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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: Kayardild Morphology, Phonology and Morphosyntax Add Dissertation
Author: Erich Round Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Yale University, Linguistics
Completed in: 2009
Linguistic Subfield(s): Language Documentation; Morphology; Phonetics; Phonology; Syntax;
Subject Language(s): Kayardild
Director(s): Stephen Anderson
Claire Bowern
Nicholas Evans

Abstract: Kayardild possesses one of, if not the, most exuberant systems of
morphological concord known to linguists, and a phonological system which
is intricately sensitive to its morphology. This dissertation provides a
comprehensive description of the phonology of Kayardild, an investigation
of its phonetics, its intonation, and a formal analysis of its inflectional
morphology. A key component of the latter is the existence of a 'morphomic'
level of representation intermediate between morphosyntactic features and
underlying phonological forms.

Chapter 2 introduces the segmental inventory of Kayardild, the phonetic
realisations of surface segments, and their phonotactics. Chapter 3
provides an introduction to the empirical facts of Kayardild word
structure, outlining the kinds of morphs of which words are composed, their
formal shapes and their combinations. Chapter 4 treats the segmental
phonology of Kayardild. After a survey of the mappings between underlying
and (lexical) surface forms, the primary topic is the interaction of the
phonology with morphology, although major generalisations identifiable in
the phonology itself are also identified and discussed. Chapter 5 examines
Kayardild stress, and presents a constraint based analysis, before turning
to an empirical and analytical discussion of intonation. Chapter 6, on the
syntax and morphosyntax of Kayardild, is the most substantial chapter of
the dissertation. In association with the examination of a large corpus of
new and newly collated data, mutually compatible analyses of the syntax and
morphosyntactic features of Kayardild are built up and compared against
less favourable alternatives. A critical review of Evans' (1995) analysis
of similar phenomena is also provided. Chapter 7 turns to the realisational
morphology - the component of the grammar which ties the morphosyntax to
the phonology, by realising morphosyntactic features structures as
morphomic representations, then morphomic representations as underlying
phonological representations. A formalism is proposed in order to express
these mappings within a constraint based grammar.

In addition to enriching our understanding of Kayardild, the dissertation
presents data and analyses which will be of interest for theories of the
interface between morphology on the one hand and phonology and syntax on
the other, as well as for morphological and phonological theory more narrowly.