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The Languages of Australia

The Languages of Australia


Part of Cambridge Library Collection - Linguistics

  • Date Published: January 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108017855

£ 36.99

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About the Authors
  • Described by Ken Hale as 'nothing less than a masterpiece' and by P. H. Matthews as 'absolutely clear, astonishingly complete, factually fascinating', The Languages of Australia (first published in 1980 and now reissued) was a landmark in Australian linguistics. This pioneering work of synthesis covered more than two hundred Aboriginal languages, and stimulated the next generation of scholarship in the field. The author's subsequent search for an overarching theoretical model to explain the unusual properties of Australian languages finally led him to adopt a 'punctuated equilibrium' model of language development. Dixon proposed this in The Rise and Fall of Languages (1997), which provided the framework for his major work Australian Languages: Their Nature and Development (2002). The Languages of Australia is still sought after, however, as a benchmark in the discipline and because its first four chapters provide a valuable non-technical introduction that does not appear in the 2002 volume.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108017855
    • length: 572 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 32 mm
    • weight: 0.83kg
    • contains: 9 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Tribe and languages
    3. Speech and song styles
    4. The role of language in Aboriginal Australian society today
    5. Vocabulary
    6. Phonology
    7. Phonological change
    8. Classification of Australian languages
    9. Word classes
    10. Nouns
    11. Pronouns
    12. Verbs
    13. Syntax
    14. Summary.

  • Author

    R. M. W. Dixon, Australian National University, Canberra

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