Australian Languages Reconsidered: A Review of Dixon (2002)

@article{Evans2005AustralianLR,
  title={Australian Languages Reconsidered: A Review of Dixon (2002)},
  author={Nicholas Evans},
  journal={Oceanic Linguistics},
  year={2005},
  volume={44},
  pages={242 - 286}
}
  • N. Evans
  • Published 1 June 2005
  • Linguistics
  • Oceanic Linguistics
Is the Australian linguistic area, because of its unique history, one in which the established methods of historical and comparative linguistics have limited appropriateness? Do neighboring languages in this situation come to share an "equilibrium level" of 50 percent basic vocabulary regardless of their degree of genetic relatedness? Is the Pama-Nyungan grouping totally without foundation and something that must be discarded if any progress is to be made in studying the nature of the… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

The Prehistory and Internal Relationships of Australian Languages
TLDR
Australian linguistic prehistory has lagged behind equivalent endeavours on other continents in part because of the dearth of grammars and dictionaries until recent times, but a more detailed picture is emerging of an eventful and dynamic last 10,000 years; linguistic evidence is crucial here.
Rebuilding Australia's Linguistic Profile: Recent Developments in Research on Australian Aboriginal Languages
  • Alice Gaby
  • Linguistics
    Lang. Linguistics Compass
  • 2008
TLDR
Some of the most exciting recent developments in Australianist linguistic research are reviewed, while also acknowledging the context of language loss and disenfranchisement within which they are situated.
Equilibrium theory applied to Top End Australian languages
TLDR
Dixon’s equilibrium theory of lexical diffusion would imply that there has been considerable population movements throughout this area in recent millennia, and raises the question of whether any supporting evidence for such movement might be found, whether from archaeology or oral tradition.
Historical linguistics in Australia: trees, networks and their implications
  • Claire Bowern
  • Linguistics
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2010
TLDR
The most important outstanding questions for Australian linguistic prehistory are summarized and a case study of the Karnic subgroup of Pama–Nyungan is presented, which illustrates the problems for classification in Australian languages and potential approaches using phylogenetic methods.
The geography and development of language isolates
  • M. Urban
  • Linguistics
    Royal Society Open Science
  • 2021
TLDR
A simple model is developed for the genesis of isolates as a function of proximity to major geographical barriers, and pit it against an alternative view that sees them as one manifestation of linguistic diversity generally.
A LECTURE BY THE RETURNING CHAIR OF AUSTRALIAN STUDIES, HARVARD UNIVERSITY 2008–09
Abstract ‘Archaeologists make up stories about the past, but not just any stories.’ Archaeological stories are written principally from the interpretation of material remains. Increasingly we also
Evaluation of cognation judgments undermines computational phylogeny of the Arawakan language family
  • F. Carvalho
  • Linguistics
    Journal of Language Relationship
  • 2020
The goal of this paper is to critically examine the linguistic analyses underlying Walker & Ribeiro (2011), a widely cited computational phylogenetic study of the Arawakan language family. To the
Universals of Split Argument Coding and Morphological Neutralization: Why Kala Lagaw Ya Is Not as Bizarre as We Thought*
Kala Lagaw Ya is the language of the western and central islands of the Torres Strait. It exhibits an extremely complex pattern of ‘split argument coding’ (‘split ergativity’), which has previously
Reassessing Australia’s Linguistic Prehistory
The origin of the typological split between the Australian PamaNyungan and nonPamaNyungan languages is here described by reference to palaeogeography. In the model advanced here these currently
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 181 REFERENCES
The Genesis of the Pronoun *nga1i in Austra1ia
The grand historical panorama which unfolds in R.M.W. Dixon's major new work, The LanguageA ofAustralia (1980), is quite breath­ taking. This prolific linguist is to be heartily congratulated on
Lexical replacement and cognate equilibrium in Australia
TLDR
It is found that borrowing accounts for at most half of lexical replacement in these languages, and most usually is well below half, and this rate is crucial in the prediction of what fraction of vocabulary might in the long term be common to two neighbouring languages.
Non-configurationality in Australian aboriginal languages
The syntax of the Australian Aboriginal language Warlpiri has led to two opposing models of non-configurationality: a dual structure hypothesis, which abandons the projection principle for a
The Dictionary of Historical and Comparative Linguistics
TLDR
This book provides genuine linguistic examples of most of the terms entered, detailed explanations of fundamental concepts, critical assessment of controversial ideas, cross-references to related terms, and an abundance of references to the original literature.
The rise and fall of languages
This book puts forward a different approach to language change, the punctuated equilibrium model. This is based on the premise that during most of the 100,000 or more years that humans have had
Archaeology and linguistics : aboriginal Australia in global perspective
This text brings together work in archaeology, linguistics and genetics to reveal a varied and dynamic view of Australia's Aboriginal past, and its place in the prehistory of the Pacific region. Each
A CASE OF INTENSIVE LEXICAL DIFFUSION: ARNHEM LAND, AUSTRALIA
The languages of Arhem Land, Australia, form a contiguous block and Sprachbund, despite a sharp genetic boundary. Thus in Ngandi and Ritharngu, which belong to different major genetic divisions,
Australian languages : classification and the comparative method
1. Acknowledgements 2. Map 3. Contributor's addresses 4. Foreword (by Campbell, Lyle) 5. Introduction: subgrouping methodology in historical linguistics (by Bowern, Claire) 6. A methodological
Lost Wax: Abrupt Replacement of Key Morphemes in Australian Agreement Complexes
SUMMARYRichly inflected languages often have morphologies in which one or two key relational morphemes serve as the glue which binds other, more substantive morphemes together. When an important
Worora gender metaphors and Australian prehistory
The gender semantics of Worora (a non-Pama-Nyungan language of the Kimberley region of northern Australia) is examined, and linguistic and cultural explanations are sought for the categories
...
...