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Type: Book chapter
Title: The History of Aboriginal languages and linguistics at the University of Adelaide
Author: Amery, R.
Citation: A History of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Adelaide 1876-2012: Celebrating 125 Years of the Faculty of Arts, 2012 / Harvey, N., Fornasiero, J., McCarthy, G., Macintyre, C., Crossin, C. (ed./s), pp.265-289
Publisher: University of Adelaide Press
Publisher Place: Australia
Issue Date: 2012
ISBN: 9781922064363
Editor: Harvey, N.
Fornasiero, J.
McCarthy, G.
Macintyre, C.
Crossin, C.
Statement of
Rob Amery
Abstract: Whilst the Discipline of Linguistics at the University of Adelaide is relatively new, commencing in 1993 with the appointment of Professor Peter Mühlhäusler as the ‘Foundation Professor of Linguistics’, the University’s work and engagement with Aboriginal languages dates back more than 65 years earlier, including the appointment of a ‘Professor of Australian Linguistics’ in 1970. Even though Linguistics is relatively small in Adelaide, both by national and international standards, a number of very important developments emerged first at the University of Adelaide within the field of Aboriginal languages and linguistics. The beginnings of engagement through the University of Adelaide with Aboriginal languages research dates back to the establishment of the Board for Anthropological Research (BAR) at the University in 1926. Among other things, the BAR encouraged the collection of vocabularies of Aboriginal languages. E. H. Davies, Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Music 1919–1947, was the ‘first person in Australia to record, transcribe and write about aboriginal [sic] tribal and ceremonial songs and singing’ in the period 1926–1930, when he accompanied BAR expeditions to Central Australia. The arrival of John Aloysius FitzHerbert, appointed as Professor of Classics at the University of Adelaide in 1928, gave the BAR a much stronger focus on Aboriginal languages. In 1930–31, FitzHerbert established a committee to devise a phonetic system suited to typewriters for the transcription of Aboriginal languages. This committee consisted of Fitz Herbert together with Norman Tindale from the South Australian Museum and Charles Chewings.
DOI: 10.1017/UPO9781922064363.010
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