The Languages of Australia
Described by Ken Hale as 'nothing less than a masterpiece' and by P. H. Matthews as 'absolutely clear, astonishingly complete, factually fascinating', The Languages of Australia (first published in 1980 and now reissued) was a landmark in Australian linguistics. This pioneering work of synthesis covered more than two hundred Aboriginal languages, and stimulated the next generation of scholarship in the field. The author's subsequent search for an overarching theoretical model to explain the unusual properties of Australian languages finally led him to adopt a 'punctuated equilibrium' model of language development. Dixon proposed this in The Rise and Fall of Languages (1997), which provided the framework for his major work Australian Languages: Their Nature and Development (2002). The Languages of Australia is still sought after, however, as a benchmark in the discipline and because its first four chapters provide a valuable non-technical introduction that does not appear in the 2002 volume.
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Tribe and language
Speech and song styles
The role of language in Aboriginal Australian society today
Classification of Australian languages
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Aboriginal Australians adjective allomorphs allophones antipassive apical Arnhem Land articulation Australian languages avoidance style bound pronominal Cape York chapter clause clitics clusters cognate conjugation marker consonant continent contrast corresponding dative derivational affix described Dhalandji dialect distinct Diyari Dyirbal English ergative examples feature function genetic genitive grammatical Gumbaynggir Guugu Yimidhirr Hale imperative inflection initial instance intransitive involve Jalrjuy Jirrbal Kalkatungu laminal language2 lexeme lexical linguistic locative long vowel marking Mbabaram modern languages monosyllabic roots neighbouring Ngiyambaa nominal nonPN languages Note noun Nyawaygi occur original pattern peripheral person phoneme phonological changes phonotactic Pitta-Pitta polysyllabic prefixing pronouns Queensland reconstruction refer reflexive Rembarrnga rhotic semantic semi-vowel sentence similar single songs South Wales speakers stem subgroup suffix suggests syllable syntactic tense tongue transitive tribal tribes verb roots verbal vocabulary Walmatjari Warlpiri Warrgamay Western Desert western languages words Yidiny Yolrju