06 September 2010

DHARAWAL Words: mosquito

The Rev. William Ridley (1819-1878) wrote an article, 'Australian languages and traditions' [AL&T], publishhed in the February 1878 issue of the Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland.

On p. 263 he reproduced some words and phrases provided by “ Lizzie, a half-caste, whose mother was a Shoalhaven aboriginal, and who is now the wife of John Malone’. He had already provided a listing of “specimens of the language of the extinct Sydney Tribe (from John Malone, a half-caste, whose mother was of that tribe)".

One interesting entry was the following:

clawa, ye, ye chobuŋ run, come here, quick

The first challenge is to work out which word of the language entry relates to which of the English translation. What, in fact, is the word for ‘run', what for ‘come here’ and what for ‘quick’.

The first part of the puzzle was partly clarified by comparing the entry with another published version of the same article. It appeared in RIDLEY, William, Kamilaroi and other Australian Languages. [KAOL] (Sydney, Thomas Richards, Government Printer, 1875), on page 101. There the entry was presented as:

chawa ! ye ye chobuŋ ! Run! Come here quick !

The first word was misprinted in one or the other publication—but which?

The SOUTH database, featuring languages on the NSW coast to the south of Sydney, provided the solution:

"jowa" dyawa = "run" run: KAOL Ridley [WODI] [:114:8] [Wodi]

"jauara" dyawara = "Run" run: Mathews KML/Dwl [:279.3:17] [Dwl]

"Jaulai yuin ngaiagandi" dyawalayi yuwin ngayagandiyi = "the man is running towards me" running man me towards: Mathews 8006/3/6- Nbk 3 [DWL] [:45:18] [Dwl]

From these several records it appears that the stem ‘dyawa’ is ‘run’, and that consequently the AL&T record had the misprint . . . so : “chawa”, not “clawa”.

‘yi, yi’ can be taken to be an exlamation.

So what is “chobuŋ” (dyabang)? Could it be ‘quick’?

The databases provide a surprising, though logical, answer.:

"Doó-ping" dubing = "a mosqnito" mosquito: Enright GDG 1900 [:111:10] [Gdg]

"dyuping" dyubing = "Mosquito " mosquito: Mathews DARK 1903 [:281.1:20] [Dark]

"dyura" dyura = "Mosquito" mosquito: Mathews DG 1901 [:159.2:1] [DG]

"Teura" dyura = "A mosquito" mosquito: King in Hunter [:410.1:25] [BB]

"Tewra" dyura = "A musquito" mosquito: Anon (c) [c:24:20] [BB]

"Dyoo-ping" dyubing = "Mosquito" mosquito: Mathews 8006/3/7- No 7 [:6:16] [Dark]

The language references are:

—GDG: Gadang (Kutthung)

—DARK: Darkinyung

—DG: Dharug

—BB: Biyal Biyal (the Sydney Language)

The first two are northwards of Sydney.

Thus the sentence is not about 'quick' but rather means:

Run! Hey! Mosquito!

(Run! there are mosquitos around here!)

The implication is that it would have been advisable to take quick action.

There are further examples to show that mosquitos are so named because they ‘spear’ and ‘prick’, and pierce’:

"Door-a-lang" duralang = "To prick" pierce: King in Hunter [:408.2:12] [BB]

"Dtoóra" dura = "to pinch" pierce, to: Dawes (b) [b:5:2] [BB]

"Dtoóradiou" duradyawu = "I struck or did strike (as a fish with a fishgig)" pierce did I: Dawes (b) [b:5:13] [BB]

"D'turra-d'oway" duradyawu = "I have struck" pierce did I: Southwell [:149.1:29.1] [BB]

"dyurugun" dyurugun = "Sharp " sharp: Mathews KML/Dwl [:278.8:6] [Dwl]

"thurara" durara = "Sting or stab" pierce: Mathews KML/Dwl [:279.4:46] [Dwl]

There is even a distant link with NYUNGAR Words of Western Australia. Three examples make the point:

"dtan" dan = "pierce, to; penetrate; make an opening" pierce: [4] Grey 1840 [:349:24] [NYUNGAR]

"Dtan" dan = "pierce" pierce: Symmons, Charles [:16:36] [NYUNGAR]

"Dtan" dan = "Penetrate, to" pierce: Moore 1842 [:150:32] [NYUNGAR]

1 comment:

pkw said...

Hi Jeremy
Above you give the abbreviated language references for four languages. Would it be possible to list on a blog page the [ref]for all the language refs you use [] across all the blogs, their locations and if possible also a single list/ reference list to the early vocabulary sources you have on these languages? This would help me to understand more easily.
Thanks for a treasury of information, Kay