[RNLD] definition

Sue Hanson susanhanson at y7mail.com
Thu Dec 21 20:59:42 EST 2017

Hello Everyone,
We've been working on dictionary definitions here in Kalgoorlie and debated the definition for kurjanyu in the Ngadju language for a while. I'd welcome some opinions and thoughts on the cultural context of this word.
The historical reference glosses kurjanyu 'gorge', as in eating far too much rather than a rock and river gorge. The English definition of gorge is 'eat a large amount greedily, fill oneself with food.' It's possible that this word is an English borrowing.
What we've been debating is the use of the gloss, 'gorge'. The English definition has a moral overtone by using the term 'greedily'. Speakers and other elders have made reference to the fact that when food was available such as a kangaroo, people were obliged to eat to capacity because it was often times of feast or famine. The opposite of eating greedily- almost eating to capacity through obligation. In particular, if the food was given to you by another person, you were obliged to eat to capacity.
So the English gloss of kurjanyu 'gorge' doesn't quite fit and may, in fact, change the cultural context of the term.
Anyone got some thoughts?  Thanks in advance!!

Kind regards,

Sue Hanson

Senior Linguist
Goldfields Aboriginal Language Centre
08 9021 3788
264 Hannan St,

Wangka kanyira ngalipirniku
Preserving our language for all of us
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