By Claire Bowern
This ebook addresses arguable concerns within the software of the comparative option to the languages of Australia that have lately come to foreign prominence. Are those languages 'different' in ways in which problem the basic assumptions of historic linguistics? Can subgrouping be effectively undertaken utilizing the Comparative technique? Is the genetic build of a far-flung 'Pama-Nyungan' language relations supportable by way of vintage equipment of reconstruction? opposite to more and more verified perspectives of the Australian scene, this ebook makes an important contribution to the demonstration that conventional tools can certainly be utilized to those languages. those reports, brought via chapters on subgrouping technique and the heritage of Australian linguistic class, carefully observe the comparative technique to setting up subgroups between Australian languages and justifying the phonology of Proto-Pama-Nyungan. person chapters can profitably be learn both for his or her contribution to Australian linguistic prehistory or as case experiences within the software of the comparative approach.
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Additional resources for Australian Languages: Classification and the Comparative Method
4 Summary of Pilbara It is worth mentioning that Brandenstein (1967), on the basis of grammatical typological characteristics — primarily ergative vs. accusative alignment — set up groupings he called Coastal Ngayarta and Inland Ngayarta and assigned Palyku to 37 A methodological history of Australian linguistic classification the Wati (Western Desert plus Warnman) group. This classification was followed in Walsh and Wurm (1981), which is usually taken to represent an updating of the lexicostatistically-based OWH schema.
Breen reclassified the languages of western Queensland, using more complete data based on fieldwork undertaken since the OWH survey by Blake, Hercus, and himself. He used essentially the same lexicostatistical method as OWH. He did not restrict comparison, however, to the 100-item test list but used a 250-word list. The number of lexical items compared between pairs of languages ranged from 36 to 235 according to the size of the available corpus. The main differences between Breen’s results and those of OWH are given below and shown in Table 7.
The Australian Phylum included 502 named communilects classified into 228 discrete languages, which were assigned to 29 families. 28 of these families are located in the northwest (Kimberley District) and central north of the continent. The remaining family, for which Hale proposed the name ‘PamaNyungan’ after the terms for “man/person” in the Cape York Peninsula and southwest respectively, occupied the rest of the continent plus the western Torres Strait Islands. This far-flung family was divided into 33 groups, 67 subgroups, and 160 languages (OVV 1966:29).
Australian Languages: Classification and the Comparative Method by Claire Bowern