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Title: Tasmanian Aborigines and the origins of language
Contributor(s): Davidson, Iain  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2007
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Abstract: Davidson draws on geological and paleontological interpretation of Tasmania, supplemented by early accounts of European encounters to provide evidence of the geographic and linguistic isolation of Tasmania and its early inhabitants. The Tasmanians had never seen a European before 1642, and no inhabitant of Tasmania had seen anyone from outside the island since it had been cut off by rising seas 14,000 years before. He asserts that unless knowledge was retained in the oral tradition over those 14,000 years, no Tasmanian could have known that land other than Tasmania, and people other than Tasmanians even existed. Apart from a brief encounter with Cook in 1777, Tasmanian aboriginals' technology, social and economic conditions, biology and behaviour as described by Labillardière (of the French Scientific Expedition of 1791-93, under the command of Bruny d'Entrecasteaux), were uniquely the product of their circumstances, when they left behind their relatives on the mainland and the ways in which they found to survive and adjust to the various changes over the ensuing fourteen millenia.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Rediscovering Recherche Bay, p. 69-85
Publisher: Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia
Place of Publication: Canberra, Australia
ISBN: 9780908290222
Field of Research (FOR): 210301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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