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09:00-10:30 Session 6: Plenary Session
Location: Refectory
The Typology of Nominalizations: A Role and Reference Grammar Approach
SPEAKER: William Foley
10:30-11:00 Session : Morning Tea
Location: Holme Verandah
11:00-12:30 Session 7A: Sessions A
Location: Drawing
An introduction to the orthography and grammatical structure of Ngadju
SPEAKER: Marion Mullin

ABSTRACT. This paper will present an introduction to the Ngadju language of the southeastern Goldfields region of Western Australia. Ngadju has been referred to as Ngadjumaya, Karlaaku and Marlpa and is classified as a member of the Mirning sub-group of southwest Pama-Nyungan languages. Ngadju is a highly endangered language with only two partially fluent elderly speakers and less than ten younger individuals with receptive abilities. Many more people identify as of Ngadju heritage. Despite the endangered status, many from the Ngadju community of Norseman and surrounding areas are actively engaged in working towards reviving the language. The current research is producing a lexical database, a sketch grammar and educational resources such as alphabet and syllable charts, body parts charts, family language activity packs and short storybooks. This presentation will place Ngadju in a historic linguistic context through a description of past and contemporary research and discuss the current research in terms of practical lexicography, orthography and grammatical structure.

Serial verb versus converb constructions: The case of Pitjantjatjara multi-verbal constructions

ABSTRACT. Constructions containing multiple verbs within a single clause have long been a focus of much interest among syntacticians and typologists alike (e.g. Aikhenvald 2006; Haspelmath & König 1995). Unfortunately, however, they have also been the focus of much confusion (Foley 2010; Haspelmath 2016). For each construction type, there is typically a wide variety of definitions. Moreover, these definitions sometimes overlap so at times it is not entirely clear how the boundaries between construction types should be drawn or how to best classify particular constructions in particular languages. In this talk, I examine the overlap and distinctions between serial verb and converb constructions with a goal to deepening our understanding of the intersection of these two categories and more accurately describing Pitjantjatjara multi-verbal constructions. Serial verb constructions, such as (1), are often characterised along the lines of Haspelmath’s (2016) definition as sequences of multiple verbs within a single clause with no element linking them and no predicate-argument relation between the verbs. The last two criteria have, however, sometimes been relaxed. For instance, Foley (2010) describes constructions with explicit linking elements in Yimas as serial verb constructions, and Aikhenvald (2006) includes complement-clause serialization as a subtype of serial verb constructions. Converbs have been defined as dependent verb forms which can be used in both coordination and subordination (Nedjalkov 1995). Multi-verbal constructions involving converbs are often remarkably similar to serial verb constructions, contrast example (2) and (1). The clearest difference is that converb constructions by definition employ a distinct verb form or morphological linking element, while serial verb constructions, at least prototypically, do not. In fact, several researchers (e.g. Haspelmath 2016) have questioned whether this morphological difference is the only meaningful difference between the construction types. Pitjantjatjara (Wati, Pama-Nyungan) is one of the languages where explicitly marked multi-verbal constructions such as (3) and (4) have been described as serial verb constructions (Goddard 1985; Pyle 2017). Indeed, these constructions share many properties of serial verb constructions, for instance all verbs share tense, aspect and mood values and the subject is shared by all verbs. They are also used for many of the same functions as serial verb constructions, for instance aspect modification, positionals and sequential actions. However, there are some common functions of serial verb constructions, such as instrumentative and benefactive, for which these Pitjantjatjara multi-verb constructions are never utilized. Their pattern of acquisition also more strongly resembles the pattern seen for converbs in Turkish where sequential action uses are acquired earlier than other uses (Aksu-Koc & Slobin 1985), rather than serial verb constructions in Cantonese where sequential action uses are the last to be acquired (Fung 2011). Thus, at least in Pitjantjatjara, the morphological distinction between marked converb constructions and unmarked serial verb constructions appears to reflect a subtle, but deeper distinction between truly distinct construction types.

Complex Verb Structures in Kaytetye
SPEAKER: unknown

ABSTRACT. Kaytetye, like other Arandic Languages, has a set of complex verb structures that express associated motion (Koch 1984). 1. a. are-y alpe-nke b. alarre-l alpe-nke see-AFT return-PRES hit-BFR return-PRES ‘see after returning’ ‘hit before returning’ These constructions involve two verbal roots; the right-most root takes TAM suffixation, and the left root hosts a participial suffix (Table 1). While Kaytetye is generally a non-configurational language, the ordering of morphemes in these constructions is fixed: e.g., (1a) cannot be *alpenke arey, nor (1b) *alpenke alarrel. Previous analyses of equivalent constructions in other Arandic languages have proposed that these are complex words, with the structure indicated in (2). Under these analyses (e.g. Henderson 2002, 2013; Moore 2012: 49-50; Wilkins 1989: 270; Yallop 1977: 63), the left root is analysed as the head of a complex word. 2. a. are-y-alpe-nke b. alarre-l-alpe-nke head.root-suffix-root-suffix head.root-suffix-root-suffix We propose that the Kaytetye constructions are not complex words, but two-word phrases with the structure indicated in Figure 1. Under this analysis, these constructions are headed by a light verb, with a surface structure similar to the Warlpiri thematic core (Laughren 2010). We show that there is both phonological and semantic evidence to support a syntactic, phrasal analysis. Compound words do not permit phonological recovery of internal morphological boundaries (Jensen 1990). This is true in Kaytetye, where clitics cannot be placed between the constituent roots of a compound, as in (3). 3. a. ake elperrelperre b. *ake=rtame elperrelperre head flat head=FOC flat ‘big-headed’ ‘big-headed’ By contrast, clitics can be placed between the two root + suffix sequences in the associated motion construction. This pattern of clitic placement suggests that the two sequences are independent phonological words, as in (4). 4. a. are-y=lke alpe-nke b. alarre-l=ame alpe-nke see-AFT=THEN return-FUT hit-BFR=EMPH return-PRES ‘then (she) sees it after returning’ ‘(he) really hit it before returning Henderson (2013: 217) proposes a recursive word structure, but generally accepted models of prosody appeal to a hierarchy (i.e. word and phrase-level) to account for different levels of prosodic structure, rather than recursion (Hayes 1989; Selkirk 1984). Semantically, these constructions permit temporally sequential predicates, and temporal sequencing is not constrained, as in (5). 5. a. are-y alpe-nke b. are-l alpe-nke see-AFT return-PRES see-BFR return-PRES ‘see after returning’ ‘see before returning’ This is standard under a phrasal analysis. By contrast, verbal words do not permit temporally sequential predication (Baker & Harvey 2010). Both the semantic and the phonological behaviour of these constructions are consistent with a phrasal analysis (c.f. Kuroda 2003: 450 for a similar point made in Japanese), whereas both involve significant departures from standard complex word structures. Consequently, a syntactic, phrasal analysis is to be preferred. Given the strong parallels between Kaytetye complex verbs and those in other Arandic languages, this necessarily raises questions as to whether complex verb constructions in other Arandic languages could be analysed syntactically. 

