Download A Grammar of Bilinarra: An Australian Aboriginal Language of by Rachel Nordlinger, Felicity Meakins PDF

By Rachel Nordlinger, Felicity Meakins

This quantity is a grammatical description of Bilinarra, an endangered Australian language. This paintings attracts on fabrics accumulated over a 20-year interval from the final first-language audio system of the language, such a lot of whom have given that gave up the ghost. certain recognition is paid to all points of the grammar, with all examples supplied with linked sound documents.

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Extra info for A Grammar of Bilinarra: An Australian Aboriginal Language of the Northern Territory

Example text

3). Bilinarra is a morphologically ergative language (Dixon 1972, 1994; Van Valin, 1981) with a split case marking system which follows a commonly observed division along free versus bound nominals (Dixon 1994). 3). Morphologically, however, there is a three-way marking split between nouns, bound pronouns and free pronouns. e. the forms are homophonous), and an ergative pattern in the noun system arises from syncretism between the nominative and accusative case forms. The case forms in the free pronouns are completely syncretised, providing no marking distinction between the ergative, nominative and accusative categories.

Photo: Felicity Meakins 2003) The socio-political and linguistic history of the Bilinarra people 15 pregnant women in order to protect the unborn child. These foods included yibarrardu ‘emu’, yinarrwa ‘barramundi’, girliny ‘goannas with eggs’, jamud ‘bush turkey’, jungguwurru ‘echidna’ and guwarlambarla ‘turtle’. Some of these meats, such as emu meat, could cause the unborn baby to become sick. Others caused problems after birth. For example, girliny were not good for pregnant women because they may have caused their babies to be born with sores.

Spears were used to catch big game and fish. Wirrgala ‘hair string’ was used to make nets to catch flocks of small birds such as gulyulyurra ‘budgerigars’. Men also built hides from stone where they lit fires and lured large carnivorous birds such as garrgany ‘chickenhawks’ and warlawurru ‘eagles’. Food-producing activities only formed a small part of the Bilinarra day. Spiritual life was also important. In particular, the maintenance of Dreaming lines and their associated sacred sites was essential for the physical and spiritual wellbeing of the Bilinarra people.

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