Interactive Walmajarri dictionary (2012), the Nyikina Draft Dictionary (n.d.) provided by Madjulla Inc., and the Gooniyandi and Yindjibarndi wordlists in Thieberger & McGregor’s (1994) Macquarie Aboriginal Words. Further sources included the Nyangumarta-English, Mangala-English, and Warnman-English online dictionaries which can be found on the homepage of the Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Center. No dictionary of Palyku was available, but information on neighbouring Pilbara languages could be obtained by consulting the Banjima, Karriyarra and Yindjibarndi wordlists published by the Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre, the dictionary included in Wordick’s (1982) The Yindjibarndi Language, as well as the Nyiyaparli Dictionary (2012) by Philip Swan and Peter Hill, the Ngarluma dictionary available as e-book on the Wangka Maya website, as well as the Nyamal dictionary, also by Wangka Maya. Additional information was provided by the shorter wordlist from Banyjima, Manyjilyjarra, Martuthunira, Ngarla, Ngarluma, Nyangumarta, Warnman and Yindjibarndi which are included in Sharp and Thieberger’s (1992) Bilybara and the wealth of lexical data in Nekes & Worm’s Australian languages (McGregor 2006). 273 As before, the AborE lexical items’ occurrence in early contact varieties was investigated on the basis of Troy (1990, 1993, 1994), Malcolm & Koscielecki (1997), Foster et al. (2003), and Harris (1986 and 1988). Arthur (1996), Dixon et al. (2006), Brooks & Ritchie’s (1994) Words from the West, and the AND have provided information on regional variation in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal varieties of English in Australia. Apart from that, the online edition of the OED was consulted to determine the lexemes’ use in other varieties of English. There is one novelty in the analysis of Milroy’s text: since the play is set in an area in which Kriol is spoken as a first or second language by a large part of the Aboriginal population, it seemed to be worthwhile to find out which of the AborE vocabulary items used in Windmill Baby are shared with Kriol. To do so, Lee’s (2004) Kriol-Ingglish Diksheneri was consulted. Again, the text displays a handful of terms that have not been included in the list of lexical appropriations even though at first view, they appear to be features of the AborE lexicon. Once again, the term kangaroo(s) has not been included in the count as it refers to the animals itself and thus constitutes the term’s most common usage that is found in all varieties of English. Other terms that have not been included are business, country, law, story, as these are used exclusively in their StE sense. 8.8.3 The Results Milroy’s play, too, exhibits a comparatively small number of lexical appropriations that can be ascribed to the influence of AborE. With a total of 51 lexical elements attested in sources for AborE, the degree of lexical appropriation is roughly comparable to that found in Up the Road, a text which is much closer to StAusE on the grammatical level and only includes three Aboriginal language words, all of which are established borrowings. Almost half of the lexical appropriations found in Windmill Baby are documented in earlier Australian contact varieties; for another two terms there are indicators that they may have been used in early pidgins but conclusive evidence is lacking. A total of 13 elements are attested in NSW Pidgin. Again, the major part of the lexical appropriations found in Milroy’s text are English lexemes which are complemented by only two handfuls of single-word insertions from one or more languages spoken in the wider Kimberley region. In addition, there is one element for which it has not been possible to determine a source language. a) A total of 41 lexical appropriations derived from English were established for Windmill Baby. Of these, 26 are semantically modified terms while another 15 items have been categorised as characteristically Aboriginal usages of English terms. There are no examples of words that show phonological modification. The 20 English nominal elements found in the text once again include the lexeme shame which is also used as an interjection, as well as the 274 noun phrase old man. The adverb too much is also used as a nominal element. In addition, we find the pronoun this one and the terms black and blackfella which once more occur as noun and adjective. The noun phrase big mob is used adjectivally in Milroy’s text. Another four elements are adjectives (cheeky, deadly, no good, sorry), and again, proper occurs as both adjective and adverb. The terms cry, finish(ed), go bush, humbugging and run away are verbal elements. The forms by and by, never, no more, and true are adverbs. The elements ay and eh are once more used as interjections. All of the 24 elements which are documented in earlier contact varieties are found in this group: big mob, black(s) (NSW), blackfella(s), boss, bush blackfella (NSW), by and by (NSW), camp, cheeky, cleanskin, cry (?NSW), eh (NSW), fella (NSW), finished, missus (NSW), mob, never, no good (NSW), no more (NSW), old man, poor fella (NSW), sorry, this/that one (NSW), too much (NSW), (this/that) way (NSW). So are go bush and humbugging which are not listed in the sources for NSW Pidgin, SAPE, or NTPE but may have been used in early pidgins, too. Thirty-four items appear to have wider currency in AborE and/or AusE; 33 of them are listed in Arthur (1996) and can thus be considered established AborE vocabulary items. Seventeen items are listed in Arthur (1996) as well as in sources for AusE or in the OED. The verb phrase go bush ‘(to) return to traditional life’ only has an entry in the AND. b) Milroy’s text includes nine single-word insertions from regional Western Australian Aboriginal languages. Many of the terms occur in several languages of the Kimberley and Pilbara region, and some (goona ‘excrement’, ‘shit’, maloo ‘big male kangaroo’, yui ‘yes’) occur widely in numerous Australian languages. The origin of the term gnangyas ‘breasts’ is not entirely clear but it is likely that the element is derived from a word used in an Aboriginal language of the wider Kimberly region. Most of the languages in the area have a different term for ‘breast’: Juwalyni and Yulparija, for example, have ngamarna ‘breast’, ‘milk’ (Dixon 2008: 25; Dixon 2009: 27), the same form is also found in Bardi (Aklif 1999: 105). Martu Wangka and Nyangumarta have ngama ‘breast’ (Sharp & Thieberger 1992: 102, 116), and Nyul Nyul has ngaman (McGregor 2011: 827). Yet, it might be possible that the word is the result of a process of semantic extension or shift so that the term’s original meaning has been altered or expanded: the Nyiyaparli dictionary (Swan & Hill 2012: 33) provides nganyja ‘(to) drink’, ‘(to) bite’ and Nekes & Worms (2006, part 3: n.p.) list anja ‘(to) drink’, ‘(to) eat’ as a Karajarri word. Walmatjarri has nganyja1 ‘(to) eat’ and nganyja2 ‘held in the mouth, but not for swallowing’ (AuSIL 2012). In the Juwalyni dictionary, the same form is listed as imperative ‘eat!’, but there is also a second entry for nganyja that provides the meaning ‘carrying in the mouth’ (Dixon 2008: 26). 275 Eight of the traditional language elements used in Windmill Baby are nouns, viz. binyardi ‘fight’, dhoomboo ‘bottom’, gnangyas ‘breasts’, goona ‘excrement’, ‘shit’, gudiya ‘white person’, jowitch ‘knickers’, ‘panties’, maloo ‘big male kangaroo’, mooloo ‘head lice’; the affirmative yui has not been assigned any part of speech. None of the Aboriginal language words is documented in an early Australian pidgin variety but the lexemes maloo and yui have an entry in the AND and Dixon et al. (2006) and seem to be more widely used. According to Arthur (1996: 97), the word goona ‘faeces’ is found in almost every Australian Aboriginal language and therefore also occurs in several varieties of AborE. The term gudiya, referring to a white person is also included in Arthur (1996: 156) where it is defined as a north-western term. The word jowitch ‘knickers’, ‘panties’, is not listed in any of those sources but also seems to have regional currency; like gudiya, it has been attested in other works of fiction and also features in Jimmy Chi’s Bran Nue Dae. In addition, there are indicators that binyardi ‘a fight’ may have entered adolescent speech. c) There is one further element, viz. the interjection wurrah ‘shame’, the origin of which could not be determined with certainty. The element might be from an Australian Aboriginal language and it is possible that it might actually be a rendition of Nyoongah warrah ‘bad’, but there is no conclusive proof for this assumption. McGregor's (1994: 208) Gooniyandi wordlist has warriwarri, ‘sorry’, ‘shame’ and Wordick (1982: 364) lists wararr ‘teasing’ for Yindjibarndi, while Smythe & Thieberger (1994: 228) provide wirrard ‘feelings, emotions, spirit’, also for Yindjibarndi. Still, neither of these terms really seems to provide a satisfactory explanation of the item’s origin. The OED lists wirra (with the alternative forms wurra and wurrah) from Anglo-Irish with the meaning ‘an exclamation of grief or despair’, ‘expressing sorrow, distress, or regret: ‘alas!’ ‘woe!’’. If this is really the original term, it very likely entered AborE or Kriol through an early contact variety. Cross-checking the lexical appropriations found in Windmill Baby with Lee’s (2004) Kriol-Ingglish Diksheneri has revealed that quite a high number of them are shared with the Kriol varieties spoken in the area. Of the 35 words that are also listed by Lee (2004), 31 are English-derived, including a few elements that have so far not been recorded in any of the other plays, e.g. by and by ‘eventually’, in Lee (2004) as biyainwei ‘behind’, ‘later’, ‘after’, ‘at the back’, humbugging ‘(to) annoy’, ‘(to) fool around’, ‘(to) cause trouble’, in Lee (2004) as hambagam ‘(to) annoy’, ‘(to) interrupt’, or cleanskin ‘an uninitiated, hence uncircumcised man’. Most of the lexemes shared with Kriol, however, also occur widely in AborE. Three Aboriginal language words have been attested in Kriol, viz. gardiya, a non-Aboriginal person of European descent, guna ‘faeces’, and yowai (yui) ‘yes’. They, too, have been shown to have a wider currency in the Kimberley region. The Kriol dictionary also has an entry for the word wara which might correspond to Milroy’s wurrah ‘shame’. Lee (2004) suggests that 276 the term is an exclamation from Walmatjarri but does not state the exact meaning. Yet, Richards & Hudson’s (1990) Walmajarri-English Dictionary provides the meaning ‘wait’ for warra. If this is the original form of the Kriol word, Kriol wara is unrelated to the term used by Millroy. Coming back to our conceptual categories, we find that the lexical appropriations in Windmill Baby are used to express concepts pertaining to the following fields: a. Continuation of cultural and religious tradition (4 items) • 4 English items: bush blackfella, from bush, (of things, events, or places) ‘Aboriginal as opposed to European’, go bush ‘(to) return to traditional life’, ‘(to) return to the country and engage in a traditional lifestyle, frequently for a limited stretch of time’, love song (also song), a traditional song thought to lure a male/female, the old people, people of the older generations, those living