LINGUIST List 10.1836

Wed Dec 1 1999

Books: Australian, Omotic, & Tasmanian Langs

Editor for this issue: Scott Fults <scottlinguistlist.org>


Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.

Directory

  1. LINCOM EUROPA, Australian Lang: The Grammatical Structure of Worora, J.R.B. Love
  2. LINCOM EUROPA, Comparative Morphology of the Omotic Langs, M. L. Bender
  3. LINCOM EUROPA, A Narrow Survey of the Language and Dialects of the Extinct Tasmanians

Message 1: Australian Lang: The Grammatical Structure of Worora, J.R.B. Love

Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 23:20:07 +0100
From: LINCOM EUROPA <LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de>
Subject: Australian Lang: The Grammatical Structure of Worora, J.R.B. Love

THE GRAMMATICAL STRUCTURE OF THE WORORA LANGUAGE FROM NORTH-WESTERN
AUSTRALIA

J.R.B. LOVE

This detailed grammar of Worora was written in 1932 by Rev J.R.B. Love,
a pioneer missionary in the rugged Kimberley country of north Western
Australia and has never before been published. Worora is a polysynthetic
language with overarching concord, reminiscent of that in Bantu
languages.

Love provides an insightful description of the four numbers in pronouns,
and the system of four noun classes, whose membership is based partly on
phonological and partly on semantic characteristics. He provides
detailed paradigms of intransitive and transitive verbs as these vary
for tense, mood, voice and polarity.

The Introduction places Worora within its linguistic context, detailing
contact with neighbouring languages. There are then chapters on The
Pronoun, The Noun, The Adjective, The Postposition, The Conjunction, The
Adverb, The Interjection, The Intransitive Verb, The Transitive Verb,
The Verb 'do. say or tell', and Miscellaneous Notes. An Appendix has
comparative vocabulary with other languages. There is also a specimen of
Worora narrative with detailed analysis. Reflecting the spirit of the
age in which he lived, Love concludes the Introduction with a summary of
the manifold complexities of the language and then opines: 'So the
present investigator has come to the conclusion that, crude and naked
savages as they are, the mental culture of the Worora is not so
contemptible.'

Edited by R M W Dixon, Australian National University.

ISBN 3 89586 652 0. 
LINCOM Studies in Australian Languages 04 
Ca. 90pp. USD 48 / EUR 36.81 

Ordering information for individuals: Please give us your creditcard no.
/ expiry date or send us a cheque. Prices in this information include
shipment worldwide by airmail. A standing order for this series is
available with special discounts offered to individual subscribers. 
A free copy of LINCOM's millenium catalogue 'project line 10' is now
available from LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de.

LINCOM EUROPA
Paul-Preuss-Str. 25
D-80995 Muenchen, Germany

FAX +4989 3148909 
http://home.t-online.de/home/LINCOM.EUROPA
LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de.
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Message 2: Comparative Morphology of the Omotic Langs, M. L. Bender

Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 23:39:58 +0100
From: LINCOM EUROPA <LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de>
Subject: Comparative Morphology of the Omotic Langs, M. L. Bender

COMPARATIVE MORPHOLOGY OF THE OMOTIC LANGUAGES 
M. Lionel Bender, University of Southern Illinois-Carbondale 

Omotic is the least-known family in the Afrasian (=Afroasiatic or
"Hamito-Semitic") phylum. No book-length synthesis of the family has
appeared previously and it is not generally known that Omotic is a
highly agglutinative family with many obvious Afrasian characteristics.
Omotic is located entirely within southwest and west Ethiopia, on both
sides of the Omo River, from which it takes its name. Some still consder
Omotic not to be an independent family, but rather West Cushitic.
In this monograph, the author covers all nine Omotic families in
descriptive chapters as follows: 1. Northwest Ometo, 2. Southeast Ometo
and C'ara, 4. Gimira-Yem (Janjero)-Kefoid, 6. Dizoid, 7. Aroid, 8. Mao.
Chs. 3 and 5 are analytic chapters covering preceding chapters and Ch. 9
is an overall analysis, summary, and conclusions. All varieties having
sufficient documentation (about 30 in number) are covered, along with
notes on others. 

Sources are all available published sources which contain significant
linguistic material, many of them obscure and difficult to obtain, plus
extensive unpublished fieldnotes of the author and others. All are fully
referenced.