11:00-12:30 Session 7B: Sessions B
Location: Cullen South
Bidirectional Language Learning in Migrant Families

ABSTRACT. 2017 Michael Clyne Prize

Codeswitching in online discussion: the role of topic on language choices
SPEAKER: unknown

ABSTRACT. Within language societies of multilingual ecologies, the use of different languages for various institutional and social purposes is a common phenomenon. In such speech communities, code-switching is one of the norms of communication. Earlier studies on code-switching have tended to focus on f2f interactions. In such contexts, participants communicate directly while sharing the physical setting. In it they are conscious of each other’s socio-cultural identity and can estimate their likely language repertoires and the scope for code-switching with them. Collectively, the participants are responsible for sustaining the conversation in real time, and common socio-pragmatic practices of interaction such as politeness come naturally into play when code-switching in the shared f2f context. But whether all these contextual variables of code-switching play out in the same way in online discussions has not been systematically researched. More recent research investigating code-switching in an online environment is spread across a variety of digital mediums, including emails (e.g. Bautista, 2004), blogs (e.g. Hinrichs, 2016), and Facebook discussions (e.g. Androutsopoulos, 2015). In all of these, participants communicate through typing messages that are transmitted electronically via the medium and thus mediated by it. The online nature of these communications variably affords the synchronicity of f2f interaction (Crystal, 2006) depending on the type of medium, the constancy of the participants’ online presence and their willingness to participate in the discussion. This paper looks at data taken from Facebook discussions involving 40 Filipino private university students in the Philippines. It reports on the pattern of code-switching between Filipino and English in an online discussion on two distinct topics: ‘Same-sex marriage’ and ‘Competence in governance’. This data is part of the larger study investigating the multilingual repertoires of the respondents focusing on contexts of use for and attitudes towards multiple languages in domains such as the home, at university, in social media, and in transactional settings. The results demonstrate a complex interplay of English, Filipino, and code-switched utterances in Filipino and English as dictated by the topic. The same-sex marriage topic is an international one that includes multiple instances where there is no ready-made term in Filipino for the concept under discussion (e.g. ‘same-sex marriage’) whereas the discussion on ‘competence in governance’ looks specifically at local political issues where there is no need for translation of ‘foreign’ concepts. This paper discusses the extent to which non topic-related issues, such as interactional accommodation, influence the use of code-switching within online interactions. These findings are related to existing findings on online and f2f code-switching in multilingual repertoires so as to contribute to the broader understanding of the multilingual dynamics of the use of code-switching.


Androutsopoulos, J 2015. Networked multilingualism. International Journal of Bilingualism 19:2. Bautista, M 2004. Tagalog-English code-switching as a mode of discourse. Asia-Pacific Education Review 5,2: 223-233 Crystal, D 2006. Language and the internet (2nd edition). Cambridge University Press. Hinrichs, L 2016. The language of diasporic blogs: rhetoricity in online code-switching. In Cutler & Royneland eds Analysing Youth Practices in Computer Mediated Communication. Cambridge University Press.

11:00-12:30 Session 7C: Sessions C
Location: Cullen North
Recruiting affiliation when you use the “when you” meme in everyday interaction

ABSTRACT. A popular current “meme” builds on the form of words (that moment / the face you make) when you … (e.g. ). This usage arose with the clause used as a label for an associated image, in some examples with a standard subordinate clause function. More recently, the when you … clause has taken on an “insubordinate” quality (cf. Evans & Watanabe 2016), and it is now most common to see these uses without an associated matrix clause or head NP. An example from dyadic, technologically mediated, everyday interaction is (1).

As with other memes and associated lexical innovations deriving from social media, “when you” clauses have found their way into the everyday interactional practices of primarily young, English speakers. This paper considers a collection of examples of these usages retrieved from online chat by small groups of young speakers of Australian English, and takes an approach informed by Conversation Analysis (cf. Katriel 1999) to consider their multimodal structure, their characteristics as actions in sequence, and their stance properties.

The questions considered are: • Are these uses always accompanied by images, and when they are, what is the multimodal structure of the contribution (cf. Ruusuvuori & Peräkylä 2009)? • What actions are they designed to perform, and what are the preferred responses to these actions? • How do these uses display and recruit stance, defined as a speaker’s affective treatment of the events described (Stivers 2008)?

A number of notable properties of these uses will be discussed. First, incorporation of generalised you (Stirling & Manderson 2011) gives these utterances the quality of general statements about a shared world. However, they frequently function to allude to specific events within which the speaker has been or is currently involved (Examples (1), (2) and (3)).

Second, the stance expressed in these uses can reflect positive or negative affect (cf. Example (2) with Example (3)), or be somewhat neutral in affective stance marking (Example (1)). The hypothesis considered here is that the polarity of the affect needs to be supported either by the associated image or by an additional stance marker (cf. Awks in Example (3)), in addition to clues provided by the proposition expressed and the shared common ground of the interlocutors (events involving the revelation of undies to neighbouring males are likely to evoke negative affect).

