Threlkeld provided sentence examples in his various writings and publications as shown in the table below:
There were some repetitions, such as the inclusion of the Spelling Book (1836) sentences among those used in the Key (1850). Threlkeld explained that he would at times associate with the local Aboriginal people specifically
with the intention of acquiring vocabulary, and as a consequence some of the sentence throw light on what life was like at the time:
The dog, it is in the canoe.
On account of Wife I was furious.
who has colored thee with red ochre?
Paint her red, to be pretty.
I am sharpening a spear.
On account of the corpse she is crying.
Spear the fish with the spear.
Why do not the women go with the men?
The mosquito is stinging me; piercing.
The horse threw him, or, he was thrown by the Horse and killed.
He is thrashing wheat, or beating wheat.
Mind, lest you break the spade …
How does the snake
Many of the sentences are about going, coming, speaking, as well as beating and dying.
The final set of sentences is the Karree list, found amongst the Threlkeld papers in the Mitchell
A 382: Reverend Lancelot Edward Threlkeld papers, 1822-1862
This collection contains letters from, and to, Threlkeld, printed items including his writings, and printed writings or fragments about him. They also include the following vocabularies:
pp. 125-127 Australian Vocabulary, Port Macquarie aborigines
p. 129 Songs of the natives of New South Wales to the north of Sydney
pp. 130-140 Specimens of the Language of the Aborigines of New South Wales to the
northward of Sydney
pp. 141-142 Native Language, Port Essington
pp. 143-144 Native Language, Port Raffles
The Karree list is the one in bold type, pages 130-140.
This set of vocabularies appears to be by the same hand, often featuring a distinctive rendering of
the capital ‘L’ — unlike Threlkeld’s writing.
The handwriting suggests the author is not Threlkeld. Besides, there appears to be no record of Threlkeld having anything to do with Port Essington or Port Raffles, which are in the Northern Territory. Port Essington was an early settlement on the Coburg Peninsula in the far north of the Northern territory, and Raffles Bay—not Port Raffles—was nearby. Example
The Port Essington and ‘Port Raffles’ vocabularies in the Threlkeld Papers might have been compiled by one of the figures named in the Wikipedia information. The only one of those who might have visited these two places as well as Port Macquarie (definitely) and Lake Macquarie (perhaps) could be Philip Parker King. However, the compiling the detailed Karree list by P.P. King is unlikely.
There are no other known likely contenders for the preparation, or transcription, of the Karree list, other than perhaps one of his children. There are, however, no records of any of them having written anything.
Jeremy Steele Friday 4 December 2020