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 usually exhibit a excessive measure of structural similarity to each other. Limilngan indicates the various universal Australian styles, yet in different components it diverges considerably from them. It has a regular Australian phonological stock, bit its phonotactic styles are strange. a few heterorganic clusters equivalent to /kb/ are of markedly greater frequency than homorganic clusters comparable to /nd/. Like a couple of Australian languages, Limilngan has many vowel-initial morphemes. notwithstanding, traditionally those outcome from lenition and never from preliminary losing as somewhere else in Australia.


Like many northern languages, it has advanced platforms of either prefixation and suffixation to nominals and verbs. Prefixation offers information regarding nominal type (four classes), temper, and pronominal cross-reference (subject and objects). Suffixation offers information regarding case, stressful and element. Limilngan differs from such a lot Australian languages in massive volume of its morphology is unproductive, exhibiting advanced and abnormal allomorphic variation.


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

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

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Vowel when non-final, and an Iii vowel when final. Comparison with other forms in other Australian languages shows that the *a vowel is to be reconstructed for the 'see' verb (Dixon 1 980:403-404). The other circumstance, w here the alternation is particularly common, is following a coronal consonant within the prefix complex. (2-92) a. ' [ mambIrwul)aiJl] b. ' [ I)IJllmbIrwul)aiJl] c. il-imbirrwunga-ny II-scratch-pp ' You scratched. ' [IiImbIrWUl)aiJl] d. ' [wamamblrwul)ari] e. nga-y-im-ambirrwunga-rri l -AS-IMPF-scratch-PI 'We were scratching.

They are nouns, which are the open class of nominals (3 . 2). The placement of stress in uninflected words is relatively simple. The majority of trisyllabic uninflected words also bear stress on their first syllable. The other trisyll ables bear stress on the second syllable. The appearance of penultimate stress in trisyllables i s not random, but rather shows a relationship to syllable weight. Trisyllables with a heavy second syllable are likely to show penultimate stress. As vowel length is not contrastive i n Limilngan, syllable weight depends solely on the nature of the coda.

These sequences are also found in other languages of the Van Diemen sprachbund. Larrakia, to the west, shows [dl] sequences, which appear to be analysable as c lusters. Gaagudju, to the east, shows [Id] sequences, which are analysable as an allophonic realisation of 11/. The [Id] sequence in Limilngan appears in origin to have been an alternate, allophonic, realisation of 11/, when the preceding vowel was stressed. This is most clearly i l lustrated in verbal paradigms, where there are alternations in the position of stress, as in the paradigm of 'hear-PP' , set out in (2-22).

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