Nekes and Worms’ Australian Languages

Somehow I forgot to post that Bill McGregor’s edition of Australian Languages (Nekes and Worms) is out. Here is the publisher’s blurb.

Australian Languages is the magnum opus of Hermann Nekes and Ernest Worms, two missionary linguists who undertook pioneering investigations of a number of languages spoken in Dampier Land and the Kimberley (far north west of Australia) and to a lesser extent further afield, in Queensland and New South Wales during the 1930s and 1940s. Presenting a wealth of information on many now extinct or moribund languages, the work is of enormous value to descendants of speakers as well as to linguists, including Australianists, descriptive linguists, typologists, and historians of linguistics.

The original text of Australian Languages, which appeared previously only on micro-film, is divided into five parts: a grammar outlining some of the major features of Australian languages (with particular focus on the Nyulnyulan languages traditionally spoken on Dampier Land); an English finder list; an alphabetically arranged wordlist covering a variety of languages; a separate wordlist of Dyirbal (North Queensland), and a small number of texts.

William B. McGregor has revised, annotated and updated the material. An accompanying CD-ROM contains a digitized facsimile of the entire original micro-film with links to an electronic version of the book, a user-friendly database version of the dictionaries and other accompanying material.

It really is a very impressive volume.

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