Review: VIEWS OF THE STARBURST WORLD: William Dawes at Sydney Cove 1788-91. By Ross Gibson. UWA Publishing. 304pp. $29.95. Reviewer: STEPHEN WILKS

This book is largely structured around Dawes's two remarkable notebooks on the language of the Eora people of the Sydney region. He recorded words that have transmuted into icons of Australian English - dingo, corroboree, cooee, waratah and woomera. Not that his notes are dull word lists reminiscent of one's year eight French text. They are the most extensive record of this language, and their coverage of complex grammar and transcripts of short conversations testify to his probing of an alien culture.

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