LINGUIST List 10.787

Thu May 20 1999

Books: Australian

Editor for this issue: Anthony Rodrigues Aristar <>

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


  1. Maureen Burke, Coverbs & Complex Predicates in Wagiman

Message 1: Coverbs & Complex Predicates in Wagiman

Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 12:04:04 -0700
From: Maureen Burke <>
Subject: Coverbs & Complex Predicates in Wagiman

Wilson, Steven (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
1-57586-172-0 (paper), 1-57586-173-9 (cloth); 182pp. CSLI Publications
1999: email:

Wagiman is an Australian Aboriginal language spoken in the Top End of the
Northern Territory. It possesses an unusual open class of words which the
author calls "coverbs". Most frequently, coverbs are paired with an
in=FEecting verb from a closed class to form a complex predicate: the coverb
and in=FEecting verb jointly determine the verbal semantics and argument
structure of the clause. This book provides a descriptive and analytical
account of the behaviour of coverbs in Wagiman, especially their role in
complex predicate formation. Wilson aims to discover what principles are at
work in directing and constraining this process, and how the meaning of the
whole is derived from the meanings of the parts. After discussing a wide
range of relevant data from the language, he outlines a formal analysis
within Lexical Functional Grammar. He argues that to account for the
intricacy of Wagiman complex predicates, it is necessary for the grammar to
make explicit reference to representations of lexical meaning, and he
proposes that complex predicate formation can be seen as the fusion of
these semantic representations.

CSLI Publications
Ventura Hall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-4115
Telephone (650) 723-1839
=46ax (650) 725-2166
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue
If you buy one of these books please tell the publisher or author that you saw it advertised on the LINGUIST list.

The following contributing LINGUIST publishers have made their backlists available on the World Wide Web:

1999 Contributors

  • Arnold Publishers
  • Blackwell Publishers
  • Cascadilla Press
  • CSLI Publications
  • Elsevier Science, Ltd.
  • Finno-Ugrian Society
  • Indiana University Linguistics Club Publications
  • John Benjamins Publishing Company
  • Kluwer Academic Publishers
  • Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.
  • Lincom Europa
  • MIT Press--Books Division
  • MIT Working Papers in Linguisticsi
  • Mouton de Gruyter
  • Pacific Linguistics
  • Summer Institute of Linguistics
  • Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS
  • Vaxjo:Acta Wexionesia