Page:A Descriptive Vocabulary of the Language in Common Use Amongst the Aborigines of Western Australia.djvu/15

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one hundred miles east of King George's Sound up to two hundred miles north of Fremantle, comprising a space of above six hundred miles of coast, the language is radically and essentially the same. And there is much reason to suppose that this remark would not be confined to those limits only, but might be applied, in a great degree, to the pure and uncorrupted language of the whole island. Many of the words and phrases of the language on the eastern and southern sides of Australia, as given in Collins’s work, in Threlkeld’s Grammar, and in several short vocabularies, are identical with those used on the Western side. And in a list of words given in Flinders’ Voyage, as used by the natives on the north-east coast at Endeavour River, the term for the eye is precisely the same as that at Swan River. Whilst this publication was in the press, the work of Captain Grey appeared; in the course of which he has treated of this subject at considerable length, and adduced several arguments confirmatory of the same opinion.

Nothing is said here about the grammar of the language, because it is doubtful if the rules by which it is governed are even yet sufficiently known to be laid down with confidence,—if, indeed, there are any so far established amongst themselves as to be considered inflexible. None are likely to bestow much attention upon the language except those who have an interest in communicating personally with the natives, in which way