and those passed on, holders of traditional ways of living and wisdom, and spiritual guides for those who come after. b. Kinship structures (2 items) • 2 English items: Aunty (also aunty), an older woman, often wise in traditional language, having status within her community; also a term of address, Cousin, a relative of either sex, not necessarily close, but of one's own generation; also a form of address. c. Human relationships and social interaction (3 items) • 2 English items: floggin’, a ‘belting’, old man, a figure of authority, here used as an address term conveying respect. • 1 single-word insertion (regional languages): binyardi ‘fight’. d. States of feeling and being and ways of conduct (7 items) • 6 English items: cry ‘(to) lament’, ‘(to) call out in need (for)’, cheeky ‘mischievous, but possibly also dangerous’, humbugging ‘(to) annoy’, ‘(to) fool around’, ‘(to) cause trouble’, poor fella, referring to the condition of oneself or others, implying recognition of the plight of the human condition, shame ‘embarrassment’, ‘fear’, a sense for having transgressed the social and moral code of society, intentionally or unintentionally, sorry ‘sorrowful’, ‘full of grief, grieving’. • 1 unclear element: wurrah ‘shame’. e. Body parts and body functions, intimate and personal aspects of live (6 items) • 4 single-word insertions (regional languages): 277 dhoomboo ‘bottom’, gnangyas ‘breasts’, goona, ‘excrement’, ‘shit’, mooloo ’head lice’. • 2 English items: finished, from finish, v. ‘(to) end, to die’, gumbones ‘teeth’. f. Relationship to the land (1 item) • 1 English item: camp, a living place, temporary or permanent; the term can refer to the living place of either a single person or a small or large group, and can include in its reference a group of houses or a swag under a tree, but always in an Aboriginal-controlled environment. g. Nature and environment (1 item) • 1 single-word insertion (regional languages): maloo, ‘big male kangaroo’, Macropodus rufus. h. The contact experience (9 items) • 7 English items: black(s) 1. ‘Aboriginal’, 2. an Aboriginal person, blackfella(s) 1. an Aboriginal person, 2. ‘Aboriginal’, boss, a form of address from an Aboriginal person to a European man, not necessarily an employer, cleanskin, from the term for an unbranded animal; here a bachelor, ‘unbranded’ by a woman, missus, a form of address to a white woman, not necessarily an employer, run away ‘(to) leave a European situation, particularly a cattle station’, Toyota, a four wheel drive vehicle. • 2 single-word insertions (regional languages): gudiya, a white person, jowitch ‘knickers’, ‘panties’. i. Novel conceptualisations of Aboriginality and cultural survival (-) j. Aboriginal way (17 items) • 17 English items: ay, an interjection, used as rhetorical comment, usually at the end of statements, big mob, from mob, 1. a group of Aboriginal people, linked by relationship and culture, 2. a group of people or animals, 3. an expression of number; a large group (of people, animals, etc.), a large amount of something, by and by ‘eventually’, deadly ‘great’, ‘fantastic’, ‘terrific’, eh, an interjection, used as rhetorical comment, usually at the end of statements, fella, 1. a person, either male or female though usually male, 2. any animate or inanimate thing, half ‘less than the whole’, ‘part’, mob, 1. a group of Aboriginal people, linked by relationship and culture, 2. a group of people or animals, 3. an expression of number, never, an emphatic negative, no good ‘not any good’, ‘worthless’, no more ‘not’, ‘no’, ‘in no way’, proper ‘real’, ‘really’, ‘truly’, also ‘adequate’, ‘adequately’, this one, indicating sth. with particularity, often used alongside the thing indicated, to distinguish it from another in the same category, -time, a specific period, too much ‘very’, ‘very much’; 278 ‘a great deal’, ‘a lot of’, true, an intensifier of a statement or response to a statement, meaning ‘it’s really so’, ‘is that really so’, ‘truly’, way2, a productive element in the formation of adverbials of manner and place, also as this/that way. k. Traditional language maintenance (1 item) • 1 single-word insertion (regional languages): yui ‘yes’. As in Murras and Bran Nue Dae, (j) Aboriginal way has turned out to be the largest conceptual category, comprising 17 English items. Three of them have so far not been recorded, viz. by and by ‘eventually’, half ‘a part’, and no more ‘not’, ‘no’, ‘in no way’ even though, they, too, appear to have wider currency in AborE: by and by and no more are listed in Arthur (1996), half is reported as AborE lexical feature in Malcolm & Sharifian (2002: 172). Once again, (j) is also the only category that includes a substantial number of elements, here, about one third of all appropriations established for Milroy’s text. After that, there is a considerable gap: nine elements fall into the second largest conceptual category, (h) The contact experience. The elements remind readers and audiences that the play’s setting is a cattle station, i.e. one of the places where the outcomes of colonisation and European rule over the country were most strongly felt by Aboriginal people thrust into a dependence relationship with those who had taken over their land. The station environment is particularly emphasised through the items cleanskin and run away which directly relate to life in a pastoral industry context. There are several new items in this category, too: gardiya, describing a white person, is a borrowing from a Kimberley language while Toyota, cleanskin, and run away are English terms. The element jowitch ‘knickers’ is an Aboriginal language word that is also used in Chi’s text and thus appears to be a recurring lexical feature in north-western varieties of AborE. Windmill Baby is the first text which does not include one single reference to the police or to the government authorities. Instead, the ‘authorities’ are represented by the boss and the missus who run the station and control the Aboriginal workers’ lives. There are further no items which relate to introduced substances; the phrase smelling like cake, explained in the glossary as “drinking vanilla essence, which was the liquor to have when you had no liquor” (Milroy 2007: 228) could not be confirmed as AborE usage and has therefore not been included in the analysis. Seven elements pertain to category (d) States of feeling and being and ways of conduct. Four out of the six English lexemes that belong to this category have also featured in the previous texts: cheeky, poor fella, shame, and sorry are among the most widely used and widely known AborE vocabulary items. They are complemented by the words cry ‘(to) lament’, ‘(to) call out in need (for)’ and humbugging ‘(to) annoy’, ‘(to) fool around’, ‘(to) cause trouble’ which have hitherto not been recorded but have an entry in Arthur (1996) and therefore 279 seem to have some currency in AborE, too. In addition, category (d) includes the item wurrah, another apparently regionally restricted term to express the concept of ‘shame’. Its origin, though, remains unclear. Six elements are found in category (e) Body parts and body functions, intimate and personal aspects of live. As before, most of the items in this category are from local languages and have therefore not been recorded in any of the other plays: dhoomboo ‘bottom’, gnangyas ‘breasts’, goona ‘excrement’, ‘shit’, mooloo ‘head lice’. For the first time, there is also an English lexeme which describes a body part, viz. gumbones ‘teeth’. The last item in this category is the recurring English word finish ‘(to) end’, ‘(to) die’. English terms dominate category (a) Continuation of cultural and religious tradition which includes no more than four elements: bush blackfella, go bush, love song, the old people. The complete absence of terms from an Aboriginal language is unusual for this category and, as in Up the Road, negates the expression of a cultural identity that connects speakers to particular groups or locations. Something that also deserves attention is that the two new items found in this category, viz. bush blackfella and go bush both associate more traditional lifestyles with the wilderness that stands in opposition to ‘civilised’ Euro-Australian society. Three items fall into category (c) Human relationships and social interaction, including the regional language word binyardi ‘fight’ which is found in several Pilbara languages. The remaining items are flogging and old man; the latter here used as a respectful address term, describes a figure of authority within an Aboriginal community. Category (b) Kinship structures is represented in the text by a mere two items, the now familiar aunty and cousin. The former item, referring to a (usually older) woman who has status in the community and is respected for her knowledge, is used as the female counterpart to old man. While the only item found in (f) Relationship to the land is the English lexeme camp, category (g) Nature and environment provides a regional language word for a well-known emblem of Australian fauna, viz. maloo ‘kangaroo’. Yui ‘yes’, is the only item found in category (k) Traditional language maintenance. As a function word, the term seems to be one that is prone to be retained by bilingual speakers. Not a single element could be determined that falls into category (i) Novel conceptualisations of Aboriginality and cultural survival. This is also due to the absence of Aboriginal language words that indicate a regional identity. In Milroy’s play, Aboriginality is exclusively expressed by means of the items black and blackfella. 280 8.8.4 Windmill Baby – A Tale of Life in the Kimberley Milroy’s play turns back the clock a few decades and takes the reader and the audience to a Kimberley cattle station in the middle of the 20th century. Since its beginnings, Aboriginal people have played a big part in the pastoral industry, providing a cheap and skilful workforce for station owners, and Windmill Baby introduces us to the daily routines of some of them. The play thus shows certain thematic parallels to Gilbert’s The Cherry Pickers, a text which also draws attention to the poor living and working conditions of Aboriginal labourers and reflects on the contribution of Aboriginal people to the Australian rural economy. Still, written almost four decades after Gilbert’s Cherry Pickers, Milroy’s play exhibits a much less radical tone that has clearly moved away from the protest literature of the 1970s and 1980s. Despite the author’s desire to portray the Aboriginal perspective of Australian history, Milroy’s text has shed the fierce political criticism that is inherent in many earlier Aboriginal drama texts. These differences are also manifested in the lexicon. The Cherry Pickers puts a considerable emphasis on the loss of cultural and religious heritage, and the readers and/or audiences observe the characters deplore the demise of their people and heritage. While following the Cherry Pickers’ attempts to keep their cultural identity, they are confronted with a wealth of references to Aboriginal culture and an abundant use of Koori language words. Windmill Baby, on the other hand, unfolds tales of life in the Kimberley region. While Maymay’s yarn, too, testifies to the imbalanced power hierarchies and the maltreatment of Aboriginal station workers, Milroy