Watson (1943:4-5) treats Tarabul (E86) as a group name for speakers of Yugarabul E66. Tindale treats Turubul as a language name which is spoken by Jagara E23 and Undanbi E94. Steele (1984) treats Yuggera E23 as a language group which includes Yuggera, Turrbal, Jandai E19 and Gowar E26 languages. There is a small word list by Jackson (1937).
Jefferies describes Turrbal as the group name for people in the Brisbane area speaking an unnamed Yagara E23 dialect. It is probable the name was also used for an alliance of Yagara speakers including the Turrbal and others south of the river as far as the Logan River (August 2020 p.c. ).
'The word tarau refers particularly to loose stones, and the name Taraubul is evidently derived from the geological nature of the Brisbane area, the formation of which is almost entirely of brittle schist’ (Watson, 1946:5). This English-based rendering of the people name 'taraubul' can be aligned with a common cognate: /dharru/ meaning ‘rocks, stones’ + the suffix /-bul/. Lauterer (1891) described his ‘grammar of Yaggara’ as ‘the language of the Yerongpan tribe on the ‘sandy country’ between Brisbane and Ipswich’. This group extended along the river directly opposite the Turrbal and it is likely the two geological designations act as a convenient and ready way to distinguish the two Yagara-speaking groups.
Tarabul group of the Yugarabul tribe, whose territory included the site of the City of Brisbane. (Watson 1943) On the Brisbane River (Ridley 1866). The Turrbal langauge was spoken as far inland as Gold Creek or Moggill, as far north as North Pine, and south to the Logan (Steele 1984:121). Located on the north side of the Brisbane River in places such as the present-day CBD, Spring Hill, New Farm, Bowen Hills, Toowong, St. Lucia and Moggil (Jefferies, p.c. August 2020).
Lauterer, D J. 1891 ‘Report to the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science, Brisbane'.
Petrie, C.C. 1904 Tom Petrie’s Reminiscences of Early Queensland . St. Lucia, Qld. : University of Queensland Press, 1992
Sharpe, M., 1985. ‘Bundjalung Settlement and Migration’ Aboriginal History Vol. 9 (1):101-119
Watson, F.J., 1946. Vocabularies of four representative tribes of south eastern Queensland. Brisbane: Royal Geographical Society of Australasia.
Speaker numbers were measured differently across the censuses and various other sources listed in AUSTLANG. You are encouraged to refer to the sources.
Speaker numbers for ‘NILS 2004’ and ‘2005 estimate’ come from 'Table F.3: Numbers of speakers of Australian Indigenous languages (various surveys)' in 'Appendix F NILS endangerment and absolute number results' in McConvell, Marmion and McNicol 2005, pages 198-230 (PDF, 2.5MB).