LINGUIST List 15.99

Thu Jan 15 2004

Books: Language Description, Gunwinggu: Evans

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  1. jmanley, Bininj Gun-Wok: Evans

Message 1: Bininj Gun-Wok: Evans

Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 05:09:59 -0500 (EST)
From: jmanley <>
Subject: Bininj Gun-Wok: Evans

Title: Bininj Gun-Wok
Subtitle: A pan-dialectal grammar of Mayali, Kunwinjku and Kune
	 (Volumes 1 and 2)
Publication Year: 2004
Publisher: Pacific Linguistics		 
Author: Nicholas Evans

Paperback: ISBN: 0858835304, Pages: xxix + 733 pp, Price: A$145.00
Comment: + 10% GST in Australia. In two volumes.

The term Bininj Gun-wok was recently coined to cover a large group of
related dialects spoken in Western Arnhem Land, Australia, including
Kunwinjku, Mayali, Gun-djeihmi, Kune, and others; many of these
dialects have not been described before. Bininj Gun-wok, in turn,
belongs to the so-called Gunwinjguan family, the largest family of
non-Pama-Nyungan languages. It is one of the few Australian languages
still being passed on to children, and in fact the number of speakers
is increasing.

This detailed pan-dialectal grammar takes care to set the language in
its cultural context throughout, with rich ethnographic discussion of
the many special kinship-based speech registers and a sizeable text
collection with examples of all major dialects. Bininj Gun-wok is a
heavily polysynthetic language, with three productive types of noun
incorporation, incorporation of one verb into another, two
applicatives, reflexive/reciprocal formation, prefixes representing
subject and object/indirect object, and a large number of further
adverbial-type prefixes. Within the nominal system, it has four
genders in some dialects, reducing to simpler systems in others. A
major focus of the grammar is the many problems of how meanings are
constructed in a polysynthetic language, and how the many elements of
the verbal morphology interact with one another in the composition of
grammatical structure.

This volume will be of interest to a wide range of readers:
morphologists and syntacticians, Australianists, linguistic
anthropologists, dialectologists, typologists, and educationists and
others working in Western Arnhem Land.

Lingfield(s):	Language Description 			 

Subject Language(s):	Gunwinggu (Language code: GUP)

Written In: English (Language Code: ENG)

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