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The Australian linguistic area

chapter
posted on 21.06.2022, 23:29 authored by Robert DixonRobert Dixon

Australia is a linguistic area including about 250 distinct languages. This chapter surveys their recurrent typological features. It commences with vowel and consonant systems, and syllable structure. There is discussion of types of nominal and verb classes, plus small grammatical word classes. A major focus is on pronominal systems, suggesting paths of development for an inclusive/exclusive contrast and minimal/augmented systems. Slightly more than half the languages have bound pronouns which either can or must be used to code core arguments. The properties of free and bound pronouns are contrasted in terms of function, position, form, and discourse features. There is discussion of systems of case inflections, including the 'aversive' (or 'fear') case. Verbs are characterised in terms of inflectional systems, complex structures and nominal incorporation. The final section discusses meanings and functions of genders and classifier systems.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Editor

Aikhenvald AY; Dixon RMW

Start Page

624

End Page

650

Number of Pages

26

ISBN-10

1107091950

ISBN-13

9781107091955

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Place of Publication

Cambridge, UK

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Cultural Warning

This research output may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. We apologize for any distress that may occur.

External Author Affiliations

James Cook University

Era Eligible

Yes

Medium

Electronic

Chapter Number

20

Edition

1st

Number of Chapters

30

Parent Title

The Cambridge handbook of linguistic typology