Australian Aboriginal Grammar by Barry Blake

By Barry Blake

This examine covers a couple of issues which are famous within the grammars of Australian Aboriginal languages, specifically ergativity and manifestations of the hierarchy that runs from the speech-act individuals right down to inanimates. This hierarchy indicates up in case marking, quantity marking and contract, development and cross-referencing. bankruptcy 1 presents an total photo of Australian languages. Chapters 2, three and four care for case structures, together with voice alternations and different developments. bankruptcy five offers with the distribution of case marking in the noun word. bankruptcy 6 bargains with structures that let the cross-referencing of sure pronouns. bankruptcy 7 offers with clauses which seem to have a couple of verb. bankruptcy eight bargains with compound and intricate sentences. bankruptcy nine offers with be aware order, and emphasises a subject brought in bankruptcy five, specifically the common use of discontinuous words. bankruptcy 10 attracts jointly ergativity and diverse manifestations of the hierarchy, and makes an attempt to interpret their distribution. the ultimate part offers an enticing speculation in regards to the evolution of middle grammar in Australia.

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Example text

A express agents and experiencers and 0 expresses affected patients, effected patients (with verbs of making) and neutral patients (with verbs of perception). S expresses agents, patients and experiencers. The principal difference is that Australian languages do not have subjects with no reference as in It rained or subjects that are co-referential with complement clauses as in It suddenly struck me that Mary was right. There are not normally nominals holding core relations with one verb but fulfilling the semantic valency requirements of another as with English seem as in John seems to like it where John is subject of seems, but where the animacy of John is relevant to like but not to seems (cf.

In Transformational Grammar John would be considered to have been raised from the dependent clause to the main clause (subject to subject raising) and in some versions of this theory Goliath would have been considered raised in Everyone expected Goliath to beat David (subject to object raising). There do not seem to be examples of this in Australian languages. In English there are occasional examples of subjects with unusual roles such as location as in The box contains books. These are not found in Aboriginal languages.

In Australian linguistics a practice has emerged of describing languages like Gunya as having ergative case only with nouns and accusative case only with pronouns. However, this is not in accordance with traditional usage where a case is a set of suffixed forms substitutable in one or more syntactic environments and distinguishable from other cases for at least one form. We need to distinguish case markers (the actual suffixes) and cases, the sets of mutually substitutable forms. To make the distinction clear Table 3 has been included showing some Latin case paradigms (tables).

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