Page:Australian race - vol 1.djvu/56

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27
COMMON VOCABULARY.

CHAPTER II.

REMARKS ON SOME OF THE WORDS OF THE VOCABULARY.

The following remarks on some of the words of the vocabulary, of which there are over two hundred and fifty translations in this work, may be of interest to the reader.

Kangaroo.—There are many varieties of this animal in Australia, and not unfrequently two or three in the same locality. In accordance with a general characteristic of Australian languages, these varieties are differentiated by distinct nouns, and not by the use of adjectives. The following instances are taken from the Bangerang language:—

The Forester or large Kangaroo =Kaiimer.
The Red Kangaroo{{gap}... ... =Purra.
A Wallaby common about Perricoota =Pumma.

In filling up the vocabularies, my correspondents have, I believe, always inserted the name of the large kangaroo.

The word kangaroo was originally obtained from the Endeavour River tribe by Captain Cook. Captain Phillip P. King, the explorer, who visited that locality forty-nine years after Cook, relates in his Narrative of the Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia that he found the word kangaroo unknown to the tribe he met there, though in other particulars the vocabulary he compiled agrees very well with Captain Cook's. The term King did find in use was menua, and my correspondent from the head of the Mitchell River, about 100 miles from the mouth of the Endeavour, gives menya in the same sense, no doubt another way of spelling the same word. It is also noticeable that in the language of Mount Elliot, 250 miles south, munya means