A Grammar of Wardaman: A Language of the Northern Territory by Merlan, Francesca C.

By Merlan, Francesca C.

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Additional info for A Grammar of Wardaman: A Language of the Northern Territory of Australia

Example text

Where, however, (as in yilgbayi, with its closed first syllable), there is [/] realization of the vowel, there tends to be fuller realization of the semivowel. And it is precisely in its morpho-phonological occurrences as noun class prefix that the former conditions (for Segmental phonology 13 higher and tenser realization of the vowel, see below on vowel allophony) are most often met. Since there is no other compelling evidence for a contrast between /yi/ and /i/ morpheme-initially, nor, indeed, any independent evidence for vowel-initial morphemes (save one α-initial one) in the language, this can apparently be treated as a specialization in the noun class morphemes.

The other triple cluster types found across morpheme boundaries are illustrated by: rrg-b, gilbirrg-ba 'squeeze' (particle); rlg-b gurlg-ba 'swell up, tumor'; rlb-g warlb-gu 'toilet' DAT; -yg-b gayg-barla- 'shout out to'; rrb-l lerrblerrb-a 'tap, beat'; rrng-m jorrerrngman 'kingfisher'; rrng-b burrngburrng-ma 'boil' (particle). These combinations may be summarized as: non-nasal sonorant plus stop plus stop; non-nasal sonorant plus stop plus non-nasal sonorant; non-nasal sonorant plus nasal plus nasal; and non-nasal sonorant plus nasal plus stop.

A few of the "words" for particular sub-groupings may have etymologies in other languages of the Victoria River area. , standardization of a bird cry). Knowledge of this kind of relation among people, territory and salient "word" or "words" is limited to older people. The madin 'words' about which there appeared to be wide agreement were: mamundajgani, cited above; ngagandoroj, the "word'Of menngen 'white cockatoo', a major dreaming around the Innesvale Station homestead area; yidabu and wamanga, words associated with warrija 'crocodile' dreaming, localized at Mt.

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