Finally, these uses appear to be just one instance of the pervasive negotiation of affiliation (Ruusuvuori 2014: 351) in social media chat between young intimates, in sequences of actions characterised by a range of means for producing informings and assessments and concomitantly, of minimal responses to these which manage the task of doing assessment, alignment and/or affiliation in nuanced and sometimes sophisticated ways (e.g. the use of new minimal responses such as lit, rip and mint).

It is suggested that interactional uses of these “when you” clauses function as complex informings which are designed to recruit affiliation from addressees.

An investigation of willingness to communicate from an English as an international language perspective: The case of Macao

ABSTRACT. Willingness to Communicate (WTC) in a second language has been widely researched in English as a Second Language (ESL), English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and bilingual French/English immersion contexts. A large body of these studies have mainly focused on 1) the dynamic and situated nature of this construct in experimental, quasi-experimental and classroom-based settings; 2) its complex interrelationship with learner-internal factors such as motivation, personality, perceived communicative competence and anxiety, as well as with learner-external factors including interlocutor, teacher, topic, task type and other learning contextual factors; 3) WTC in face-to-face communication as opposed to online communication; 4) establishing causal relationships among WTC, its predictors (e.g., motivation, personality, self-confidence) and actual communication; 5) informing WTC research with cultural, ecological, idiodynamic and sociocognitive theoretical perspectives. However, to our knowledge, no previous research has been conducted to investigate WTC from English as an International Language (EIL) perspective. This study attempts to fill this gap. In the current reality of an increasingly globalised multilingual and multicultural world community, English is used as a pluracentric language and as a lingua franca for intercultural communication occasions. It is probably inappropriate to still use the EFL/ESL dichotomy when exploring issues related to language use. Thus the aim of this study was to investigate WTC from a new EIL perspective and explore the factors underlying WTC in intercultural communication contexts. The study was conducted in Macao, a sociolinguistically diverse context with 90 first-year and second-year linguistics major university students. Focus group interview was used as an instrument for data collection for this exploratory study. The students were asked questions regarding their willingness to communicate using different varieties of English in face-to-face communication and communication on social networking sites (SNS). The results indicate that the majority of the participants are more willing to use the inner-circle English varieties, particularly American English and British English for face-to-face communication with strangers and acquaintances. However, English varieties from both inner-circle and expanding circle countries (e.g. Chinese English) are the preferred varieties in communication on SNS. The results add complexity to the existent body of research on the multidimensional WTC construct.

Borrowings, nonce borrowings or code mixes? An analysis of English lexical items used in informal speech by speakers of English in Sri Lanka

ABSTRACT. Code mixing reveals the presence of lexical items from two or more than two languages in conversation. It results in language contact phenomena such as borrowing, code mixing or nonce borrowing. This study makes use of the term code mixing to refer to all types of mixing in the Sri Lankan context and will look at the mixing situation between Sinhala and English Languages. It presents an analysis of lexical items used in informal speech by speakers of English in Sri Lanka which reveal characteristics of borrowing, code mixing or nonce borrowing. Both are language contact phenomena. The study will use data gathered from 30 informants between 18 to 26 years. The informants represent a selected sample due to the extensive use of language mixing. The lexical items are collected through a questionnaire based on identifying different morphological processes used by speakers and from social media websites that comment on newspaper articles available on the web. Theories in Code Mixing by Muysken, Kachru, Myers-Scotton and Poplack are used to categorize data into code mixes, borrowings, that reveal processes such as nativization and hybridization. The study reiterates that borrowings are distinguishable from code mixes mixes (also referred to as nonce borrowings)and that they are two different phenomena that occur in language contact situations. While borrowings show complete integration in the matrix language, code mixes or nonce borrowings show different syntactic features that sets it off from both languages. They represent an unmarked code, usually accompanied by a Sinhala nominalizer and plural marker. Borrowings are both phonologically and morphologically marked.

11:00-12:30 Session 7D: Song Workshop
Location: Sutherland
Poetic multilingualism in the manyardi/kun-borrk song traditions of western Arnhem Land

ABSTRACT. Researchers have noted that a diversity of linguistic varieties or speech styles may be used for poetic or aesthetic purposes in verbal art (e.g., Bakhtin 1981; Evans 2010; Sherzer 2002) and song traditions (e.g., Dakubu 1979; Donaldson 1995; Slobin 1986; Stehelow 1971; Turpin & Green 2010). This paper examines how different language varieties can be used for poetic and aesthetic purposes in the manyardi/kun-borrk public dance-song genre of the multilingual western Arnhem Land region.         

Manyardi/kun-borrk songs are composed, or received from spirit beings, by individual songmen who speak and are affiliated with a range of different languages across the western Arnhem Land region (and into south-western and central Arnhem Land). Songs are organised into distinct named ‘song-sets’ that are each affiliated with a particular linguistic variety and, by extension, to the land and people affiliated with that linguistic variety (Barwick, Birch & Evans 2007). Song-sets can be broadly divided into what are often referred to in English as ‘true’ or ‘spirit’ songs on the one hand and ‘love songs’ on the other. ‘True/spirit’ songs are said to be received from spirit beings (either in dreams, or by overhearing spirit beings singing) and the song-texts are almost always in untranslatable spirit language that is ‘just for song.’ Love songs may be received in the same ways or may be composed ‘with the head’ or ‘made’. The song-texts of love songs are in one or more ordinary spoken languages and approximate utterances in ordinary speech. There are also some song-sets that do not fit neatly into either category, and include song-texts in both everyday language and spirit language. 

Although there are various motivations for the uses of different everyday and/or spirit language varieties in the manyardi/kun-borrk repertoires, song-sets and song-texts within them (O’Keeffe 2016), this paper focuses on some of the possible poetic or aesthetic motivations. In particular, I provide evidence of the way that the textual organisation and other musical aspects of songs can highlight the use of a particular language variety or varieties, and their poetic or aesthetic function.

