The creation of this record of Yolŋu signs aligns two strands of research—one on the ethno-linguistics of alternate sign language and the other on the intergenerational transmission of Indigenous Australian culture. (Adone, James, Kendon).
The Yolŋu Sign Language (YSL) is at the centre of the research presented in this book. This research, directed by the Yolŋu signers and speakers of this rare endangered language, has been conducted over the last 25 years on the homelands and in the communities of North East Arnhem Land.
The importance of passing on this language to a new generation of Yolŋu children is bonded to the need to share YSL with all Australians. As each indigenous language disappears all our worlds are diminished. For this reason, we bring together some five hundred signs of YSL collected from the east to the west of Yolŋu Country.