Performative Liveness in Doing Aboriginal Yolŋu Language

Gaykamangu Waymamba, Yasunori Hayashi, Michaela Spencer

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


In this piece, Waymamba Gaykamaŋu, a Gupapuyŋu Aboriginal elder from East Arnhem Land in northern Australia, and her collaborators Yasunori Hayashi and Michaela Spencer seek ways in which dhäruk (generally translated as speech), and English language (which has emerged as a lingua franca in northern Australia following colonisation), can ‘go on together’ (Verran, 2001). The struggle of this work provides some useful insights around how a taken-for-granted knowledge of language could be re-articulated in mainstream Australia. Situating the concept of marŋgi—Yolŋu ways of ‘knowing’ their world—at the centre of our story, helps make visible two sets of epistemic tensions emerging from resource production work with Yolŋu Aboriginal language authorities and Western academics.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
VolumeOther Terms, Other Conditions
Specialist publicationNatureCulture
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2022


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