Connections between Central Australian Aboriginal groups as demonstrated by language mixing in Warlpiri songs
SPEAKER: unknown

ABSTRACT. Warlpiri songlines traverse broad sections of Warlpiri country and many join up with neighbouring territories, owned by different Aboriginal groups who then take responsibility for the songs. In many instances there is clear linguistic evidence to mark these connective zones (Laughren et al. 2016). In this paper we analyse examples from four different Warlpiri songlines.

Firstly, we demonstrate that two sections of the Watiyawarnu yawulyu, as sung by Warlpiri women from both Willowra and Yuendumu, provide evidence for the subgroup divisions within Warlpiri, demonstrating a pass over of these songs from eastern Warlpiri women to Ngaliya Warlpiri women at a place called Ngurlu-lirri-nyinanya. Linguistic features, which mark the eastern as opposed to the southwestern verses, include vocabulary associated with the distinctive dialects: Yarlpiri in the east, and Ngaliya in the southwest. In the Willowra verse, kumpurumpuru denotes the piles of seeds heaped up by ants that are then collected by woman, whereas in a Yuendumu verse this image is evoked by nguyanguya. The Acacia tenuissima bushes laden down with an abundance of juicy green fresh seedpods are the subject of song verse in (1) in which the eastern Warlpiri preverb kangkurr referring to water is used. In another verse manjara-manjara is used to refer to the Acacia Tenuissima, a term not found in the Yuendumu verses.

Secondly, we discuss some examples from the Warlukurlangu yawulyu which begins in the Ngaliya country to the south of Yuendumu and recounts the story of the two Jangala men who flee southwards from a bushfire, travelling deep into Pintupi/Luritja and Pitjantjatjara country (Warlpiri Women from Yuendumu 2017). In these songs there are examples in which Western Desert and Warlpiri languages are mixed within a verse. In (3) the passage from Ngaliya country into Pintubi and Pitjantjatjara country is signalled by the presence of yulurnkuru 'Xanthorrhoea thorntonii' characteristic of that country to the south of Warlpiri country. Warlpiri also uses this word to designate this plant, thus line A in (2) is purely Warlpiri while line B has the Pitjantjatjara kata 'head' in place of the Warlpiri jurru. In (3) sung when the Jangalas are stranded in Pitjatjatjara country, their path back north to their home barred by leaping flames, line A. is sung in Pitjantjatjara and also the first phrase of line B which is completed in Warlpiri, although the preverb pintalji is common to both languages.

Thirdly, some eastern Warlpiri yawulyu draw on lexicon from Arandic languages; although it is quite possible that these words are perceived by Warlpiri as ‘poetic words’ rather than borrowings . For example the Kaytetye word pwerrkere ‘hailstone’ occurs in a Warlpiri yawulyu verse from Pawu (Mt Barkly) (4) as lapurrkura and Anmatyerr mwar ‘coolamon’ is incorporated into yawulyu verses associated with Yurrkuru ‘Brooks Soak’ as yumari in (5) (see Turpin & Laughren 2013). 

Finally, we draw out examples from the Karntakarnta songs sung by Warlpiri men for the Kurdiji ceremonies (Curran 2010). In these songs a group of ancestral women emerge from the Lake Mackay area and travel eastwards through Warlpiri country into Anmatyerr country, circling repetitively around the salt late at Yuluwurru (Lake Lewis). Verse (7) incorporates Anmatyerr influences on lexicon such as larnpirripirri ‘kingfisher’ and is accompanied by the Anmatyerr dance style in which women click their fingers towards the rising sun in the east. Verses (6) and (7), which alternate in performance, provide differing linguistic treatment of similar subject matter:  the Warlpiri version in (6) is quite literal, whereas the Anmatyerr influenced song (7) utilises metaphor and figurative language.

The examples drawn from each of these songlines provide linguistic evidence of connections between different Central Australian groups, whilst also marking their individuality and independence.

The Linguistic Features of the Tangsa Wihu Song
SPEAKER: Stephen Morey

ABSTRACT. The Tangsa (Naga) Wihu Song can be thought of as a group of texts, relating to Creation and Cosmology, the setting up of human society, the migrations and history of the people, as well as paying homage to the spirits that provide for human needs. The songs have a common melodic pattern but very substantial variation in the textual material.

The Tangsa community, referred to as Tangshang in Myanmar (Burma) consists of around 80 sub-tribes each with their own distinct linguistic variety. Some of these varieties are fully mutually intelligible and can be viewed as dialects; others are completely mutually unintelligible. Only one grouping within Tangsa, now termed Pangwa in India, sing the Wihu song, but there are at least 30 sub-tribes belonging to Pangwa, with considerable linguistic diversity.

Our ARC funded project Tangsa Wihu song: insight into culture through language, music and ritual is exploring this song style from linguistic, musicological and more generally ethnographic perspectives. This paper will explore the linguistics of the Tangsa Wihu song.

While the linguistic varieties spoken by the 30 Tangsa sub-tribes are quite diverse, the language of the Wihu song is more ore less uniform across the varieties; it was earlier a kind of Lingua Franca between speakers who could not understand each other’s spoken varieties. Moreover, the song language is similar to proto forms that have been suggested.

We will examine more closely the connection between song language and suggested proto forms, and present information about the poetic structure of the songs.

