10.787, Books: Australian

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Fri May 21 02:25:58 UTC 1999


LINGUIST List:  Vol-10-787. Thu May 20 1999. ISSN: 1068-4875.

Subject: 10.787, Books: Australian

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1)
Date:  Fri, 14 May 1999 12:04:04 -0700
From:  Maureen Burke <mburke at tavel.stanford.edu>
Subject:  Coverbs & Complex Predicates in Wagiman

-------------------------------- Message 1 -------------------------------

Date:  Fri, 14 May 1999 12:04:04 -0700
From:  Maureen Burke <mburke at tavel.stanford.edu>
Subject:  Coverbs & Complex Predicates in Wagiman

Wilson, Steven (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Studies); COVERBS AND COMPLEX PREDICATES IN WAGIMAN; ISBN:
1-57586-172-0 (paper), 1-57586-173-9 (cloth);  182pp.  CSLI Publications
1999: http://csli-publications.stanford.edu/  email:
pubs at roslin.stanford.edu

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.




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