State of Indigenous languages in Australia - 2001, Australia State of the Environment Second Technical Paper Series (Natural and Cultural Heritage), Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra
AuthorMcConvell, P; Thieberger, N
AffiliationArts: Department of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
CitationsMcConvell, Patrick and Thieberger, Nicholas (2001) State of Indigenous languages in Australia - 2001, Australia State of the Environment Second Technical Paper Series (Natural and Cultural Heritage), Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra.
Access StatusOpen Access
This paper provides data for, or information about, nine environmental indicators related to the condition of Indigenous languages in Australia, being a contribution towards the 2001 national State of the Environment Report. The indicators address the following key issues about the state of Indigenous languages in Australia: * condition of Indigenous languages, * state of documentation of languages, * the wider use of Indigenous languages, * funding, research and education.The study found that in 1996: * there has been a decrease in the percentage of Indigenous people speaking Indigenous languages from 100% in 1800 to 13% in 1996, * there are about 55,000 speakers of Indigenous languages in Australia, * the number of Indigenous languages, and the percentage of people speaking these languages have continued to fall in the period 1986-1996, accelerating over the ten years, and * of the 20 languages categorised in 1990 as 'strong', 3 should now be regarded as 'endangered'.The paper comments on the usefulness of the indicators and makes recommendations to improve either the indicators or the source data collections.
KeywordsAboriginal languages; Torres Strait Islander languages; ABS Census; language endangerment; inddicators for language status
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