Linguistics

A grammar of Limilngan: A language of the Mary River region, by Mark Harvey

By Mark Harvey

This grammar presents an outline of Limilngan, a formerly undescribed and now extinct language of northern Australia. Australian languages in most cases convey a excessive measure of structural similarity to each other. Limilngan exhibits a number of the universal Australian styles, yet in different parts it diverges considerably from them. It has a customary Australian phonological stock, bit its phonotactic styles are strange. a few heterorganic clusters comparable to /kb/ are of markedly greater frequency than homorganic clusters corresponding to /nd/. Like a couple of Australian languages, Limilngan has many vowel-initial morphemes. even though, traditionally those end result from lenition and never from preliminary shedding as somewhere else in Australia.


Like many northern languages, it has advanced structures of either prefixation and suffixation to nominals and verbs. Prefixation presents information regarding nominal type (four classes), temper, and pronominal cross-reference (subject and objects). Suffixation presents information regarding case, demanding and point. Limilngan differs from such a lot Australian languages in enormous quantity of its morphology is unproductive, displaying complicated and abnormal allomorphic variation.


Limilngan is like such a lot Australian languages in that it can be defined as a loose be aware order language. despite the fact that, notice order isn't free of charge and strictly ordered phrasal compounding buildings are major (e.g. within the formation of denominal verbs).

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Extra info for A grammar of Limilngan: A language of the Mary River region, Northern Territory, Australia

Example text

7). Particles do not so function. Nominals may be formally divided into the fol lowing subclasses. 4). 5). 6). 7). (e) Body part nouns: Body part nouns inflect prefixally to mark the person and class of their whole. 8). There are a number of nominals belonging to the semantic domain of body parts which do not fal l within the body part noun class thus formally defined. (f) Nouns: This is a default class including all remaining nominal roots. Nouns do not inflect for class. 2 The noun class system Limilngan does not class mark nouns and consequently class membership is determined by the agreement patterns found with other nominal sub-classes and in the verbal pronominal prefix system.

2-57) luwunbun [Iuunbun] - [Iuunbun] blowfly While luwunbun is probably the correct representation, it is possible that lunbun is the correct representation. u] sequence could simply be particularly strong realisations of a stressed vowel The placement of stress on monosyllabic prefix complexes (4. 3) depends on the nature of the rooL If the root is polysyllabic, then a monosyllabic prefix complex does not generall y bear stress. However, if the root is monosyllabic, then the initial syllable of the preceding prefix complex will bear stress.

D) Root-level suffixes combine with the root to form a single stress placement domain . 7). Word-level morphology is entirely suffixing in Limilngan. The prototypical characteristics of word-level suffixation are set out below. (a) Word-level suffixes attach to stems which could occur independently as words. (b) Word-level suffixes constitute a stress placement domain independently of the word which they attach to. (c) In words involving word-level suffixes, there is little or no allomorphic variation in the form of the stem or of the word-level suffix.

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