12:30-13:30 Session : Lunch
Location: Refectory
13:30-15:00 Session 8A: Sessions A
Location: Drawing
A construction-based account of the Chinese middle construction and its differences with English middle construction

ABSTRACT. Middle construction (MC) exists cross-linguistically. Research has been done on middle construction in English (Fagan, 1988; Keyser & Roeper, 1984; Stroik, 1992) and other Indo-European languages (Hoekstra & Roberts, 1993; Kunze, 1996; Manzini, 1986). Chinese middle construction (N+V-qilai+C) has also been researched using different methods (Cao, 2004; He, 2007; Sung, 1994). However, no attempt has been made to investigate Chinese MC from constructionist perspective. Thus, this study will provide a construction-based account of the Chinese MC and also aim to unveil how this account could explain the differences between Chinese MC and English MC. After analyzing Chinese MC diachronically and synchronically, its expansion path could be outlined. The prototypes of Chinese MC are‘N+AG-TH-VSEN-M+C’ and ‘N+AG-TH-VTAL-M+C’. After Chinese MC expands through three dimensions (argument structure, semantics and eventuality of types), it develops into a four-level hierarchy structure with nine argument structures, four eventuality types and diverse semantics. The expansion of Chinese MC reflects three direction characteristics: the decrease of compositionality, increase of productivity and increase of schematicity. Using the three direction characteristics to analyze English MC, it turns out that English MC exhibits limited productivity and schematicity but shows high compositionality. Comparing Chinese MC and English MC, it shows that Chinese MC is formed much more relaxedly than English MC due to its multi-dimension development. Chinese MC involves broader category and thus has core members and peripheral members respectively. Its expansion on argument structure makes it relax its restriction on its subjects. The existence of middle morpheme qilai and the expansion on semantics make it possible to accept more verbs. At last, the expansion on all three dimensions allows it to sanction more types of complements. To conclude, this study shows that as analytic languages, even though both Chinese and English have middle construction, there are many differences between Chinese MC and English MC. All in all, Chinese MC is a broader construction than English MC with more type frequencies and token frequencies. Its multi-dimension development could provide an appropriate account to the differences.

Cao, H. (2004). Hierarchical Structure and Grammatical Relation of Middle Constructions in Mandarin Language Teaching and Linguistic Studies(5). Fagan, S. M. (1988). The English Middle. Linguistic inquiry, 181-203. He, W. Z. (2007). A Cognitive Account of Selection Restriction in Middle Formation Foreign Languages Research, 1, 001. Hoekstra, T., & Roberts, I. (1993). Middle constructions in Dutch and English Knowledge and language (pp. 183-220): Springer. Keyser, S. J., & Roeper, T. (1984). On the middle and ergative constructions in English. Linguistic inquiry, 381-416. Kunze, J. (1996). Plain middles and lassen middles in German:. reflexive constructions and sentence perspective. Linguistics, 34(3), 645-695. Manzini, M. R. (1986). On Italian Si in The Syntax of Pronominal Clitics. Syntax and semantics, 19, 241-262. Stroik, T. (1992). Middles and movement. Linguistic inquiry, 127-137. Sung, K. M. (1994). Case Assignment under Incorporation. Doctoral dissertation, University of California.

From right to wrong: Negation in the Karen languages
SPEAKER: Ken Manson

ABSTRACT. Negation is a universal characteristic of human language, yet there are vastly different ways in how they express it. This paper explores the diverse coding of negation found in the closely related languages of the Karen branch of Tibeto-Burman, spoken along the eastern Myanmar-Thailand border. A typological description of negation of the Karen languages based on fieldwork and published research is given (e.g. Gibbs 2013, Hsa Eh Ywar 2013, Jones 1961). There are at least four patterns of negation: 1. Preverbal 2. Preverbal + Postverbal 3. Preverbal + Clause-final 4. Clause-final This data presents evidence for a new cluster of languages with double negation (c.f. Vossen 2011). Evidence for the Jespersen Cycle (van der Auwera 2009) in the Karen languages will be presented: the clause-final negative marker *ba has its origins as the adjective ‘correct’ via a grammaticalisation path through a speech strengthener/“emphasis” in positive declarative sentences, and then speakers added this marker to emphasize their negative statements. Some proposals are made for how the languages and dialects have developed in this conceptual space, and the potential internal relationships between the languages.

What makes an adjective?: The coding of property modification in Bumthang
SPEAKER: Naomi Peck

ABSTRACT. Properties are encoded in a multitude of ways cross-linguistically. However, for the prototypical function of properties (e.g. Croft 2000, 2001), there is little consistent cross-linguistic evidence for a word class centred on ‘property’ (however, cf Dixon 2004). In Bumthang, a Tibeto-Burman language from central Bhutan, we find various strategies for encoding properties, including the use of adjectives, stative verbs and ideophones (each a demonstrably distinct word class). This classification is complicated by the clear derivational status of many of the adjectives (in many cases without independently occurring roots); and presence of strict syntactic and semantic restrictions on the use of stative verbs in attributive roles. This presentation will explicate the different strategies used in Bumthang to denote properties and discuss the ways in which such a system could arise. The main strategy used with attribution is adjectival modification. The Adjective class in Bumthang is largely populated by words which are clearly morphologically derived from stative verbs (1) and which can then modify nouns attributively with few restrictions (2). The remaining underived adjectives are either loans such as chetpo ‘grand’ (< Tibetan) or words which require an explicit relative clause to be used attributively (3). (1) Ruk khak-sa. curry bitter-IMPF ‘The curry is bitter.’ (2) Ruk khak-po nak-sa. curry bitter-NMLZR COP-IMPF ‘It’s a bitter curry.’ (3) Ruk kacan nak-khan Lekden-i-gi wen. curry good COP-REL Lekden-GEN-PN EQ.COP ‘The good curry is Lekden’s.’ When encoding property modification predicatively, there are two approaches: verbal and non-verbal. The main non-verbal structure used is a copula in conjunction with an adjective (4, 5). The verbal strategy is the use of Stative Verbs, which are syntactically simple but semantically complex. Stative Verbs imply an inherent experiencer or comparison when used as a main predicate. (4) Tshae yak jikpa-la jak-pa-la nak-sa. this yak big-FOC fat-NMLZR-FOC COP-IMPF ‘This big yak is fat.’ (5) Tshali jikpa-la wen-za. orange big-FOC EQ.COP-IMPF ‘The orange is big.’ (6) Lekden-i kher-sang bu-khan momo ngam-za-ra. Lekden-ERG make-IRR IND.Q-REL dumplings delicious-IMPF-EVID ‘The dumplings Lekden said he’d make will be delicious.’ (7) Sirti=wa nyonde reng-za. red=COMP black long-IMPF ‘The black one is longer than the red.’ Property modification is claimed to be a universal cross-linguistic function. However, there is no one way to encode it across languages, or even within a single language itself. Bumthang data allows us to gain an insight into unusual ways of encoding property modification as well as a glimpse into how newer adjective classes co-exist amongst older verbal and nominal modification strategies.

