By R. M. W. Dixon

ISBN-10: 0521214629

ISBN-13: 9780521214629

Professor Dixon's e-book The Dyirbal Language of North Queensland (CUP 1972) is recognize to be a vintage research. His examine of Yidin is without delay similar in significance. Yidin, that's additionally a demise language, is Dyirbal's northerly neighbour. but the 2 languages have extraordinary and primary alterations in each one quarter of grammar (while nonetheless either belonging to the Australian language family). within the phonology, there's a choice for every notice to include a good variety of syllables, as a way to fulfill the strain objectives of Yidin. Syntactically, the language is of a 'mixed ergative' style that can't simply be accommodated by way of commonplace syntactic conception. those and several other distinct good points of Yidin have an important referring to numerous theoretical enquiries into linguistic universals.

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Extra info for A Grammar of Yidin

Example text

J' storytime person, thing or place'); the term ' dreamtime' is not used in this region and there seems to be no connection with 'dreams'. For instance, one story tells how the rainbow (gucjugurfu) originally had the only fire in the world, while the birds (who were 'storytime people') were shivering and getting sick from eating raw food. Various birds and a grasshopper tried unsuccessfully to snatch the fire away (the ways in which each was prepared for its attempt accounts for its present colouring, and other physical characteristics).

As Gribble (1930: 99) himself put it 'in the early days of our work pidgin English was used by us all, and a beastly gibberish it was. ' It is, in fact, instructive to compare Yarrabah with Hopevale Mission, just north of Cooktown, which was founded the same year. The Lutheran Pastor Schwarz - who founded Hopevale in 1886 and ran it until he was interned as an alien in 1939 - learned the language and wrote a grammar of it. The people at Hopeville still speak Guugu-Yimidhirr; and what is more, their English seems to be of a higher standard than that at Yarrabah.

6) since there is no one living who can match Tilly Fuller's knowledge of the tablelands dialect. The only other informant who could give any words in the Dyalnuy style was Pompey Langdon (rfaluiu), a speaker of tablelands Yidiji who lived at Blackfellow Creek, near Edmonton (and moved to Yarrabah in 1975). An initiated full-blood, Pompey Langdon is now aged over 80 and is not as mentally alert as Tilly Fuller or Dick Moses; he could not give texts but it was possible to check some lexical and simple grammatical points with him.

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A Grammar of Yidin by R. M. W. Dixon

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