Number and Mood

William McGregor william.mcgregor at ARTS.KULEUVEN.AC.BE
Thu Apr 23 15:12:55 UTC 1998

I suggested the other day that

(2) I have suspicions that there may be some close morphological
associations in some Nyulnyulan languages (Kimberley, Western Austraila).
But I will have to check my corpora.

There is something of a connection, though it is not entirely clearcut. The
Eastern Nyulnyulan languages Yawuru and Nyikina have a nominal stemforming
suffix -karra, glossed 'plural' by Hosokawa 1991 for Yawuru, and 'multiple'
by Stokes 1982 for Nyikina. E.g; marnin-karra (woman-multiple) 'a crowd of
women' (Stokes 1982:337). This same form is found on a few temporal
adverbials, such as wanyjiy-karr(a)-abu (later-multiple-abl -- Stokes'
morpheme divisions and glosses) 'eventually' -- possibly more literally
'much later'.

There is an apparently cognate -karr enclitic in Nyulnyul which i glossed
TEMP(oral) in McGregor 1996:37). This is found in various contexts: (1)
attached to Ns giving temporal type secondary predicate readings; (2)
attached to, sometimes an integral part of temporal adverbial roots, as in
e.g. banangkarr 'now'; (3) as unanalysed part of the certain modal
particles, such as nyangkarr 'maybe, perhaps'; (4) attached to temporal and
conditional subordinate clauses (e.g. 'When I tripped I fell', 'If you hit
him, I might hit you-karr'); and (5) sometimes on independent clauses in
future irrealis, apparently indicating uncertainty (perhaps of a greater
magnitude than with the plain future irrealis):

yubul ya-la-rri-j-i-karr
sick  1plNOM-IRR-AUG-say-EP-karr
'We might get sick.'

Bill McGregor

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