Page:Ethnological studies (Roth).djvu/63

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43
USED IN THE DISTRICTS OF NORTH-WEST-CENTRAL QUEENSLAND.

50. An examination of the map (Plate 1.) will show pretty clearly how the five foregoing ethnographical districts together constitute the major portion of the area henceforth to be referred to as North-West-Central Queensland. The distinctiveness with which these various districts are separated one from the other, even in language alone, is well illustrated in the succeeding comparative philological tables.

51. In drawing up the following lists, not a little care has been exercised in eliminating all words concerning the meaning of which, to the aboriginal mind, there could be the least suspicion of doubt. This possibility I was confirmed in when studying the personal and other pronouns, family and individual relationships, &c., among the Pitta-Pitta blacks, and even as it is, the various names for certain genera among the fauna may still be open to this objection. With this purpose in view, the particular words selected for philological comparison are confined to the various portions of the human body, to animals, plants, and other objects of nature, to weapons, implements, and numerals, a few abstract ideas, and certain family relationships (with limited significations). It will be noticed that the various tribes are tabulated in the lists not only collectively according to their ethnographical districts, but also individually in such manner that neighbouring communities are placed in close proximity. This has been done in order to show more forcibly how many a word will undergo gradual yet marked transformation within comparatively limited tracts of country. All words are analysed into their component syllables, and accentuated and pronounced according to the basis laid down in section 3. Opportunity may be taken here of drawing attention to the words "galah," "corella," "wommera," for comparison with their respective Australian aboriginal terms used in these districts.