The representation of Aboriginal cultural conceptualisations in an adopted English
John Benjamins Publishing Company
School of Arts and Humanities
The Aboriginal inhabitants of Australia encountered varieties of English as a language of colonisation from 1788. Through processes of nativization, Aboriginal people have made English a valid form of expression of their culture and worldview. For this to happen it was necessary for the input varieties of the language received to be changed in form. This, it is claimed, was achieved through processes of Retention, Elimination, Modification and Extension. According to Cultural Linguistics, these processes would have a cultural/conceptual as well as a linguistic dimension. An attempt is made here to trace the processes and to identify the major conceptual imperatives that drove them. It is argued that these were orientations to Relationship, Experience and Integration, as well as the recognition of the practicalities of communicating as a marginal group with other Australians who used English differently.