Terms of adoption: cultural conceptual factors underlying the adoption of English for Aboriginal communication
Place of Publication
School of Arts and Humanities
Indigenous Australians have, for the most part, come to use English to express their cultural identity. Cultural Linguistics provides a means of tracing the ways in which the language has been modified to make this possible. In this overview, some of the distinctive categories, schemas, metaphors and metonymies of Aboriginal English are described. In order to bring about this different variety of English, processes of retention, elimination, modification and extension of the input varieties needed to take place. Evidence of such processes is provided. It is argued that a number of underlying cultural conceptual imperatives were the conceptual drivers of the changes that needed to take place for English to be adopted for use by Indigenous speakers as a nativised dialect. Group orientation, interconnectedness, orientation to motion, orientation to observation and awareness of the transcendent are put forward as five such imperatives. Such Cultural Linguistic evidence supports the view that Aboriginal English is a parallel development to rather than a variety of Australian English.