Book Chapter

Carl Georg von Brandenstein’s legacy: The past in the present

Nick Thieberger

German Ethnography in Australia | ANU Press | Published : 2017


Interned as a prisoner of war in Australia in the 1940s, the Hittite specialist Carl Georg von Brandenstein went on to work with speakers of a number of Australian languages in Western Australia. At a time when the dominant paradigms in linguistics were either Chomskyan reductionism or writing a grammar to the exclusion of textual material, Carl followed his own direction, producing substantial collections of texts and recordings in Ngarluma, Yindjibarndi, Nyiyaparli, Ngadju and Noongar, as well as information about a number of other Australian languages. Part of his motivation was to obtain examples to reconstruct what he considered to be the original human language that diffused to all cor..

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University of Melbourne Researchers