refrains from wagging the finger of political protest. Instead, he allows his protagonist to present herself as a true storyteller who paints a picture of the daily routine on a cattle station in the mid-20th century, describing the interaction between stockmen, domestics, camp dwellers, and the station owners, and illustrating how the characters deal with the harsh realities in the isolated, arid north of Western Australia. True to the form of storytelling, the members of the audience are to observe and draw their own conclusions from what they are told. Maymay’s account is focused on how the station people master the small and not so small challenges in their daily lives, and although the pervasive effects of the contact experience are also manifested on the level of the lexicon, the characters do not explicitly ponder the social and cultural changes they have been subject to. The two most direct references to cultural practices and understanding are made when young Maymay seeks advice from the older camp dwellers, e.g. in the scene quoted in 8.8.2 in which Young May asks Aunty Darballa for a love song, or when reference is made to the elders who have passed away but are still regarded as guardians of their people: WUNMAN: You know, Maymay, sometimes bad things happen like what happened to my brother Twoman and to your little baby. But I know the old people 281 are looking after them. This baby is special for you and Malvern so I came to ask if I could make a place for her in my garden. When Malvern gets back from the muster you can take him there and tell him that your baby is with the old people and she’s resting in a happy place. (Milroy 2007b: 219, my emphasis) The remaining two lexical items that have been included in category (a) Continuation of cultural and religious tradition involve the element bush, thus referring to life in an environment not controlled by the European colonisers. The ‘wild’ and ‘uncontrolled’ lifestyle associated with the term provides Maymay with the opportunity for a tongue-in-cheek comment which again subverts stereotypical images: OLD MAY: I'm a proper bush blackfella, I know where to find water, all I have to do is look in my bag. (Milroy 2007b: 207, my emphasis) What is striking is that all four items are English words, that is, none of the references to traditional Aboriginal culture directly relates to the cultural background of Maymay and her fellow workers by means of a traditional language word which expresses a local affiliation or identification with a certain culture group. In general, the play exhibits a rather low frequency of Aboriginal language words considering that the setting is a cattle station in the Kimberley region, an area in northern Australia that exhibits a relatively high degree of language maintenance and is the cradle of Kriol, Australia’s most widely used contact variety. Several of the regional Aboriginal language words describe body parts, health conditions, items of clothing, or forms of behaviour, i.e. concepts which in many of the other plays are associated with sexual innuendos or a saucy tone (remember their usage in The Cherry Pickers!). The Kimberley language words and the way they are employed in Milroy’s text seem almost tame by comparison: we find binyardi ‘a fight’, dhoomboo ‘bottom’, and jowitch ‘knickers’; the term goona, while meaning ‘excrement’ relates to cow dung. Another Aboriginal language term indicates the poor hygienic conditions in the camp while simultaneously describing an almost meditative act: OLD MAY: Well, I was sitting there cracking my mooloo [head lice] thinking about what to do with him [...]. (Milroy 2007b: 210, my emphasis, my glossing) The term mooloo ‘head lice’ is the only single-word insertion found in the text which might provide difficulties for the reader or the audience. Its interpretation is not as straightforward as that of the remaining traditional language words, the meaning of which can usually quite readily be assumed from the context in which they are used: 282 OLD MAY: The boss had given Malvern three pounds for the run. He didn’t really know what money was and I had to stop him from wiping his his dhoomboo with it. (Milroy 2007b: 215, my emphasis) Another Kimberley language word, gardiya, is used to denote European people. Windmill Baby is the first text dealt with so far which uses an Aboriginal language word rather than a form of whitefella or white man to describe non-Aboriginal people. Aboriginality, on the other hand, is exclusively expressed through the English terms black and blackfella, so that, again, we find no direct reference to a distinct, more limited, cultural identity: OLD MAY: Or if a gudiya had been sleeping with a black woman, gudiya and blackfella might say, ‘Get rid of that baby!’. (Milroy 2007b: 209, my emphasis) The use of more general terms of reference for Aboriginal people is nevertheless in line with the thematic focus of the play: whereas Bran Nue Dae emphasises and celebrates the cultural and linguistic diversity of the Broome area and The Dreamers is intent on calling to mind the Nyoongah cultural heritage, Windmill Baby, the third Western Australian text, is concerned with describing the social and emotional facets of contact in the context of the northern Australian pastoral industries which disregarded linguistic and cultural boundaries. Many of the lexical appropriations found in the text underline this emphasis on the contact experience on the lexical level, and some of the terms indicate the northern location more strongly than others, e.g. Toyota ‘a four wheel drive vehicle’ is most commonly used in the northern parts of Australia. The English cleanskin which here describes a bachelor, ‘unbranded’ by a woman, is derived from the word for the unbranded animal and makes direct reference to the cattle station environment, so does run away ‘(to) leave a European situation, particularly a cattle station’. The lexical items which most emphatically underline the contact experience, however, are the terms boss and missus, both of which feature prominently in the text. Used persistently and with a high frequency, they serve as a constant reminder of the uneven economical and social hierarchies on the station, the suppression of Aboriginal workers in the pastoral industry, and the authority and almost unlimited dominance of the European land owners: OLD MAY: The old gudiya boss treated us good. He wasn’t worried about Wunman being a cripple, but the new boss had a cruel heart. BOSS: I’ve got a station to run and I can’t afford to feed blacks who can’t earn their keep. Ship him out to the mission. OLD MAY: Well, the new missus only ever talked in whispers but when she heard the boss talking bad way, that night she whispered at him awfully loud. The next morning he came shouting down the camp. [...] BOSS: Maymay! Where’s Malvern? If that lazy black bastard is still in bed– 283 YOUNG MAY: No, boss, he’s not in bed. I saw him taking off with his whip and lasso. BOSS: Hmmpf! Then you’ll do it. I want you to find Wunman a job around the homestead and if he mucks up, the bloody Catholics can have him. OLD MAY: Well, that scared the hell out of Wunman because he didn’t know what a Catho-lick [sic] was. (Milroy 2007b: 209f, my emphasis) However, the text also provides two lexical counterparts to boss and missus. While these represent the new power hierarchies established under colonial rule and based on possession and economical force, the two elders Aunty Darballa and old man Billy Gogo, who are respected for their wisdom and knowledge, illustrate Aboriginal understandings of authority. They are also the ones Maymay turns to when she needs advice on how to handle interpersonal relationships and avoid a potential conflict with the boss: OLD MAY: Now, old man, Wunman don’t like Sally, but Sally like Wunman. The missus like Wunman and Wunman like the missus, but the boss don’t like Wunman. So what I gotta do? (Milroy 2007b: 218, my emphasis) Another aspect in which the text differs from many of those previously discussed is its focus on the fate of the individual characters. Even though Milroy’s text, too, can be understood as narrating collective history, Windmill Baby is more than a representation of the lives of Aboriginal workers in the pastoral industry. It combines a lesson in Australian history with an unexpected love story that overcomes issues of skin colour and social status – and is therefore doomed to failure and disaster. Moreover, the play thrives on the portrayal of how the Aboriginal characters, especially Wunman and Maymay, take on their fate. As the characters themselves tell us their story, the events are narrated from their own, individual perspectives, against the background of their understanding of the world. They also show us how language is employed to make sense of what is happening around them: OLD MAY: That night, I sat with Wunman in his garden for one last time. WUNMAN: You know, Maymay, the missus read to me about Eden. She tell me my garden is just like that one. Everything comes up green and it’s a proper happy place. [Pause.] And you know, there was two fellas who loved each other but things went wrong for them because they broke the law. Maybe one was black and maybe one was white. What colour love, Maymay? (Milroy 2007b: 224, my emphasis) The characters’ strength and will to cope with reality are best exemplified by the Aboriginal gardener Wunman, who on various occasions defies his role as a powerless ‘cripple’ by taking advantage of his handicap and his assumed inferiority: MALVERN: You gone bloody crazy, boss. You let Sally go and give me the rifle. 284 BOSS: Ah, Mr Starr, the head stockman. You want the rifle, come and take it. Come on, Malvern, let’s see how tough you are. MALVERN: You put the rifle down and we’ll sort this out. Man to man. BOSS: I think I’ll sort this out right now. Boss aims his rifle but is distracted by something. Skitchim appears. Skitchim... you mongrel bastard, you were supposed to be dead! OLD MAY: The boss found a new target. Skitchim. He steadied himself... raised his rifle... took aim... and then... whack! The lights come up. WUNMAN: If the boss wake up, you tell’im I chuck the wood one way but he go the other way and hit ‘im in the head. And don’t worry about the missus... she all right. (Milroy 2007b: 221) In the above scene, Wunman resists the station’s existing order and subverts the boss’s authority on two levels, viz. through his actions but also through his use of the English language to explain the situation. His habit of throwing things – an action which frequently results in his knocking unconscious a potential aggressor – once more prevents a disaster. His ‘cheeky’ and formulaic excuse “I chuck the wood one way but he go the other way [...]” dissolves the mounting tension and ends the scene on a cheerful note. Milroy’s description of how the characters deal with the minor and not so minor problems in life is done in a warm-hearted manner, and on various occasions, the author employs lexical and grammatical features of AborE to achieve a comic effect, here, the transitive marker and the lexical item (this/that) way which is a productive element in the formation of adverbials of manner and place: OLD MAY: First up I tried to teach him raking. YOUNG MAY: Now, Wunman, you rake ’im this way and you rake ‘im that way and then you pick ‘im up. OLD MAY: Well, Wunman rake ‘im this way and all the rubbish went that way, then his no good leg give way and he fell over that way and I had to pick ‘im up good way. (Milroy 2007b: 210, my emphasis) Milroy manages to enrich his text with humour without making fun of his characters and their language. On the contrary, their speech styles and pragmatism fill the play with life and provide yet another example for how Aboriginal people have resisted colonial oppression and suffering. 