13:30-15:00 Session 8B: Sessions B
Location: Cullen South
Semantics and Ethnopragmatics of hāzer.javābi (ready to respond) in Persian
SPEAKER: Reza Arab

ABSTRACT. This paper focuses on a speech practice in Persian, known as hāzer.javābi*. Dictionaries and translators give a wide range of English equivalents, such as: responding without thinking, answering quickly, adroitness and cleverness in reply, repartee, witticism, wordplay, back talk, and ready wit. A point of comparison in Western culture would be Diderot’s concept of l'esprit de l'escalier in French, lit. staircase wit; i.e. to have the right response on the spot. Hāzer.javābi has a long history in Persian classical literature, and while not originally “humour related”, it can now be seen as one of the forms of witticism and humour in modern Persian. It is highly valued; a person who can pass such effortless witty remarks in response to others is a more pleasant speaker of the language. The goal of this paper is to investigate semantics and ethnopragmatics of the Persian speech practice of hāzer.javābi using semantic explications and cultural scripts (cf. Goddard & Wierzbicka, 2014; Goddard & Ye, 2015). The paper begins with brief account of the historical and cultural background to find ontogenetic explanations (cf. Enfield, 2017: 4). It will touch on traditions of Islamic rhetoric - such as munāzara or dispute (Wagner, 1954-2002), the oral poetry reading tradition (in particular, mošā’ere: a poetry game), and hāzer.javābi as a theme of folk literature (cf. Beeman, 1981). Next, the Natural Semantic Metalanguage technique of reductive paraphrase in simple cross-translatable words will be used to explicate the meaning of the expression hāzer.javābi. The explication will take account of the setting in which the practice occurs, the culturally assumed shared mental states, the quality of being a hāzer.javāb, and the perlocutionary effects. Finally, some related cultural scripts will be discussed, to provide a cultural insider understanding of this practice.

Note: * The lexeme consists of two lexical units; hāzer which is glossed as ‘present’, javāb “response”, and a bound morpheme –i which is a nominaliser affix. Related forms: hāzer.javābi (noun), hāzer.javāb (adjective), hāzer.javābi--kardan (verb, only in the form of a Light Verb Construct). Incidentally, cognate forms are used in two other languages with pretty similar sense, namely Urdu (the exact phrase hāzer.javābi) and Hindi (with a little phonological change hājer.javābi).

An example: Mirza Hasan was asked in London if it is true that Iranians worship the sun? He replied “no, not in Iran. But if I, as an Iranian, saw sun in England, I would worship it.” (see Gail, 2011: 67)

‘You don’t have to say anything’: modality in conversations about the right to silence with NT Aboriginal suspects
SPEAKER: Alex Bowen

ABSTRACT. Police in the Northern Territory must explain the ‘right to silence’ before interviewing people who are suspected of crimes. This act of communication is a critical protection in the criminal justice system, ideally informing all suspects of their entitlement to avoid self-incrimination.

Communicating the right to silence to Aboriginal suspects who are not native speakers of (standard) English is notoriously difficult. As a result, NT police wanting to question these suspects are required to explain the right in simple terms and try to obtain evidence of apparent understanding (Anunga 1976). This requirement leads to conversations about the right to silence which are recorded by police and analysed in this study. In some cases these conversations have been described as a “drawn-out and virtually meaningless formality” (Goldflam 1995:36).

Legislation requiring police to communicate the right to silence provides a ‘text’ of the right which seems to influence police talk about the right to silence even in conversations which involve paraphrase and variation of language. This text includes the expression ‘you do not have to say anything’. Previous linguistic analysis (Cooke 1998; McKay 1985) has identified modality (especially ‘don’t have to’) as a type of grammaticalized meaning which is both critical to understanding the right to silence, and ambiguous in this inter-linguistic and intercultural setting.

This study analyses how speakers of Kriol and/or Aboriginal Englishes may interpret modality in Standard Australian English. Conversations in this study suggest that modal expressions sometimes contribute to serious misunderstanding of suspects’ rights.

Close consideration of relevance and context also reveals that modal expressions (especially ‘don’t have to’) indirectly call on complex contextual information which is required for suspects to develop a meaningful interpretation of the right to silence (but some of which is not stated by police). A relevance-theoretic account of modal expressions in context (Papafragou 2000) is proposed to model the kinds of context they invoke and clarify what additional information could be made explicit to facilitate understanding of the right to silence.

Paraphrases produced by experts and by police also show that grammaticalized modality can sometimes be avoided by separately expressing its meaning with different degrees of explicitness.

13:30-15:00 Session 8C: Sessions C
Location: Cullen North
Past tense marking in English on Croker Island: A multivariate analysis
SPEAKER: unknown

