‘Nhill’ and the Aboriginal Language Revival movement: relational identity, short story titles and ‘contracts of homophony’

West, Patrick 2017, ‘Nhill’ and the Aboriginal Language Revival movement: relational identity, short story titles and ‘contracts of homophony’, Text: Journal of writing and writing courses, vol. 21, no. 1, Autumn00.

Title ‘Nhill’ and the Aboriginal Language Revival movement: relational identity, short story titles and ‘contracts of homophony’
Author(s) West, PatrickORCID iD for West, Patrick orcid.org/0000-0003-4957-4294
Journal name Text: Journal of writing and writing courses
Volume number 21
Issue number 1
Season Autumn
Article ID 6
Total pages 15
Publisher AAWP: Australasian Association of Writing Programs
Place of publication Canberra, A.C.T.
Publication date 2017-04-28
ISSN 1327-9556
Keyword(s) Aboriginal Language Revival
Practice-Led Research
Short Story
Summary This article takes a practice-led research approach to engage with a current debate in Australian post-colonialism centred on the language issues involved with the Aboriginal Language Revival movement. Using the author’s own short story, ‘Nhill’, as a case study, the article develops Amos Oz’s notion of the beginning of a story as a ‘contract’ that all texts make with their readers. ‘Nhill’ is a provocative instance of this sort of contract because it is an English-language corruption, and mis-hearing, of the Aboriginal word, ‘nyell’. Nhill is also a town on the edge of the Little Desert in the Wimmera region of Western Victoria. The article explores the relationship of this place to the implications of the contract that the title ‘Nhill’ makes with its readers. By tracking the practice-led shift in the title of the story from, originally, the English-language name ‘Little Desert’, through to ‘Nhill’ as a homophonic echo of ‘nyell’, the article explores the ethical implications of a ‘contract of homophony’ for the current debate around the Aboriginal Language Revival movement. However, because ‘Nhill’s’ author is a non-indigenous researcher involved in the field of Aboriginal Language Revival, the article’s focus on ‘homophonic ethics’ must itself be situated ethically.
Language eng
Field of Research 190402 Creative Writing (incl Playwriting)
1904 Performing Arts And Creative Writing
Socio Economic Objective 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, The Author
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30094709

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
School of Communication and Creative Arts
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