See article by Stan Grant: “January 26 is a reminder that Australia still hasn’t reckoned with its original sin”. January 26, 2021
Stan Grant’s article published on 26th January 2021, provides an insight into his multi-faceted identity as an Australian: an ABC reporter and a Wiradjuri man. As a reporter, he uses SAE and in his article, written from his personal/professional experience, he uses discourse markers typical of an opinion piece arguing that Australia Day is just a day, but one that “diminishes” rather than enriches all Australians.
Analyse Stan Grant’s linguistic reference to multiple interwoven identities :
(Lexemes) Australian national identity: in terms of our national identity, Mr Grant highlights the importance of our Indigenous cultural heritage (the “oldest living ancient culture” and its contribution to our identity stories. SAE uses numerous borrowings from indigenous languages.
Indigenous languages: Mr Stan Grant Senior has worked tirelessly to re-invigorate their Indigenous language.
(Lexicology and semantics) A Wiradjuri man: a First Nations person with a distinct language/totem identity: Grant articulates his identity as a “proud Wiradjuri man”; “Balladhu Wiradjuri gibi”. He includes cultural markers of a Wiradjuri man – which is the magpie totem. He uses borrowings such as “I am Garru”; which is a reference to Aboriginal totems – their “spirit”.
- (Borrowings: Syntax: declarative sentences) “Balladhu Wiradjuri gibir. Dyiramadalinya badhu Wiradjuri. This is who I am. Before anything else, I am a Wiradjuri man. I am a proud Wiradjuri man.”
- “My country is Wiradjuri ngurrambang. I am Garru — magpie — the animal spirit of my father and, before him, his grandfather, Budyaan. These things are older than Australia; these words, this country, this spirit.”
(Discourse markers and social purpose) Identity as a First Nations person: Grant makes a distinction between the spiritual fate of Indigenous Australians with other Australians. As a Wiradjuri man he is linked to his grandfather “Budyaan” and his ancestors and their spirits. There is a sense of continuity through time: “I know there is a place on this earth that is mine.” This is a universal story of identity among the First Nations people.
- “When I die, I will go back to my land to rest with my ancestors and become part of something eternal. No flag, anthem or constitution can give this to me or take it from me. I know there is a place on this earth that is mine. This is my inheritance, and all I need leave to my children. This is what is passed down from my father.”
Unique personal identities (and face needs): Stan Grant uses his voices as a journalist to articulate his viewpoint about Australia Day and indigenous disadvantage.
- “We will change the date when we have earned it, when it means something. Until then we stand diminished.”
- (negative face needs) Grant also reveals his personal emotions, his pain and emotional turmoil: “There have been times when I have been angry for him, when I see the scars this country has left on his body and his soul.”
(positive face needs) Mr Stan Grant Senior is a “warrior”; Grant writes: “He is a warrior. He has fought to keep our language alive and strong.” He proudly displays at home his Order of Australia medal for services to his people
Notice the multi-faceted nature of his father’s identity which shines through in Grants linguistic depiction: Mr Stan Grant Senior is a “warrior”; a linguist/visionary; a Wiradjuri man; a proud and humble role model for his people and for Australians generally; a decorated Australian who received the Order of Australia medal for “services to his people’;
- Stan Grant: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-26/changing-australia-day-means-nothing-without-change-stan-grant/13088122
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