ABSTRACT. The topic of this paper is past-tense marking in English spoken on Croker Island, NT. In contrast to existing descriptions of varieties of Aboriginal English, we find considerable variation in past- tense marking across the community. We present the results of a multivariate analysis into the conditioning factors of this variation. Verbal past marking, i.e., the variation between inflected and unmarked past-temporal reference verbs, is one of the best-studied variables in English, with a clear research focus on North American vernaculars and Caribbean English-lexifier creoles. This focus is owed to the prominent role that the feature has played in the debate about the origins and current status of African American Vernacular English. In this debate, putatively pan-English phonological factors, such as the environment preceding and following regular past-tense /-t/ or /-d/ (see, e.g., Labov et al. 1968), have been pitted against factors presumed to be typical of creole tense-aspect systems, such as stativity or the reliance on contextual indicators to indicate temporal reference (see, e.g., Bickerton 1975). More recent studies (e.g., Poplack & Tagliamonte 2001; Hackert 2004) have confirmed the effects of all of these factors, but have also shown that the latter may not actually be specific to creole grammars but mask other, pragmatic – and possibly universal – factors, such as the dispensability of overt past temporal reference in sequenced narrative clauses. What has remained understudied in this context is patterns of past marking evident in New Englishes and L2 varieties. The few comprehensive studies that exist (e.g., Gut 2009 on Singapore English; Biewer 2015 on Fiji, Samoan, and Cook Islands English) are particularly interesting in this respect, as they not only provide further evidence for the existence in non- creole varieties of what used to be considered creole features but also pay attention to possible substrate effects. In this paper, we turn to Australian Aboriginal English. Detailed sociolinguistic studies investigating variation in Aboriginal English quantitatively are rare (see Eades 2014 for an overview of existing work). Descriptions have noticed variation in varieties of Aboriginal English, but have maintained that there is also significant uniformity (see, e.g., Malcom 2013: 270). This is especially valid for past- tense marking, where “Aboriginal English uses basically the same system of tense and aspect marking as standard English, and […] the apparent differences […] can be accounted for on phonological rather than grammatical grounds” (Malcolm 1996: 153). To validate this claim, we analyze a corpus of 34 sociolinguistic interviews and narratives recorded on Croker Island, NT. We first sketch the elements comprising the system of past temporal reference in the variety and then present the results of a multivariate analysis of verbal past marking employing logistic regression. Our aim with this analysis is not only to describe the strength and direction of the factors influencing the feature in Aboriginal English but also to systematically compare this L2 variety to other varieties, thereby contributing to the incipient discussion about the typological profile of varieties of English (cf. Kortmann & Lunkenheimer 2012).

Tense variation in Australian English narratives: Patterns and discourse-pragmatic functions

ABSTRACT. Investigations of tense variation in narratives have largely focused on the alternation between the Simple Past (SP) and the Conversational Historical Present (CHP) (see notably Wolfson 1978, 1979; Schiffrin 1981; Wolfson 1982; Rodríguez Louro & Ritz 2014). Few studies have considered variation between the SP, CHP and Narrative Present Perfect (NPP), especially from a discourse-analytic perspective (see Engel & Ritz 2000; Levey 2006; Richard & Rodríguez Louro 2016) (example 1).

This paper seeks to expand our understanding of tense variation in narrative by examining the patterns and discourse-pragmatic functions of the SP, CHP and NPP in a corpus of 287 performed narratives produced by 99 native AusE speakers. What is the role of the NPP? Are the functions identified for the NPP comparable to those identified for the SP and the CHP? Can the forms co-occur across the sequence of narrative clauses? How do they articulate? Adopting an inductive approach, two main discourse-pragmatic functions for the alternation between the SP, CHP and/or NPP are empirically established.

Firstly, the CHP and NPP both serve as internal evaluation devices (see Schiffrin 1981; Silva-Corvalán 1983). They highlight events judged remarkable or unexpected (Mustanoja 1960: 506–507; Silva-Corvalán 1983: 774; Fleischman 1990: 184; Fludernik 1991: 374). They are often used in (the build-up to) narrative climax (Schiffrin 1981: 60; Rickford & Théberge Rafal 1996: 238) (see example 1). The SP cannot serve as an internal evaluation device.

Secondly, the alternation between the SP, CHP and/or NPP structures the narrative. Any of the three forms can establish a landmark in the story (Schiffrin 1992: 763). The CHP and NPP are used to dissociate the main narrative line of events from background information in the SP (Hopper 1979: 216; Fleischman 1990: 168–169; Fludernik 1991: 373). They occur most frequently in the middle of the narrative clause sequence, whereas the SP is most often used in initial and final clauses (see Schiffrin 1981: 51; Tagliamonte & Poplack 1988: 520–521; Levey 2006: 146–147). As reported in prior research, there is a clustering of similar tense forms (Tagliamonte & Poplack 1988: 520–521; Cox 2005: 90; Levey 2006: 146–147; Rodríguez Louro & Ritz 2014: 558–559), which motivates Schiffrin’s (1981: 51) claim that rapid tense switching is atypical in narratives. However, I show that rapid tense switching is common between the SP and the CHP in quotative contexts where quotative verb, grammatical person and the narrator’s evaluation of the quote all impact tense usage (example 2).

Taken together, these findings indicate that the CHP and the NPP fulfill similar discourse-pragmatic functions in narrative. The NPP is often used in lieu of the CHP. However, the forms also co-occur, thus adding a new possibility for contrast. This research illuminates how discourse-pragmatic considerations influence the choice of tenses in narrative. It also underscores the importance of qualitative approaches to complement quantitative analysis of language variation and change (Brown & Tagliamonte 2012: 1).

The punctual never in Australian English: the mysterious case of the missing vernacular universal

ABSTRACT. The use of never as a simple negator (e.g. I never went to school today) is a classic form of emphatic negation. In contrast to the standard non-emphatic use (e.g. I never go to school on Saturdays), the punctual never refers to only one point in time, rather than multiple occurrences. It is the vernacular universal par excellence: it is attested in 83% of Englishes worldwide, and Australia is apparently no exception, where the construction remains “pervasive” (Kortmann & Lunkenheimer 2013: Feature 159). However, corpus data shows that this form of the punctual never is rare in Australian English. An examination of the UWA Corpus of English in Australia (2012-2015, under construction) discloses only two frank tokens of the punctual never, consisting of just 0.2% of total tokens of never. Where in the world is our missing vernacular universal?

As it turns out, it has gone undercover: Australian English appears to rely predominantly on a “covert” version of the punctual never, known as the “window of opportunity” never (Lucas & Willis 2012). In these constructions, the punctuality of never is camouflaged, shielded by the possibility of an action taking placed multiple times within a set window of opportunity (e.g. he never picked me up for lunch). These ‘ninja nevers’, where the punctuality of the never is less obvious, consist of a healthier 13% of corpus data. This contrasts with the use found in varieties of British English, where is the nonstandard use (i.e. in combination with a frank time adverbial, e.g. I never went to school today) is common. Additionally, various predicate types and formulaic chunks of language are tested in acceptability judgement tasks with 170 linguistics students. Chunks like never got around to it are rated as more acceptable than the nonstandard and more clearly punctual never (e.g. I never went to the supermarket today). As Wray (2002, p. 49) describes, “an effect of bypassing an examination of the internal composition of a string… can be to protect the meaning from the normal pressures of language change.” It seems that the social stigmatization of the construction leads the punctual never to go underground: a ninja never, hiding its punctuality in formulaic chunks and the window of opportunity usage.

