Download Australian Languages: Their Nature and Development by R. M. W. Dixon PDF

By R. M. W. Dixon

Aboriginal humans were in Australia for a minimum of 40,000 years, talking approximately 250 languages. via exam of released and unpublished fabrics on all the person languages, Dixon surveys the ways that the languages fluctuate typologically and offers a profile of this fashioned linguistic zone. The areal distribution of such a lot gains is illustrated with greater than 30 maps and an index of languages and language teams is supplied.

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Extra resources for Australian Languages: Their Nature and Development (Cambridge Language Surveys)

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1 Likely coastline (and maximal extent of inland lakes) for the Australia/New Guinea/Tasmania land mass at about 25,000 BP (with the modern coastline superimposed) (3) Human time-depth. All archaeologists are agreed that people have been in the Australia//New Guinea land mass for at least forty thousand years; some would say fifty thousand years (and a few would opt for a longer occupation). There is agreement that the first settlers are likely to have arrived from South-east Asia, simply because there is nowhere else from where they could conceivably have come.

These are often organised in a cyclic pattern. For example, the same terms may be used for grandparents and grandchildren, with great-grandparents then being called by the same terms as one’s children, and great-grandchildren by the same terms as one’s parents and their siblings. 4 The language situation in Australia There is (or was) a classificatory kinship system, with every person in a community related to every other through a series of mathematical-like rules of equivalence. Each Australian community has strict conventions for how one should behave with each class of relatives.

For a number of languages there is a full or fullish grammar of good or quite good quality, or else one or more important papers. These are listed below, for the languages or language groups to which they apply. Where no reference is given here, there are simply a number of minor sources, which will be listed in the relevant entry in the planned companion volume. A TORRES STRAIT GROUP (These are Papuan languages, not closely related to each other. A1 has a significant Australian substratum. ) – H.

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