- /ˈganə/ (say 'gahnuh)
1. an Australian Aboriginal people of the vicinity of Adelaide.
2. the language of this people.
3. of or relating to this people or their language.
When Adelaide was founded in 1836, the Kaurna people of the area had probably already been attacked by smallpox, which had spread down the Murray from eastern Australia. A few hundred people survived, however, and George Fife Angas, concerned about their welfare, arranged for German missionaries to come and work among them. Two of them, Clamor Schürmann and Christian Teichelmann, were soon teaching Kaurna people to read and write their own language. They were encouraged in their work by Governor George Gawler and Captain George Grey. Grey had earlier taken an interest in the Nyungar language in WA and was later to succeed Gawler as Governor of SA. In 1840, Schürmann and Teichelmann published their Outlines of a Grammar, Vocabulary and Phraseology of the Aboriginal Language of South Australia, Spoken by the Natives in and for some Distance around Adelaide. The work contains a well-organised and informative listing of nearly 2000 Kaurna words, by no means a complete inventory of the vocabulary, but an impressive early record of the language. By the end of the 1840s a further three dictionaries of Indigenous languages had been published under Grey's auspices in SA, nearly as many as were published across the whole country in the entire first half of the 20th century.
In 1997 the Adelaide City Council resolved to identify sites and features which could be given Kaurna names, and since 2000 has been implementing the Kaurna naming of Adelaide's Parklands and the dual naming of its squares.
Australian English dictionary. 2014.
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