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Some recent accessions on Indigenous languages to the Sydney eScholarship repository:

  • Jeremy Hammond's Honours thesis The Grammar of Nouns and Verbs in Whitesands, an Oceanic Language of Southern Vanuatu. A ripper read for Oceanists thinking about arguments for there being distinct categories of nouns and verbs.
  • Aidan Wilson's Honours thesis Negative Evidence in Linguistics: The case of Wagiman Complex Predicates. What's a possible complex predicate? Good to read in conjunction with Stephen Wilson's University of Sydney Honours thesis also on Wagiman which was published by CSLI as Coverbs and Complex Predicates in Wagiman. NOTE: Aidan is not Stephen.
  • My 1985 paperlet "How Warumungu people express new concepts" published in the long dead, still lamented journal Language in Central Australia (issue 4, the last issue before it morphed into Language in Aboriginal Australia and died a couple of issues later). It was inspired by Geoffrey O'Grady's 1960 paper, "New concepts in Nyangumarda: some data on linguistic acculturation" [1], and was followed by Rob Amery's 1993 paper "Encoding new concepts in old languages: a case study of Kaurna, the language of the Adelaide Plains" [2]. I think the topic is due for further exploration. Psycholinguists are getting into it experimentally, but it's important to understand what actually has happened when people have had to find new ways of talking about things.


[1] Anthropological Linguistics 2: 1 (January), 1-6.

[2] Australian Aboriginal Studies 1. 33-47

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