285 8.9 Wesley Enoch Wesley Enoch was born on Stradbroke Island, off the eastern Queensland coast, as the eldest son of Doug and Lyn Enoch (Enoch 2007a: n.p.). His father’s family is from the island and from mainland northern Queensland, and it is through his father’s side that Enoch is linked to the Noonuccal and Ngugi people of Queensland. Like John Harding and David Milroy, Wesley Enoch comes from a family which has bred a number of artists: one of his great-aunts was Aboriginal poet and activist Oodgeroo Noonuccal, and he has family ties to dancer and choreographer Stephen Paige (Song Summit’s channel 2012). In addition to his links to the Noonuccal and Ngugi people of Queensland, Enoch’s family tree includes a Spanish great-grandfather and a Danish greatgrandmother, as well as Irish, Scottish, and English ancestors (see also 7.1 for how he describes his family background). Such a heterogeneous heritage, he says, is quite common for many Aboriginal people: “in my world, it is not unusual to have incredibly diverse cultural identities expressed around a dining-room table” (Song Summit’s channel 2012). Even though his family moved to the mainland when Enoch was four years old (Enoch & Fidler 2010), the author spent much of his childhood on Stradbroke Island where many of his relatives still live. Here, his father and other relatives would introduce the children to activities such as fishing and dancing. In retrospective, Enoch feels that there was “a sense of culture in all that we were doing at home” although he found that his own experience was totally different to the picture of Aboriginal culture he was presented with at school, a Stone Age relict that had nothing to do with the lived culture he knew (Song Summit’s channel 2012). This may be one of the reasons why so many of his works try to determine the ways in which Aboriginal culture presents itself in the modern Australian society. An extremely wild and violent youth, Enoch reckons that theatre was his way to overcome his aggression, providing him with the opportunity to express his emotions and redirect his energy. Over the years, his fascination with drama and the performing arts increased and finally resulted in an honours thesis on contemporary Aboriginal art. Today, Enoch is one of the most influential Aboriginal playwrights and directors in Australian theatre. He has worked as Resident Director at the Sydney Theatre Company, as Artistic Director of Kooemba Jdarra and Ilbijerri Aboriginal Theatre, as Associate Artist with the Queensland Theatre Company, and as Associate Artistic Director for Sydney’s Company B. In 2006, he directed the Aboriginal section of the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony (Enoch 2007a: n.p.) and in 2010, at the age of 41, he was appointed Artistic Director of the Queensland Theatre Company; he is the first Indigenous person to hold the position of Artistic Director of an Australian state theatre company (Scott-Norman 2011). The list of his 286 directing credits is sheer endless and includes his own work as well as that of other Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal writers. As a playwright, Enoch is probably most renowned for The 7 Stages of Grieving which he co-wrote with Debora Mailman. His other works include The Sunshine Club, A life of Grace and Piety, Grace, Little White Dress, Black Medea, and I am Eora. Another major coup as a playwright was his drama The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table for which he received a Patrick White Award in 2005 and was shortlisted for the NWS and the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award (AustLit 2002-2015h). The play, which began to take shape during a three-month Australia Council scholarship in Paris, was first staged in 2006 by Tokio-based Rakutendan Theatre in a Japanese translation; the Australian premiere was in August 2007 (Currency Press 2007-2015c). 8.9.1 The Play: The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table (2007) Enoch began working on the play during a time he describes as “one of the darkest moments of my career” (Enoch & Fidler 2010), just after he had quit his job with the Sydney Theatre Company and had separated from his partner. The idea for Cookie’s Table began to form after a family visit to ‘Straddie’: on his way back to Brisbane, Enoch relates, he began to think about birth trees and wondered what would happen if such a tree was cut up and the wood was used to make a table that was handed down from generation to generation (Enoch & Fidler 2010). In the first scene of The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table, the reader and the audience are introduced to the story of Cookie, the main character’s great great grandmother, who is born under a tree her mother had chosen as her birth tree. When the tree is felled and made into a kitchen table, Cookie takes employment in the house to which the table has been brought, spending her days preparing meals on that very kitchen table. Cookie’s story is resumed and continued at intervals throughout the play: abandoned by the father of her children, a white soldier, Cookie sends her daughter away and burns down the house, killing herself and her two sons. Miraculously, the table survives the fire. Many years later, Cookie’s granddaughter Faith buys the rebuilt house, the table still in its position in the middle of the kitchen. The second scene takes readers and audiences to the present: Nathan, Faith’s grandson who has become a successful government official, and Annie, his erratic and alcoholic mother, come together after Faith’s funeral. Soon, a fight erupts between the two about who gets to keep the table, the underside of which is inscribed with the names of Cookie’s female descendants. Nathan wants the table as a reminder of his heritage, his childhood, and his grandmother who raised him. Annie, who left the island and her family shortly after the birth of her son, is determined to hold on to the table herself. Despite her ambivalent feelings for Faith and for her island past, Annie hopes to find 287 peace and create a new home in her mother’s house. As an approaching storm hinders Nathan from returning to the mainland, the two engage in a fierce debate about their family history and their mother-son relationship. Throughout their verbal exchange, the recently deceased Faith repeatedly appears on stage as snap-shots from Annie’s and Nathan’s past are woven into the conversation. In the course of the evening and the following morning, the characters narrate episodes from the family’s past, laying bare uncomfortable truths and reliving both hurtful and comforting memories before they can finally achieve an approximation. As in Windmill Baby and in many other texts authored by Aboriginal writers, storytelling plays a crucial role in Enoch’s play. According to the author, Cookie’s Table “is about storytelling and how stories bind us together as families” (Enoch 2007a: n.p.), examining how family can be both a nurturing and a destructive force and how stories not only capture the past but also allow for a new beginning. In the end, Annie convinces her son that it is not so much his past that defines who he is but that he needs to turn towards the future and start creating his own story. One of Enoch’s main concerns is to explore how people of Aboriginal background attempt to preserve individual and cultural identity in modern Australia. In the text, the table embodies this continuation of timeless cultural practices: Cookie’s Table is a metaphor for culture lived, lost, found, obscured and metamorphosed into a hybrid reality for contemporary Murri people. The unbroken line of cultural practices, through the feeding and gathering of our families around the table, is as much a sign of our cultural continuity as any anthropological data gathered in the middens, caves and campsites of our forebears. (Enoch 2007a: n.p.). Enoch denies that the play, set on Stradbroke Island, is autobiographical, even though he admits: “I have written using the world I know well and tried to create a universal story from it” (Currency Press 2007-2015c). There are further parallels to Enoch’s own life: just like Annie, his maternal grandmother was a night club singer. After his grandparents had separated, his mother spent some time in a children’s home. 8.9.2 Analysis of The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table (2007) Discussing the autobiographical influence in his play, Enoch revealed that he tried to capture the speech styles of real people in his text: “I have ransacked my life and used my ear for the vernacular of people I know to create characters” (Currency Press 2007-2015c). Therefore, we might expect the dialogue to contain several of the features we have already come across in the previous analyses and assume that it reflects the AborE varieties spoken on Stradbroke Island and the adjacent Queensland mainland. However, on the whole, the 288 language used in Cookie’s Table reveals comparatively few AborE features: the speech of University-educated bureaucrat Nathan varies between standard and colloquial forms of AusE and is interspersed with the occasional slang words as he is fighting and debating with his mother who also makes regular use of colloquialisms and slang. The female characters’ idiolects, too, approach AusE but still exhibit a slightly more pronounced influence from AborE. Considering the salient grammatical properties of the dialogue, we find that most features are shared with colloquial AusE and other non-standard varieties of English. They include the use of zero-copula forms such as “Our souls dirty?” (Enoch 2007b: 17), and the omission of auxiliaries, as in “Those August winds coming” (Enoch 2007b: 9). Elsewhere, we can observe lacking subject-verb concord, manifested in the use of was for plural and 2nd person singular subjects, as in “How long was you with him?” (Enoch 2007b: 32), and irregular pronoun forms, as in “That cook fella got all gooly up and rowed hisself back to the mainland” (Enoch 2007b: 2). In the phrase “And that day she cooked up the biggest feed [...]” (Enoch 2007b: 2) we can once again observe the elative, that is, a superlative suffix is used to intensify the adjective even though no superlative is expressed. Other features include the use of demonstrative them, as in “in them days that was old enough to be a woman” (Enoch 2007b: 2), the use of double negations, e.g. “I don’t have to tell you nothing” (Enoch 2007b: 11), and the occasional substitution of the definite article by this or that, as in “and even later when other women came to live in that house – Cookie ran that kitchen” (Enoch 2007b: 2). In addition to the familiar what for which is used in the