Number of words recorded by DS
Davidson for 19 Western Australian languages
The vocabulary slips apparently include records from Davidson's 1938-40
visit to Australia, although the putative field notes have not been
located. Note the mention by Capell (1940:421,433). Some
information on the geographical location of some of the languages is
contained on file slips 264-306, but there is no details of date or
place of interviews, nor of any personal names.
death in 1952, Alan Bryan, who was
Davidson's student at the University of Washington, purchased some of
his library from his widow, who also gave him the boxed vocabulary
slips. Professor Emeritus Bryan is now at Univ.
When GN O'Grady was on sabbatical at U. Alberta in 1963, Bryan
presented him with the cardboard box containing the file slips. This
was held by G.N. O'Grady at Victoria, British Columbia. The side
of the box is labelled "Vocabulary" and the
lid is labelled in O'Grady's hand "Davidson, 1930s". O'Grady added the
sequence number to each of the 306 slips.
In 1964 Professor Alan Bryan, who
acquired the library of the late Dr. D.S.Davidson, made available to me
Dr. Davidson's vocabulary file for Western Australian languages
recorded over 30 years ago, and including Ngaluma, Ngarla, Nyamal,
Pandjima, Jindjibandi and Kurama. In the preparation of this
paper, recourse has been had to the Davidfson vocabularies, …
and in the references 'Davidson, D.S. Comparative vocabularies of
nineteen Western Australian Languages (ms).'
Reference: O'Grady, G.N. 1966. Proto-Ngayarda phonology. Oceanic Linguistics 5,71-130
A photocopy of the slips was accessioned at AIAS Library on 24/10/1977
MS1097. On first page of photocopy: "Davidson vocabularies (undated,
evidently late 1920's or early 1930's) donated by G.N. O'Grady".
This photocopy has been cited for instance in Alan Dench's grammar of
Panyjima (pp.128,405 in HAL
Thieberger's 1996 Handbook
Australian Aboriginal languages South of the Kimberley Region,
and Janet Sharp's Nyangumarta Grammar
(PL 556, p.31).
(The 1932 date assigned in these citations must have been based on a
guess which has proven to be too early.)
The contents of the slips were keyboarded by Dina Thieberger in March
2001 from a photocopy of AIATSIS MS 1097. Proofread by Nick Thieberger.
Accessioned to ASEDA as item 0712 Pilbara vocabularies.
GN O'Grady handed the original box and slips to David Nash in July 2001
for deposit at AIATSIS Library. Accessioned at Library 9/1/2002,
add to MS1097. Open access 7/2/2005. photograph
David Nash in Jan-Feb 2006 compared the 2001 digital file and the
original slips where an uncertainty had been indicated, and made some
corrections, regularised some structure of the text file, and deposited
a PDF and printout at AIATSIS Library. Nash then imported the
(i.e. omitting ethnonymic items slips 264-306) into a spreadsheet, and
further organised the data.
DSD's engma [ŋ] is keyboarded as /ng/; DSD's /ng/ is /n.g/; illegible
material is [..];
DSD's symbol (alpha turned 90 degrees anti-clockwise) is keyboarded as
/aa/ but is most likely schwa [ə]; diacritic marks (stress marks?) have
been ignored; dot under consonant = retroflex.
There are references to a language numbered 23, not in the key supplied
Abbreviated references to some other sources (eg F 14e) are sometimes
to a publication, e.g. O for Oceania.