School of Languages and Linguistics - Research Publications

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    Extreme Morphological Shift: Verbal case in Kayardild
    EVANS, NICHOLAS ; NORDLINGER, RACHEL ( 2004-07)
    Kayardild and the other Tangkic languages of Northern Australia are well known for their typologically unusual and complex case systems (Evans (1995, 2003a), Dench and Evans (1988)). Their extensive case stacking properties, and their use of case to mark clausal tense/aspect/mood properties (so called `modal’ case (Evans 1995)) have received much attention in recent LFG literature (Andrews 1996, Nordlinger 1998, Nordlinger and Sadler 2000, Sadler and Nordlinger 2002). In this paper we discuss the phenomenon of ‘verbal case’ (Evans 1995, 2003b), as yet unaddressed in these theoretical accounts, by which nominals are inflected with an alternative set of semantic case markers causing them to inflect like verbs, while still functioning syntactically as nominals. The phenomenon of verbal case poses a number of challenges for theories of morphology and the morphology-syntax interface. We argue that it can be naturally captured in a theoretical model that assumes a strict separation of morphology and syntax, as in LFG. Building on much recent work in LFG-based morphology arguing for a distinction between morphological features (m-features) and syntactic features (s-features) (e.g. Sadler and Spencer 2001, Ackerman and Stump (in press), Sells (in press)), we propose that such a distinction is required at the categorical level also: verbal case converts a nominal stem into a morphological verb, while maintaining its syntactic category of noun. We show how this approach interacts with the constructive case model of Nordlinger (1998) to provide a unified account of Kayardild case at the morphosyntactic level, despite the substantial differences in morphological structure.
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    Materials on Golin: grammar, texts and dictionary
    Evans, Nick ; Besold, Jutta ; STOAKES, HYWEL ; Lee, Alan ; LOUGHNANE, ROBYN ; ROSS, BELINDA ; Brown, Kate (The Department of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, The University of Melbourne, 2005-04)
    Golin is a language spoken in the Simbu (Chimbu) region of Papua New Guinea. This publication consists of a selection of articles, texts and a dictionary. This was as part of the Linguistic Field Methods Subject presented by Prof. Nick Evans at The University of Melbourne, first semester 2003.This book is divided ito three parts, language analysis; a collection of texts and a small dictionary, The analysis offers insights into different aspects of the Golin language such as tonal phonology, verb morphology, and clause structure. The texts in the second part are short narratives where Kia (our language informant), recalls past experiences. The small dictionary contains about 600 entries.
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    Searching for meaning in the library of Babel: field semantics and problems of digital archiving
    EVANS, N. ; SASSE, P. (Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project (School of Oriental and African Studies), 2007)
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    Standing up  your mind: Remembering in Dalabon
    EVANS, N (Benjamins - John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2007)
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    Insubordination and its uses
    EVANS, N. (Oxford University Press, 2007)
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    Context, culture, and structuration in the languages of Australia
    Evans, N (ANNUAL REVIEWS, 2003-01-01)
    ▪ Abstract  Using Australian languages as examples, cultural selection is shown to shape linguistic structure through invisible hand processes that pattern the unintended outcomes (structures in the system of shared linguistic norms) of intentional actions (particular utterances by individual agents). Examples of the emergence of culturally patterned structure through use are drawn from various levels: the semantics of the lexicon, grammaticalized kin-related categories, and culture-specific organizations of sociolinguistic diversity, such as moiety lects, “mother-in-law” registers, and triangular kin terms. These phenomena result from a complex of diachronic processes that adapt linguistic structures to culture-specific concepts and practices, such as ritualization and phonetic reduction of frequently used sequences, the input of shared cultural knowledge into pragmatic interpretation, semanticization of originally context-dependent inferences, and the input of linguistic ideologies into the systematization of lectal variants. Some of these processes, such as the emergence of subsection terminology and moiety lects, operate over speech communities that transcend any single language and can only be explained if the relevant processes take the multilingual speech community as their domain of operation. Taken together, the cases considered here provide strong evidence against nativist assumptions that see linguistic structures simply as instantiations of biologically given “mentalese” concepts already present in the mind of every child and give evidence in favor of a view that sees individual language structures as also conditioned by historical processes, of which functional adaptation of various kinds is most important. They also illustrate how, in the domain of language, stable socially shared structures can emerge from the summed effects of many communicative micro-events by individual agents.
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    Mundari: The myth of a language without word classes
    Evans, N ; Osada, T (Walter de Gruyter GmbH, 2005-12-01)
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    Typologies of agreement: Some problems from Kayardild
    Evans, N (BLACKWELL PUBL LTD, 2003-01-01)