Each descriptive chapter has an introduction featuring nomenclature,
locations, demographic estimates, and a listing of main sources. There
follows a brief phonological sketch divided into consonants, vowels, and
suprasegmentals and phonotactics. Morphological categories are then
taken up in the order: pronouns, including independents, possessives,
verbal affixes, gender, number, and case; demonstratives;
interrogatives; nouns, including species and the categories applying to
pronouns; verbal TMA (tense-mode-aspect) system; copulas and connecters;
nominal and verbal derivations. In the comparative analysis, the author
surveys grammatical formatives by family and indicates potential
proto-forms where possible. Conclusions include remarks on the
sub-classification of Omotic and the position of Omotic in the Afrasian
phylum.

The book contains about 250 pages including Notes, References, Map. It
is to be followed by a second volume on Omotic phonology and lexicon.

ISBN 3895862517 
LINCOM Studies in African Linguistics 19. 
Ca. 250 pp. EUR 70.56 / USD 94 

Ordering information for individuals: Please give us your creditcard no.
/ expiry date or send us a cheque. Prices in this information include
shipment worldwide by airmail. A standing order for this series is
available with special discounts offered to individual subscribers. 
A free copy of LINCOM's millenium catalogue 'project line 10' is now
available from LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de.

LINCOM EUROPA
Paul-Preuss-Str. 25
D-80995 Muenchen, Germany

FAX +4989 3148909 
http://home.t-online.de/home/LINCOM.EUROPA
LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de.
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Message 3: A Narrow Survey of the Language and Dialects of the Extinct Tasmanians

Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 23:45:23 +0100
From: LINCOM EUROPA <LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de>
Subject: A Narrow Survey of the Language and Dialects of the Extinct Tasmanians

A Narrow Survey of the Language and 
Dialects of the Extinct Tasmanians

ATTILA FLINK

Tasmania was discovered by the Dutch navigator, Abel Tasman. He sighted
the land first in 1642 and named the country in the honour of Anthony
Van Dieman, Governor General of Batavia. The next seafarer arrived more
than a century later: the French navigator, Marion Du Fresne, in 1772. 
Captain Cook arrived in 1777 and the first settlement was established in
1804. In the 19th century the country became Tasmania named after its
first discoverer. Scientists believe Tasmania was originally part of
the Australian mainland but due to the rise of sea level approximately
10,000-12,000 years ago it became separated from the mainland. In
reality there is no evidence that the Tasmanian natives were long
distance seafarers therefore with these geophysical changes the then
existing population also became isolated from the rest of the world. At
the time of discovery a dark race was found to be living there in a
pre-industrial civilisation and a century later in 1877 the last of the
full-blood Tasmanians died. 

The Tasmanians' origin and language has become a much debated issue
amongst academics ever since. During the long isolation the language
was intact from outside influence. Part of their language was recorded
by early French visitors. Then from the time of Captain Cook's landing
further recordings were made from the natives' language, from all parts
of Tasmania. Because there was no uniform writing system the Tasmanian
natives' language was preserved in various phonetic transcriptions
therefore each manuscript requires a separate study to find the right
articulation of the intended sound. Fortunately a good deal of their
language became recorded which makes its study possible by language
comparison.

In the attempt to identify the language origin the following major
questions are to be answered:
1) was the Tasmanian native tongue a unique language on its own and with
the death of the last Tasmanian speaker did it pass into oblivion
leaving no connection with the outside world whatsoever?
2) how many languages were spoken there as inclusive dialects or were
there just dialects deriving from the source of a single tongue.
3) the language was not known to the newcomer therefore can the
suggested language boundaries be taken seriously?
4) what is the guarantee that the translations are correct? when asking
meanings from the native was the reply always what was to be expected or
was it only a comment relevant to the question being put?


Languages of the World/11-1. 
3 89586 913 9. 
20pp. EUR 8.69 / USD 9.50 

Ordering information for individuals: Please give us your creditcard no.
/ expiry date or send us a cheque. Prices in this information include
shipment worldwide by airmail. A standing order for this series is
available with special discounts offered to individual subscribers. 
A free copy of LINCOM's millenium catalogue 'project line 10' is now
available from LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de.

LINCOM EUROPA
Paul-Preuss-Str. 25
D-80995 Muenchen, Germany

FAX +4989 3148909
http://home.t-online.de/home/LINCOM.EUROPA
LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de.
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue
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