Aboriginal Languages of Australia
©Jeremy Steele
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William Dawes notebooks
William Dawes notebooks

The William Dawes notebooks, photographed at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, where they are held. First Fleeter William Dawes was by far the leading person for the Sydney Aboriginal language:

Figure 1 (above) The notebook on the left is NOT Dawes’s, but by ‘Anon’. Dawes’s two notebooks are bound together, on the right.

William Dawes notebooks

Figure 2 (left) This is a random double spread from Dawes’s Notebook ‘b’. It shows nouns, verbs and short sentences.

One of these is: minyin bial widadyemi which means

‘why did you not drink?’ (lit. why no drink-did-thou?)

 

All pages of the William Dawes notebooks, and the Anon notebook can be accessed at http://www.williamdawes.org/ms/contents.php a website of the School of Oriental and African studies, London.