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What is lost when indigenous Australian use standard English - Essay Example

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Impacted in the sense, they could be wiped out or altered, or even reformed, and that is applicable to the languages spoken by the Aboriginal people…
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What is lost when indigenous Australian use standard English
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"What is lost when indigenous Australian use standard English"

Download file to see previous pages “Standard” Australian English is the term used to refer to a derivative of a dialect, spoken in the southeast of the United Kingdom, which became the standard or basic English spoken in Australia. “The fact this dialect derivative became the language of formal education in Australia, a continent with once over 600 languages from 250 language groups, is not a matter of linguistics but a legacy of politics and power.” (Whitehouse, 2011, pg.59). This role of politics and power is visible in the diminishment of various indigenous languages throughout the world, including in Australia. When this diminishment of languages occurs, many related as well as the encompassing aspects of those languages including culture of the people, words and the context in which they are used, etc., are also lost. “Every language encapsulates its cultural knowledge with its own unique structures of grammar and vocabulary. To lose the beauty of the linguistic system is to inevitably lose some of the culture.” (Crace, 2002, pg.2).
Among the various aspects, which were lost due to the indigenous Australians’ use of Standard English, one is regarding how they used certain environment related words, particularly their meaning or sub-contexts. For the Aborigines, environment or nature is an integral part of their lives, with every aspect of environment intertwined with their day-to-day living. However, for the European colonists Nature is just a “uniform backdrop to the diversity of ‘our’ cultures [and] as an exploitable resource which cannot answer back” (Whitehouse, 2011, pg.58). Due to this differing perspective, Aborigines’ languages had words for the environmental things, which brought out the emotional attachment they had for those things. For example, in Djabugay language, “balmba” means habitable country– or wet woodlands in European terms - ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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