Kurtjar placenames

Paul Black

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    This is a study of placenames recorded during research on the Kurtjar language of southwestern Cape York Peninsula in the late 1970s. After introducing the language and its speakers’ knowledge of placenames, the paper discusses those names for which etymologies can be proposed, including ones which are homophonous to common nouns as well as those formed by compounding and/or affixation. Especially numerous are ones involving the many allomorphs of the locative suffix, including one found only fossilised in placenames. Descriptive clauses used to designate a few sites are also discussed, whether or not they represent proper names. The nature of the names is quite similar to that in nearby languages, as will be illustrated by the occasional citation of names from Koko-Bera, to the north, although the unusual phonological development of Kurtjar poses special problems for the analysis of some names.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAboriginal placenames
    Subtitle of host publicationNaming and re-naming the Australian landscape
    EditorsH Koch, L Hercus
    Place of PublicationCanberaa, ACT
    PublisherANU E Press
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Print)9781921666087
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009

    Publication series

    NameAboriginal History Monographs
    PublisherANU Press

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