sense ‘why’, Enoch’s text also displays the combination why for: “Why’d you go off and fucken die for?” (Enoch 2007b: 12). It should be noted, however, that all of the above features only occur rarely and some of them could not be observed more than once or twice within the text; double negation is the only grammatical feature which is used persistently. The spelling does not suggest any salient phonological features except for the occasional reduction of consonant clusters, e.g. “your fucken water taxi” (Enoch 2007b: 10) and the elision of unstressed, initial vowels as in “Why didn’t the woman get a ‘lectric one?” (Enoch 2007b: 31). A cursory investigation of the play suggests that also on the lexical level, Enoch’s text does not deviate much from non-Aboriginal varieties of AusE, and thus reminds of Harding’s Up the Road, another text for which we have asserted a high proximity to mainstream speech modes. In contrast to Up the Road, however, Enoch’s text contains at least a handful of Aboriginal language terms, none of which is set apart in the text by italics. The play does not contain a glossary and there is no indication of the Aboriginal language terms’ source language(s). Keeping in mind the author’s own family background, the location of the action, and his concession about having used the idiolects of 289 people he knows as linguistic role models, we may assume that many terms are from Stradbroke Island and south-eastern Queensland languages. Before British invasion, the northern part of North Stradbroke Island was inhabited by the Noonuccal people, whereas the Southern Island as well as the southern and central part of North Stradbroke Island was home to the Goenpul (Steele 1984: 97). In the 19th century, the Ngugi, originally from Moreton Island, settled on the neighbouring Northern Stradbroke Island (Colliver & Woolston 1975: 91). The language of the Noonuccal people is most commonly referred to as Moondjan, although in some sources (e.g. O’Grady et al. (1966b), Tindale (1974), and Wurm (1972)), variants of the northern Stradboke Island people’s name (i.e. Noonukul, Noonuccal, Noonukul, Nunugal, or Nunukul) are also employed as the name of their language. In his Australian Languages (2002: xxxiv), R.M.W. Dixon defines Moondjan as a dialect of Yagara, the language of the Brisbane area. This classification is also postulated in Dixon et al. (2006: 42): This language had a number of dialects. That spoken in Brisbane, probably extending up to Caboolture, was called in the old sources Durubul, Turrbal, or Thoerwel. From Ispwitch south to Boonah and inland perhaps to Laidley, there was the Yagara dialect. The dialect spoken on North Stradbroke Island was Moondjan, and that on South Stradbroke was Jandai. Yagara is generally used as a label for the whole language. A separate language, Gowar, was spoken on Moreton Island. Other sources treat Moondjan as a separate language, which however, according to Watkin & Hamilton (1886: 222), much resembles Jandai, the language of the Geonpul people. Steele (1983: 97) reports that while Jandai was spoken on South Stradbroke Island as well as on much of North Stradbroke Island, Moondjan was restricted to the northern parts of the Island; a similar view is expressed by Tindale (1974). There is no indication that any of the Stradbroke Island languages is still fluently spoken today. Holmer (1983: 392) suggests that at the time of collecting data for his work, the late 1970s and early 1980s, “[n]ot one ‘native speaker’ was […] found to survive on the island and the persons contacted were of the opinion that the recording of the Aboriginal language on Stradbroke Island had started about thirty years too late”. He nevertheless reports that some lexical knowledge was retained. In a public speech, Enoch himself confirmed this, explaining that “we knew how to say pretty much all the naughty parts of your body in our language” (Song Summit’s channel 2012). In her study of south-eastern Queensland Aboriginal English, Eades (1983: 150) points out that most Aboriginal people in the area today speak a variety of English as their primary language: SEQAB [south-eastern Queensland Aboriginal, K.L.] people today primarily speak varieties of English. There is probably no-one from this area of Australia 290 today who speaks an Aboriginal language as a first (or primary) language. Many SEQAB people speak varieties of "Standard English" particularly in White domains, such as employment and education. Grammatical differences between SEQAB and WA [‘white Australian’, K.L.] varieties of English are formally minimal. However, […] meanings (speaker’s’ intentions and hearer’s’ interpretations) may differ significantly between SEQAB and WA uses of the same or similar English forms. As well, SEQAB people speak varieties of Aboriginal English which grammatically reflect structures of Aboriginal languages. There is quite a range of variability in the Aboriginal English spoken by SEQAB people. She argues that a small number of traditional language words are employed in everyday conversation, mostly to talk about ‘private’ issues such as the human body, as tools to affectionately chide someone’s behaviour, to denote aspects of Aboriginal culture, or to prevent outsiders from understanding what is said (Eades 1983: 153f). There are very few sources for the Moreton Bay languages, and those that exist are usually dated and far from being exhaustive. A list of words from Stradbroke Island is included in Holmer (1983) who adopts ‘Nunagal’ as the general name for what he considers to be one single language. Steele (1984) includes a word list of “the language of North Stradbroke Island and the mainland shore immediately opposite” (Steele 1984: 114f) which he names ‘Jandai’. Another short Jandai word list compiled by Watkin & Hamilton is included in Curr’s The Australian Race, a work which dates back to 1887. Still, neither the lexical data provided by Steele nor that by Watkin & Hamilton yielded any information to the present analysis. A more recent Jandai dictionary, compiled by Margaret Iselin and published in 2011, is not available outside Australia. No extensive records of Yagara exist, but Sharpe’s (1998) dictionary of Yugambeh (a variety of Bundjalung, spoken in north-eastern New South Wales and south-east Queensland) and her Bundjalung wordlist in Thieberger & McGregor’s (1994) Macquarie Aboriginal words have proven valuable. One term was even documented in Ash et al.’s (2003) Gamilaraay, Yuwaalaraay & Yuwaalayaay dictionary, and also Haviland’s (1979) description of Guugu Yimidhirr, a northern Queensland language, has contributed information on a term for which it was difficult to establish an etymology. The remaining course of action should now be familiar: all new terms have been cross-checked with Troy (1990, 1993, 1994), Malcolm & Koscielecki (1997), Foster et al. (2003), and Harris (1986 and 1988) for currency in early contact varieties. Information on regional variation in Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal varieties of English was obtained from Arthur (1996), Dixon et al. (2006), Robinson’s Voices of Queensland (2001), and the AND. Again, the OED provided information on the lexemes’ use in other varieties of English. Enoch’s text, too, contains a few terms which at first sight appear to be features of AborE even though a more thorough examination reveals that they 291 are used in a non-Aboriginal sense: an example is elder which Annie uses in the sense of ‘parent’, that is, not as a reference to a senior person’s knowledge and status within the community but to remind Nathan of the fact that she is his mother. The term lot which in its AborE sense describes a part of a family here designates a particular group of people, and belong is used with a meaning that does not entail the same sense of relating to a particular tract of country that is suggested by Arthur (1996). Other terms found in the text refer to recent political events and Aboriginal political activism, e.g. land rights and Land Council. Even though these two items are also commonly used in non- Aboriginal varieties of English and feature prominently in the general Australian political debate, they have been included in the present analysis because of their special relevance for Aboriginal people. 8.9.3 The Results As has been noted above, the language of Enoch’s The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table approximates colloquial AusE, an impression that is certainly also guided by the low frequency of salient AborE grammatical features in the text. Still, the play contains 60 examples of lexical appropriation, so that despite the perceived proximity to non-Aboriginal varieties of English, the total number of lexical appropriations found in Cookie’s Table exceeds that of Up the Road and the relatively short text Windmill Baby. The great majority of the 60 lexical appropriations are English lexemes; these are complemented by a small number of single-word insertions from regional languages. In addition, there is the element gooly up ‘wild’ for which a source language could not be determined with certainty but which may be a hybrid compound, consisting of an Aboriginal language word and an English preposition. Enoch’s text neither includes Aboriginal language words from languages spoken outside southeast Queensland and adjacent areas of north-east NSW nor longer stretches of traditional language. Excluding the item gooly up ‘wild’, only 16 items are attested for in earlier Australian pidgin varieties; ten terms are found in Troy’s NSW Pidgin data. a) All in all, 51 AborE lexical elements are derived from English. Thirtyfive of these are semantically modified terms. Another 15 have been defined as characteristically Aboriginal usages of English terms. The item bullyman ‘policeman’ is another example of an item that defies a clear categorisation: Arthur (1996: 139) suggests that bulliman is derived from a nineteenth century pronunciation of ‘policeman’. This appears plausible, as the form can be understood to demonstrate two phonological features described in 6.3.1, viz. the absence of the voiced/unvoiced contrast which might explain the interchangeable use of/p/and/b/, and the distinct use of fricatives which might account for the absence of the word-final sibilant in police. Still, when considering the nature of past and present interactions between Aboriginal 292 and the Australian police and the oppression and unjust treatment many Aboriginal people have had to suffer on the part of local authorities, we may also wonder whether the verb (to) bully has influenced the development of the form. Thus, bullyman could be seen as an example of lexical conflation, i.e. as an item that is the result of a phonological confusion of two words, here, of an AborE pronunciation of the term ‘police’ and of ‘bully’, which goes hand in hand with the semantic conflation of the two lexemes. Among the 51 English lexemes, we find 35 nominal elements, including the six noun phrases big mob, big words, Old Girl (also old girls), the old people, the old women, white men. The elements black, and blood occur both as nouns and in adjectival application, and yarn is used as a noun and a verb. Five elements are adverbs (cruel, gammin, true, never, what for), and we find four