This study presents a cross-linguistic examination of reduplicative
constructions in a sample of 120 Australian languages. It provides a
descriptive and comparative analysis of these reduplications, using a
cross-linguistic comparative methodology to clarify the role of
reduplication in grammar. This is especially relevant to Australian
languages since reduplication is largely used to express 'grammatical'
rather than 'lexical' meaning. Chapter one provides an introduction to the
aims and methods of the thesis.
Chapter two discusses the phonological structure of reduplication in
Australian languages by examining reduplication together with phonological
parameters as phonological word boundaries and stress patterns. Chapter
three characterises nominal reduplications and shows that reduplication of
'nouns' and 'adjectives' can be distinguished on a semantic basis, although
formal grammatical differences between the two classes may rarely be
evident in Australian languages. Chapter four examines the meanings which
verbal reduplication may exhibit, and shows a correlation between the types
of meanings found and the role of reduplication in verbal syntax semantics.
The study concludes with a summary of the findings, some conclusions, and
suggestions for further areas of study.