The Dieri Aboriginal Corporation organised a final language workshop for the ILS language revitalisation project on 1st and 2nd September. On Sunday, 55 community members participated, and on Monday there were 35 enthusiastic participants — on both days ages ranged from 6 months to 82 years, so there was quite an age range! Community members came from Port Augusta, Maree and Broken Hill. There was also a representative of the Parnkalla community who welcomed us to Port Augusta — Aunty Rene and Uncle Reg responded in Dieri to the welcome. Peter Austin flew out from London (via Brunei, Singapore and Sydney) and Greg Wilson took part on Sunday, driving the 7 hours Adelaide-Port Augusta-Adelaide within less than 24 hours.
The goal of this workshop was to practise language use, and also to try out the draft Dieri-English dictionary. We ran various activities, including using the dictionary to look up words so we could make up Dieri sentences describing some pictures, making sure the words were in the right Dieri order and had the proper endings, like the marker for the transitive subject that has been discussed in previous blogs. Everyone enthusiastically joined in the group activities, and there was a lot of use of the draft dictionary and the Dieri language materials that Greg Wilson and the Dieri Langiage Committee produced a couple of years ago. The only thing missing was a guitar player so we could properly song Dieri songs!