adjectives (dark, no good, tribal, and whitefella), two verbal elements, viz. reckon, and the participle taken (away). Once more, proper occurs as both adjective and adverb and the element eh has been classified as an interjection. All of the 16 items attested in former contact varieties are English lexemes: big mob, black (NSW), blackfellas (NSW), camp, country (NSW), eh (NSW), fella (NSW), gammin (NSW), mob, never, no good (NSW), Old Girl(s), one(s), what for (NSW), white men (NSW), whitefella (NSW). In addition, no less than 40 items appear to have wider currency in AborE as well as in other dialects of English: 16 items are only found in Arthur’s (1996) dictionary of AborE and another 19 are listed in Arthur (1996) as well as in sources for AusE or in the online edition of the OED. b) Eight single-word insertions could be traced back to regional Aboriginal languages, spoken in south-east Queensland or north-east NSW. These also include the item Kawana which is used as a personal name in Enoch’s text. The item’s meaning is explained in the play when Faith relates that her mother’s name translates as ‘calm waters’, a meaning that could not be verified on the basis of the dictionaries and wordlists consulted. As a proper noun, it is one of six nouns (boodu ‘penis’, bungoo ‘money’, eugaries, the ‘pipi’, an edible marine bivalve mollusc, goom, an alcoholic drink, Kawana ‘calm waters’, muppi ‘behind’, ‘posterior’) which are complemented by the adjective womba ‘mad’, ‘stupid’, and one item that functions as a noun and an adjective, viz. Murri ‘Aboriginal’, used in southern Queensland and northern NSW. None of the traditional language words is documented in an early Australian pidgin variety. The term eugaries is listed in the AND and Dixon et al. (2006); goom also has an entry in Arthur (1996) and Murri is listed in Arthur (1996), Dixon et al. (2006), the AND and the OED. Still, the two elements bungoo ‘money’ and womba ‘mad’, ‘crazy’ also seem to have a wider currency in south-eastern AborE varieties and appear in several works by Queensland writers and poets. 293 As has already been indicated, Enoch’s The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table further includes one item which needs to be treated separately as its origin cannot be determined without doubt. It is not clear whether the first element in gooly up ‘wild’ is from an Aboriginal language or whether it ultimately derives from an English word. Haviland (1979: 120) reports that Guugu Yimidhirr, a northern Queensland language has guli ‘angry’, ‘full of hate’, and Alpher (2004: 435) shows that similar forms are also found in other Pama- Nyungan languages. In Sharpe’s (1998) Yugambeh dictionary, the item is rendered as gulah ‘anger’ but here the author suggests that the word may go back to an early pidgin word from the Sydney area. Turning to Troy’s (1990: 98) analysis of the NSW Pidgin lexicon, we find the form coolar ‘anger’, ‘pick a quarrel’, ‘make angry’, which the author believes to be ultimately derived from the English lexeme choler49. Dixon et al. (2006: 204), on the other hand, suggest that the term cooler and its variants coola(r) and coolie are from the Sydney language. They further maintain that the term was formerly used in Australian pidgin but is now obsolete. Yet, the form gooly up is also found in other works by Queensland Aboriginal writers, e.g. in Auntie Rita by Rita and Jackie Huggins and in Is That You, Ruthie? by Ruth Hegarty. It thus seems to be a comparatively regular feature of Queensland AborE. Note that a similar item also exists in Kriol, viz. gula which is glossed as ‘be angry’ in Lee’s (2004) Kriol-Ingglish Diksheneri. This suggests that the NSW form has been transported north as a pidgin feature. In terms of their conceptual categories, the lexical appropriations in Cookie’s Table are distributed as follows: a. Continuation of cultural and religious tradition (10 items): • 10 English items: dances, Aboriginal ceremonial dances, Hairy Man, a spirit being taking the form of a large ape-like man, language, an Aboriginal language, ‘Aboriginal language’, lingo ‘Aboriginal language’, old People, the, people of the older generations, those living and those passed on, holders of traditional ways of living and wisdom, and spiritual guides for those who come after, song, a traditional song, used to hold the knowledge of the law or the Dreaming, story (also stories), a true account, which may include spiritual truth of a thing, event, or place, here esp. stories that narrate the family history, tribal, (of people or societies) relating to Aboriginal life before the British invasion, way1, the manner in which one lives as an Aboriginal person, uses language, and performs social and personal activities; the beliefs and cus- 49 Recall that the First Fleeters used the Guugu Yimidhirr wordlist compiled by Captain Cook in their first attempts at conversation with the people of the Sydney area and thus also introduced the item kangaroo to the local population. However, there is no indication that guli or a related term had ever been recorded by the Endeavour crew. 294 toms which provide meaning for this way of living, yarn, refers the telling of stories as a traditional practice in Aboriginal society, here especially (but not exclusively) the telling of family stories. b. Kinship structures (4 items): • 4 English items: Aunty, an older woman, often wise in traditional language, having status within her community, here, a female relative of the parents’ generation, blood, of relatives ‘close’, family, all one's blood relatives; the term is a lot more inclusive than in most other varieties of English, uncle, a respectful term of address for an older man; here, a relative who needs not be an actual uncle c. Human relationships and social interaction (3 items) • 3 English items: flogging, a ‘belting’, Old Girl(s), a respectful reference to a woman or women of an older generation, old women, the, from old, ‘having recognised wisdom and authority’. d. States of feeling and being and ways of conduct (4 items): • 2 English items: gammin, here ‘falsely’, from the verb ‘(to) pretend or lie’, shame ‘embarrassment’, ‘fear’, a sense for having transgressed the social and moral code of society, intentionally or unintentionally. • 1 single-word insertions (regional languages): womba ‘mad’, ‘stupid’. • 1 unclear element: gooly up ‘wild’. e. Body parts and body functions, intimate and personal aspects of live (2 items): • 2 single-word insertions (regional languages): boodu(s) ‘penis’, muppi ‘behind’, ‘posterior’. f. Relationship to the land (5 items): • 5 English items: birth tree, the tree under which a person is born, to which that person has a special connection, camp, a living place, temporary or permanent; the term can refer to the living place of either a single person or a small or large group, and can include in its reference a group of houses or a swag under a tree, but always in an Aboriginal-controlled environment, country, the tract of land where an Aboriginal person or community belongs, to which they have a responsibility, and from which they can draw spiritual strength, Land Council, a body appointed to represent the interests of [Aboriginal people] in Aboriginal land, land rights, the entitlement of Aboriginal people to possess their traditionally occupied territory; the acknowledgement of this entitlement. 295 g. Nature and environment (2 items) • 2 single-word insertions (regional languages): eugaries, plural of eugari, the ‘pipi’, an edible marine bivalve mollusc, Plebidonax deltoids, Kawana ‘calm waters’, a personal name. h. The contact experience (15 items): • 13 English items: apology, refers to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s 2008 formal apology to the Stolen Generations, former calls for which had been rejected by Prime Minister John Howard, big words ‘formal English’, ‘flash language’, black(s) 1. ‘Aboriginal’, 2. an Aboriginal person, blackfellas, Aboriginal persons, bullyman, a police officer, the police, charge, a drink, dark ‘Aboriginal’, feed ‘meal’, government, also gubberment, all public authorities and their officials whether State or Federal, mission, an Aboriginal settlement which may or may not once have been a religious institution, taken(away), from take (away) ‘(to) remove a child from its family and community, to be raised outside its culture, either by the government, or by private concerns with the tacit consent of the government’, white men, from white man, a non-Aboriginal person, whitefella, a white person, a European Australian or other person with a similar appearance. • 2 single-word insertions (regional languages): bungoo ‘money’, goom, methylated spirits, here, ‘alcohol’. i. Novel conceptualisations of Aboriginality and cultural survival (2 items): • 1 English item: community, 1. a settlement or place where the majority of the inhabitants are Aboriginal, also 2. the Aboriginal community as a community of people; this may be regional and specific, or general and non-specific. • 1 single-word insertion (regional languages): Murri, an Aboriginal person from southern Queensland and northern NSW; the Aboriginal people of the area. j. Aboriginal way (13 items): • 13 English items: big mob, from mob, 1. a group of Aboriginal people, linked by relationship and culture, 2. a group of people or animals, 3. an expression of number; a large group (of people, animals, etc.), a large amount of something, cruel ‘very’, eh, an interjection, used as rhetorical comment, usually at the end of statements, fella, 1. a person, either male or female though usually male, 2. any animate or inanimate thing, mob, 1. a group of Aboriginal people, linked by relationship and culture, 2. a group of people or animals, 3. an expression of number, never, an emphatic negative, no good ‘not any good’, ‘worthless’, one, (as a noun) used with adjectives, with the resulting combination, while appearing noun-like, still functioning as an adjective, proper ‘real’, ‘really’, ‘truly’, also ‘adequate’, ‘adequately’, reckon ‘(to) say’ as well as ‘(to) think’, true, an intensifier of a statement or response to a statement, 296 meaning ‘it's really so’, ‘is that really so’, ‘truly’, way2, a productive element in the formation of adverbials of manner and place, what for ‘why’. k. Traditional language maintenance (-) For the first time, category (h) The contact experience provides the largest number of lexical appropriations. This is somewhat surprising considering the thematic outlook of Enoch’s play which focuses on family structures, heritage, and 21st century forms of Murri identity rather than on aspects of culture clash and colonial experience. Thirteen out of the 15 appropriations which describe the contact experience are English words, including three items which have so far not appeared in any of the other texts: charge ‘a drink’, dark ‘Aboriginal’, and bullyman, a rendition of the English term ‘policeman’. The two regional language words which fall into this category seem to have some currency in AborE varieties spoken in the eastern parts of Australia: goom ‘methylated spirits, as an alcoholic drink’ is listed as AborE lexical feature in Arthur (1996) as well as in several lexicographical works on AusE, and while bungoo ‘money’ is not attested in any of these sources, it