(Footnote. Aboriginal blacks of his own tribe.)
COMPARATIVE VOCABULARY OF TWO OF THE LANGUAGES OF THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF CAPE YORK.
A few words procured at Cape York and Port Lihou are given in the Voyage of the Fly, and most of those which I have been able to identify belong to the language spoken by the Kowrarega tribe, inhabiting the Prince of Wales Islands, and frequently visiting Cape York.
For the materials composing the present Kowrarega Vocabulary, I am almost entirely indebted to Mrs. Thomson. Unfortunately, however, her total want of education prevented her from acquiring any idea of the construction of the language; nor could she always be made to understand the meaning of a question—however simple in its form—framed to elicit information on this point. Even by carefully sifting at leisure hours the mass of crude materials obtained from her and written down at each interview, day by day, I did not make sufficient progress in the grammar of the language to enable me to pursue the subject further, until her value as an authority had so far declined that it was prudent to reject it altogether. Nearly all the words originally procured from Mrs. Thomson were subsequently verified either by herself or by our Kowrarega visitors.
The Gudang Vocabulary was formed at Cape York, and the chief contributor to it was the black named Paida, mentioned above, to whom I latterly was able to make myself tolerably well understood upon most subjects, through the medium of the Kowrarega language, which he knew thoroughly. As several dialects are spoken at this place,* I took care to reject all such words as were not given me expressly as Gudang.
(Footnote. Two examples will suffice to show the differences in the five languages which I have heard spoken at Cape York.
Dog = ing-godinya (Gudang and Yagulle), ngyomo (Kachialaiga), Inyomo (Induyamo), umai (Kowrarega).
Smoke = ekura (Gudang and Induyamo), rong-gura (Yagulle and Kachialaiga), tuo (Kowrarega).)
The following rules have been adopted in the Vocabularies:
[The vowels are sounded as follows:
a as in hard. a as in hat. e as in there. e as in bet. e as in French meme. i as in eel. i as in bit. o as in hole. o as in not. u as in cool. u as in cut. ai as in eye. ei not represented in English.]
G is always hard, as in get; ch soft, as in church.
The letters in italics are sometimes omitted.
The numbers appended to some words point out similarities and derivations.
1. NATURAL OBJECTS.*