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a post from Nick Thieberger

David Nash just alerted me to http://www.mouton-online.com/ausbib.php which is promisingly called: 'Language in Australia and New Zealand', and, for a mere 248 euros would seem to be an indispensible aid to the Australasian linguist. I popped in and got a guest logon which they generously (but perhaps ill-advisedly) offer for free. It seems to be a bibliographic listing (but in the days of Google Scholar and other such resources it may already be redundant?). I put in the name of my favourite Aboriginal language, Warnman, and got zero hits. Curious I thought.

Searching for other Australian Indigenous languages similarly comes up with few or no hits. How could this be so? A closer reading of the blurb reveals that the volume is really about English and post contact languages and not about 'Language'. "Comprehensive coverage is given to the other languages - indigenous, European, Asian, and contact languages - that have emerged throughout the history of these nations, especially Kriol, Torres Strait Creole, Norfolk and Maori English."

It is rather badly edited so that in a couple of minutes you can see: Tabourt-Keller is there alongside Tabouret-Keller, Smolicz, JerzyJ/Jerzy, J., Joseph/Josef Schmied, Jeanne/Jeane Roiln-Ianziti, R.Dixon, Richard M.W. Dixon, , Robert M.W. Dixon, Ignazio/Iganzio Badelli.

So, if you wanted a comprehensive guide to literature on Australian languages you may have to wait for OZBIB II. And you just saved yourself 248 euros.


Geraldine Triffitt is about to finish OZBIB II. This will cover publications and thesis written between 1999 and early 2006. Hopefully, we will see it published by the end of this year. After that, AIATSIS will maintain OZBIB as part of AUSTLANG, a web-based Australian Indigenous Languages Database (http://austlang.aiatsis.gov.au). OZBIB will be incorporated into AUSTLANG sometime next year.

Further on this, it is striking that the work omits Lois Carrington and Geraldine Triffitt's comprehensive (around 5000 entries to 1999) OZBIB: A linguistic bibliography of Aboriginal Australia and the Torres Strait Islands still in print as Pacific Linguistics D-92.

On the other hand, the Mouton bibliography is strong on works about placenames, including those of indigenous origin -- with Keyword "Onomastics" there are "174 Document(s) found".

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