features in several works of fiction by Queensland authors. The lexemes found in this category are once again prime representations of concepts commonly associated with black and white coexistence in Australian society and reflect many of the findings of the previous analyses: the contrast between Aboriginal people and Euro-Australians is once more expressed by distinguishing black, blackfella, and dark from whitefella and white men, while officialdom and authority control are manifested in bullyman, gubberment, mission and taken; the term apology, too, relates to the government practice of taking children from their parents and further makes reference to comparatively recent political developments. In addition, we find two terms for alcohol in the text, viz. charge and goom, as well as bungoo, an Aboriginal language word for ‘money’; big words once more describes formal English, which is thought inappropriate for in-group communication. Category (j) Aboriginal way is again the second largest conceptual category with 13 English-derived lexical appropriations which express Aboriginal ways of rationalising experience by employing English lexemes that all seem to have considerable currency in AborE dialects. All elements in this category have also featured in one or more of the texts previously analysed; most are further listed in Arthur’s (1996) dictionary of AborE. Ten items are found in (a) Continuation of cultural and religious tradition. As in Milroy’s Windmill Baby, there is not a single Aboriginal language word in this category but we encounter several items which have so far not been recorded, viz. Hairy Man, a spirit being taking the form of a large ape-like man, lingo ‘Aboriginal language’, and tribal ‘relating to Aboriginal life before the British invasion’, ‘traditional’. This category further includes the two elements story and yarn which exhibit innovative applications that shall be discussed later on. References to Aboriginal languages and cultural practices are made 297 by the terms language, lingo, dances, and song which describe very well-known concepts from the domain of cultural practice by means of widely used English words. Category (f) Relationship to the land again includes the two elements camp and country that are regularly occurring items in our analyses and widely used in AborE. In addition, we once more encounter the elements Land Council and land rights that acknowledge more recent political developments and the Aboriginal communities’ struggle to regain control over their country. A new item is the element birth tree which underlines an individual’s personal connection to the land, one that is not shared by the group. With five items, category (f) is astonishingly well represented in Enoch’s text. The four items in category (d) States of feeling and being and ways of conduct have diverse origins but they all seem to be more or less widely used: the two English elements found in this category, viz. gammon and shame are established lexical features of AborE and featured in several of the plays discussed. The two remaining lexical items in this category, womba ‘mad’ from Gamilaraay and related NSW languages and gooly up ‘wild’, possibly derived from a NSW pidgin term, appear to be less widely used. Still, several sources indicate that they have at least some currency in Queensland AborE. Only four lexical elements are found in category (b) Kinship structures. As in several of the previous analyses, the item Aunty is used in a sense that is shared with other varieties of English, i.e. as a familiar term for an actual family member rather than as a respectful form of address for an older woman who holds cultural knowledge. Likewise, Uncle is exclusively used for a male relative of the older generation, although not always for an actual uncle. The importance of kin, both close and distant, for the formation of individual identity is underscored by the items blood and family. We find three items in category (c) Human relationships and social interaction. As in The Dreamers, the combination old girl is used as a respectful reference to an older woman that also carries connotations of familiarity; similarly, old women describes female elders who are recognized for their wisdom and authority. The item flogging ‘a belting’ is also prominently represented in the corpus. Categories (e) Body parts and body functions, intimate and personal aspects of live, (g) Nature and environment, and (i) Novel conceptualisations of Aboriginality and cultural survival each contain a mere two items. The terms boodu(s) ‘penis’ and muppi ‘behind’, ‘posterior’ which are featured in category (e) can be traced back to a local island language. Describing delicate concepts by using lexical items that are opaque for those who do not share the same Stradbroke Island background, they help to promote intimacy between the two estranged characters. Category (g) Nature and environment includes the single-word insertion 298 Kawana, which in the text is explained to mean ‘calm waters’, hence describing an environmental phenomenon. Its use as a personal name merits further attention and will be discussed below. The second term in this category is eugari, a regional language term for the ‘pipi’, a type of shellfish, which has entered AusE as a loanword. Novel conceptualisations of Aboriginality and cultural survival not only comprises the term Murri, another Aboriginal language word that describes a wider regional Aboriginal identity and is thus yet one more concept prone to be expressed by means of lexical appropriation, but also the lexeme community which may refer to a particular community as well as to the Aboriginal community as a whole. 8.9.4 “The Story Goes...” Family History and Murri Identity Seated at Cookie’s Table Like Harding in Up the Road, Enoch focuses on the interpersonal relationships between his characters, here the complicated family relations within a Stradbroke Island family which collide with the characters’ longing for a home and their attempts to create an identity which is based on their heritage and family history. Although the greater part of the play’s action is set in the present and concentrates on the dispute between Nathan and his mother, their quarrels are interwoven with scenes from the past. Through their shared narration of Cookie’s and the table’s story, Annie and Nathan unfold their family’s history. Their individual life stories, however, do more than that: it is through these memories that readers and audience are informed about the circumstances that shaped their troubled relationship and begin to understand the characters’ motives and actions. The item story itself is frequently employed in the text, occurring in the repeatedly used formula “the story goes…” that draws attention to the very act of storytelling and serves as a text-structuring element: NATHAN: The story goes something like this... When my great, great grandmother was born, it was under a tree – a tree her mother had chosen. We believe the tree you’re born under gives you something... like part of its spirit – and this tree was chosen ‘cause it was strong with a wide trunk, yet supple enough to bend in the wind to survive fierce storms... While her mother held onto a branch surrounded by her aunts, my great, great grandmother was born. The story goes that my great, great grandmother spent the first years of her live learning all about the island and the ocean. How to fish and cook everything from the sea – dugong and turtle, whiting and eugaries... and even at a young age the older women would bring her things to cook. She had a knack for putting foods together in a way which made them taste better. This was her island, her home. (Enoch 2007b: 1, my emphasis) 299 The various occurrences of the formula “the story goes…” reminds of Milroy’s text Windmill Baby which also makes frequent use of formulaic repetitions. In Maymay’s narrative, however, these do not so much structure the text and serve as discourse markers. Rather, they reveal the cyclical nature of events and express propositions of a wider applicability, reinforced by their recurrence. The term yarn, too, is used repeatedly in Enoch’s text to refer to a story or the act of telling a story. So far, the item has only been counted as an instance of lexical appropriation in the analysis of The Dreamers since only in this text the word is used in its AborE sense where it refers to narrations that entail cultural or religious knowledge. In Cookie’s Table, the elements yarn and yarning relate to the narration of episodes from the family history as well as to the practice of storytelling in general: NATHAN: I’m telling this story.... ANNIE: Well, you’re only telling her side of it/okay, okay/sorry – go ahead. [...] Go on, you keep yarning, off you go. (Enoch 2007b: 49, italics in original, my emphasis in bold print) Likewise, story, which in Murras was used in Arthur’s (1996: 59) sense ‘the belief system of a person and the society, especially as manifested in accounts of the dreaming’, here receives a new meaning, as it describes ‘a true account, which may include spiritual truth of a thing, event or place’ (Arthur 1996: 60). All the stories in Cookie’s Table recount events that constitute the family history, and the use of the term underlines the role of storytelling in the characters’ search for an identity that is based on their heritage. Story nevertheless symbolises the continuation of cultural tradition in the form of oral history: ANNIE: Those stories you tell... you’re always going on about those stories. Why is this one... ( any different?). Listen, Old Girl, maybe you’re meant to tell them stories, too. The hard ones. (Enoch 2007b: 48, my empahsis) Thus, the application of yarn(ing) and story in Enoch’s text shows a shift away from focusing on the transmission of religious content. Instead, the use of the terms in Cookie’s Table suggests a new interpretation of the lexemes’ meaning, denoting the telling of stories which, rather than passing on cultural and religious knowledge, chronicle the family members’ past. The episodes of the lives of Nathan, Annie, and their ancestors, too, are endowed with meaning and have the potential to act as guidelines for the hearers. They further provide a framework for the characters’ identification as part of the family and allow them to establish and embrace their Aboriginal heritage. The lexical appropriations story and yarn(ing) and their novel applications in Cookie’s Table 300 can thus be understood as representing the transformative potential of Aboriginal culture which continues to rely on cultural practices that nevertheless may take on new forms. We find only few examples of characteristically AborE vocabulary in the dialogues between Nathan and Annie or in their remembered conversations with Faith. A much higher concentration of lexical appropriations can be observed in those parts of the text which detail the table’s ‘lifecycle’ and narrate Cookie’s story. Several of the salient lexical (as well as grammatical) properties of AborE are most prominent in the passages recited by Annie, who then adopts a speech style that is much more strongly marked by AborE features than the remainder of the text: ANNIE: The story goes something like this... Cookie worked in that kitchen