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This site and your computer

This site was designed for consistency, regardless of the type of computer, system and browser software. However, there will inevitably be some things that appear differently from user to user.

It was designed on an Apple computer with QuickTime as the software used to play the sounds. If you view this site on a PC with Windows Media Player as the default audio software, you'll find that you can't get the sounds to play. Go to RealPlayer (under 'All Programs') and change your computer's default audio preference from WMP to RealPlayer.

Similarly, connection speeds and download times will vary from user to user. This may affect the speed at which some of the larger files can be downloaded to your machine. 'Traditional' audio files (rather than streaming media) have been used, allowing users to download files for later replay while offline.

Copyright remains with the creators of the site, though the sounds and stories can be saved and re-used by Aboriginal people in the course of language learning and study. Users of PCs can save individual pages by right-clicking; Mac users select the page or item and choose 'Save as' under 'File' menu.

Recording of the tapes

The tapes of Fred Reece and Arthur Dodd — which form the basis for the stories on this site — were mainly recorded by Janet Mathews and Corinne Williams. Janet Mathews made numerous trips to the north of NSW in the 1970s. She recorded people in towns such as Bourke, Brewarrina, Walgett and Lightning Ridge. She was not a linguist and used wordlists, sentence lists and stories, which she then asked the speakers to translate. She recorded over 200 hours of very valuable material. With Fred Reece it was Yuwaalaraay, with Arthur Dodd she recorded Yuwaalaraay and Ngiyambaa-Wayilwan, and she also worked extensively with Jimmy Barker (Muruwari) and also recorded other speakers.

Corrine Williams worked on Yuwaalaraay for a shorter time in the mid 1970s. She used earlier written and tape material and produced a very good grammar of Yuwaalaraay, especially considering the short time she had to do the work.

The common way of referring to the tapes is by their Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) archive number. Each person recording tapes also gives their tapes a number. For instance, tape 3997B has an AIATSIS archive number, and is also Corrine Williams’ Field Tape 7. (Arthur Dodd is the informant.) All the Yuwaalaraay tapes have been transcribed and the transcriptions are available from AIATSIS.

The stories are presented in a number of forms. Each story is given in Yuwaalaraay or Gamilaraay, then in interlinear form, which explains the structure of the GY, and finally in English. In some cases other versions of the story are also presented.


The purpose of the interlinear version is to help understand the Gamilaraay and/or Yuwaalaraay. Each word is separated into its ‘bits’ (morphemes), and the meaning of each bit given.

For instance:


means that ‘bundaa-’ is the stem (the bit that does not change) of the verb bundaa-gi -‘fall’ and that -nhi on such verbs means ‘past tense’ (the action has happened). The second line, the line in italics, is called the gloss.



Bigibila is fairly straight-forward, but to understand the other bits (or 'morphemes') you may need to look at the relevant sections in the grammar at the end of the dictionary. Also, the meaning given for words in the interlinear gloss is necessarily brief, so you will find


but the meaning of bamba is much more complex than this. To get a fuller understanding of a word it is often necessary to consult the full dictionary entry.

Further information

The current main introduction to GY is the Gamilaraay/Yuwaalaraay/Yuwaalayaay Dictionary, and other resources which are listed in the links/resources page. This page also lists sources for the stories and some of the main historical materials.