and lived there in the house. Cleaning mostly – but when the whitefella cook got crook one day, she was left to feed the house. This young one – maybe fifteen, but in them days that was old enough to be a woman – this young one left to cook for officers and convicts and soldiers. [With a smile] And that day she cooked up the biggest feed and, if you believe the stories, she did that loaves and fishes thing, feeding thirty men with half a pound of flour, a lump of meat and some stale tea. [...] That cook fella got all gooly up and rowed hisself back to the mainland. She was it from then on – and even later when other women came to live in that house – Cookie ran the kitchen. She’d only wanted to be close to her beginning place, her birth tree. She was young and beautiful and eventually caught the eye of a young army fella, white one. [...] (Enoch 2007b: 2, my emphasis) The above quotation also features the lexical item birth tree, a reference to the belief that a person has a special connection to the tree he or she was born under. This marks the starting point for the family’s history which begins with Cookie. Generally, almost all lexical appropriations that relate to cultural knowledge and practice are found in those passages that recount the story of Cookie and her daughters: ANNIE: The story goes... she called for her boys to be brought up to the house and for her daughter to be taken to another family, like she was being promised. When Cookie greeted them old women at the door they knew something was wrong. Cookie took the two boys and locked the big door from the inside. She took her two sons, sat tem on the table in the middle of the kitchen and hugged them close, singing them a song her mother had sung to her. (Enoch 2007b: 14). FAITH: The story goes something like this... My mother Kawana worked on the island. [...] From all accounts she kept to herself, didn’t have much to do with the blacks in the mission. She didn’t do the dances or speak the language. (Enoch 2007b: 18) Note that in the above quotations, the widely known English-derived AborE vocabulary items dances, language, and song evoke what we might call 301 ‘prototypical’ concepts from the domain of cultural tradition, that is, the terms evoke images which are readily associated with Aboriginality by most members of the Euro-Australian society. Having the names of Cookie’s female descendants carved into it, the table carries and conserves information about the family’s genealogy. Its significance as the ‘bearer’ of family history is further underlined by it being the place where meals were cooked and where people came together. Strengthening the family bonds, it is a symbol of resistance against the coloniser’s culture: FAITH: That table’s got proper history in it. A hundred years of damper making, a hundred years of chopping and love, a hundred years of yarning and cups of tea. That’s what makes it special... you can’t get that at McDonalds. (Enoch 2007b: 6) Other passages, too, underline the importance of family. While Annie condemns her mother and aunts for how they treated her, she still acknowledges that they were the ones who held the family together and shaped its history. This is reflected in her use of terms of respect for older women: ANNIE: But we all needed that table. Kawana, those old girls... we needed something to pull us back here, but we don’t need that any more. This table belongs down the hill there with Old Girl. It’s her memories, her past. (Enoch 2007b: 53, my emphasis) Another item that reinforces family history in the play is the personal name Kawana, an Aboriginal language word which describes an environmental feature. Cookie’s choice of a name for her only daughter revokes precolonial naming patterns and contrasts her sons’ European names chosen by their father. At the same time, the girl’s Aboriginal name reflects Cookie’s and her daughter’s relationship to the island, thus stressing the female family members’ connection with their home. Enoch applies the technique of cushioning to explain the term’s meaning to his audience: “She named the boys Nathaniel and Jason and her daughter she called Kawana which means the calm waters” (Enoch 2007b: 7). Cookie’s Table only includes a small number of single-word insertions. Still, we can observe a few instances in which the estranged mother and son use vocabulary items that suggest some degree of intimacy and proximity. Twice, Annie employs Aboriginal language words while trying to establish a more personal level of conversation. Sitting at the breakfast table in their nightwear, Annie takes her son by surprise by abruptly turning the conversation to an extremely intimate topic: ANNIE: You filled out nicely. She gives him the thumbs up. Silence. 302 How did you go in the downstairs department. NATHAN: Sorry? ANNIE: [indicating size] How’s the boodu? NATHAN: Annie! ANNIE: I’m your mother, I should know these things. (Enoch 2007b: 30, my emphasis.) When Nathan fails (or refuses) to understand her initial innuendo, Annie has to find a more direct way of phrasing her question. She resorts to a word from a Stradbroke Island language which has only restricted currency and is most readily understood and employed by other Stradbroke Islanders. Still, due to several contextualisation cues, i.e. Annie’s question about “the downstairs department”, her hand gesture, as well as Nathan’s indignant outburst, readers and audiences have little difficulty interpreting the word’s meaning even without the help of a glossary. This particular stretch of mother-son conversation is terminated by a sentence including the Stradbroke Island term muppi ‘posterior’, ‘behind’ which once again demands for shared language knowledge: ANNIE: Well, I’m gonna go and get decent, too. Can’t sit around all day flashing my muppi, can I now? (Enoch 2007b: 32, my emphasis) From the previous analyses we have learned that another concept preferably communicated through a non-English element that is opaque for cultural outsiders is that of mental instability. Cookie’s Table, too, features a corresponding term: ANNIE: He’s always been a bit womba, that boy. (Enoch 2007b: 20, my emphasis) The same holds for goom ‘alcohol’, another concept primarily expressed by means of an Aboriginal language word. Like many terms from the domain of the contact experience, the use of goom is often fraught with emotion as alcoholism is a problem in many Aboriginal communities. Other words from the same conceptual field once again emphasise the tensions between the characters, one of whom is a government official. Annie uses the term bungoo ‘money’, a symbol of colonial power, when she accuses Nathan of attempting to buy himself off from any family obligations. In the same passage, she employs the item gubberment, directly linking her son’s behaviour to white officialdom: ANNIE: That’s how you deal with family now, is it? Send a cheque so you don’t have to talk with us no more. [...] You hang around with those gubberment people long enough and you become one, you know that. Just hand out the money, don’t ask what the problem is, just throw some bungoo at them and let them fight among themselves. 303 (Enoch 2007b: 5, my emphasis) Although her speech generally approaches AusE, Annie here uses a distinctly Aboriginal pronunciation of the term ‘government’. An obvious nonstandard form, gubberment underlines the rejection of every representation of colonial administration and exemplifies the gulf between the Aboriginal people’s reality and white bureaucracy. Annie highlights her own Aboriginality, describing the official ‘other’ by a term that acts against the formality of the concept. Similar reasons apply when she uses the form bullyman which evokes echoes of protection and segregation policies: ANNIE: So she packs up her shit – pregnant, mind/she packs up her shit and then she heads off. Belly popping out, stopping off in towns, getting a bit of work, getting a letter from the local pastor or bullyman to get to the next little town and so on and so. (Enoch 2007b: 28, my emphasis) Despite being less concerned with the social and political consequences of Aboriginal and white coexistence in 21st century Australia, Nathan’s professional background allows Enoch to infuse his text with a number of Zeitgeist references. The play broaches some of the more significant developments, manifested in elements such as apology, Land Council, and land rights. However, these lexemes are devoid of any grave and critical undertones that might be expected when issues such as land ownership or the practice of child removal are addressed. In the following scene, Annie deliberately tries to unsettle her son’s professional manner, seizing the opportunity to voice some tongue-incheek demands as the opportunity arises: NATHAN: [into the phone] Yes I know the Prime Minister has a meeting – I can meet him there/it’s only forty-five minutes by water taxi to the city... ANNIE: Is that the Prime Minister? NATHAN: [to ANNIE] Quiet! – [Into the phone] I have some business here to sort out first... ANNIE: Tell him we want land rights, ‘lectric stove and he can shove his apology up his arse. NATHAN: [to ANNIE] Shut up! (Enoch 2007b: 31f, my emphasis) Not only political matters, but also the general socio-economic situation of Aboriginal Australians and the disproportionately high crime rate in many Aboriginal communities are addressed with wry humour: ANNIE: Hey, I heard this joke... What do you call a Murri with a Mercedes?... A thief. What do you call a bunch of Land Council Murris busting for a piss? … A tribe-urinal. What do you call a Murri fella with a gun? You call that fella anything he wants. (Enoch 2007b: 41, my emphasis) 304 The item Murri has a high degree of currency inside and outside Aboriginal varieties of English. Expressing a regional Aboriginal identity, the Aboriginal language word is yet another instance of lexical appropriation that follows the now familiar pattern and compares to appropriations such as Koori or Nunga.

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Abstract

Today, virtually all Aboriginal people in Australia use English in their daily interactions. This is not surprising: in a situation in which many Aboriginal languages are lost beyond retrieval, English, as the official language of education, administration, law, and generally the language of the Australian mainstream society, has become the major medium of communication for the Australian Aboriginal community. Still, Aboriginal English, the variety most commonly spoken by Aboriginal people, often differs in many aspects from what is the accepted linguistic standard in Australia. Adapted to their communicative needs, it allows its speakers to express values, beliefs, and attitudes which are strongly influenced by their socio-cultural background.

Katja Lenz investigates how the lexico-semantics of Aboriginal English provide the means needed to express concepts not shared with speakers of Australian English. Approaching these questions from both the angle of Cultural Linguistics and that of Post-colonial Studies, she further shows how these tools are employed by Australian Aboriginal playwrights, who exploit the lexical resources of AborE for the linguistic construction and assertion of their own and their characters’ Aboriginality.