References: Kortmann, B., & Lunkenheimer, K. (2013). The Electronic World Atlas of Varieties of English. Lucas, C., & Willis, D. (2012). Never again: the multiple grammaticalization of never as a marker of negation in English. English Language and Linguistics, 16(3), 459-485. Wray, A. (2002). Formulaic Language and the Lexicon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

13:30-15:00 Session 8D: Song Workshop
Location: Sutherland
Vocal effects in Wangkangurru songs
SPEAKER: Luise Hercus

ABSTRACT. In Wangkangurru  – as elsewhere- songs are felt to be part of a dramatic performance. This applies particularly to the singing of what remains of the great song cycles.  It means that song language can be enhanced with onomatopoetic effects, such as imitating the sound of hailstones hitting the ground, There are other ways of making song language realistic, such as singing with great intensity, particularly when a verse is emotionally charged, singing with great speed, as in a chase.

There was one example from the Cooper of singing at a spectacular speed in ‘naming the country’, i.e. listing the places where the ducks should breed. It could be that this practice was more wide-spread.

There was also the use of the final exclamation pirr.

The only song we were able to record from Gippsland has a final pirr, 

When we have no sound tracks, as in 19th century data from Victoria, we can still get a glimpse of these emphatic devices.

Vowel pitch, musical pitch, and the length of intonation units in speech and song

ABSTRACT. In this paper, we will focus (i) on vowel intrinsic pitch and its match with musical pitch in senseless syllables and (ii) on the length of intonation units in speech and song.

(i) Concerning vowel intrinsic pitch, it is known since Meyer (1896) that high vowels such as [i] have a higher intrinsic fundamental frequency (IF0) than low vowels such as [a]. Although pitch frequency or fundamental frequency (F0) of vowels is primarily determined by the vibration of the vocal folds, there are also correlations between the height of the formants F1 and F2 and vowel intrinsic pitch. Vowels with a high F2 (e.g. [i], [y]) have a higher intrinsic pitch than vowels with a low F2 (e.g. [a], [o]).

In authors (2009a) we hypothesized that in songs containing strings of meaningless syllables the vowels might be connected to melodic direction in close correspondence to their intrinsic pitch. We tested this assumption based on all monophonic Alpine yodelers (n=15) in Pommer’s collection from 1893. The test revealed a surprisingly uniform pattern: The melody descended in 118 out of 121 [i]→[o] successions and ascended in 132 out of 133 [o]→[i] successions. A similar assumption was tested in Austrian traditional songs, which include successions of nonsense syllables. In 24 out of 26 songs we found the expected coincidence between the vowel [i] and the highest pitch in melody (authors 2009b). A strong relationship between vowel pitch and musical pitch in meaningless syllables is also reported in the yodeling of African Pygmies (Fürniss 1993, Demolin, 2013): Front vowels are associated with high pitch and back vowels with low pitch.

(ii) We claim that both speech and song are produced in intonation units which have a certain size determined by memory constraints and the breath cycle. Intonation units such as clauses or musical phrases (and lines of poems) typically span about 2 sec and about 5 to 10 pulses, i.e., syllables or notes (Huron 1996, authors 2002, 2009a). Moreover, we found a negative cross-linguistic correlation between number of syllables per intonation unit and number of phonemes per syllable. The more syllables, the shorter their duration – similar to music where in “phrases containing many notes, the notes are usually very fast” (Temperley 2001).

Balancing metrical forms in the Maggio Garfagnino
SPEAKER: Linda Barwick

ABSTRACT. This paper will draw on extensive documentation I carried out during the 1990s of performances of the maggio garfagnino, a form of sung popular theatre in verse performed in the Garfagnana valley of NW Tuscany.

Three conventional metrical structures are used: the stanza a maggio (octosyllabic quatrains or more rarely quintains rhyming ABBA or ABBCC), which is used for the vast majority of the performance, and two marked forms, namely the ottava (eight hendecasyllables rhyming ABABABCC) and the arietta (seven-syllable quatrains rhyming ABBC, the last truncated). The latter two, used in moments of high drama or intense emotion, were originally rather rare but have come to form a significantly higher proportion of the scripts, which are written by local authors and freely edited by the capomaggio (head of the performance company) to match the exigencies of the performance, including the availability of performers to cover roles, and the desire of performers to show off their vocal ability.

In the paper I will reflect on the wider cultural connotations of these marked forms, on the motivations for their increasing use, and on the points selected for their insertion into the narrative.

15:00-15:30 Session : Afternoon Tea
Location: Holme Verandah
15:30-17:00 Session 9A: Sessions A
Location: Drawing
How degrammaticalization can be reconstructed with phonotactics
SPEAKER: Don Daniels

ABSTRACT. A central concept in comparative reconstruction is directionality, the idea that linguistic change is more likely to proceed in some directions than in others. In cases where linguists are examining non-identical cognate reflexes, directionality allows them to infer which reflex (if any) is more likely to be archaic, and should therefore be reconstructed to the proto-language (Campbell & Harris 2002: 610). But of course, language change does not always proceed in the expected direction, as in the case of degrammaticalization (Norde 2009; Viti 2015). In cases such as these, how can the unusual change be reconstructed?

This paper presents a case in which degrammaticalization provides the best account of the data, with key evidence coming from phonotactics. The case concerns the Sogeram languages, a group of ten Trans-New Guinea (Papuan) languages spoken in Papua New Guinea, and the reconstruction of Proto-Sogeram.

One Central Sogeram language, Sirva, has an innovative 3SG pronoun be that is not a reflex of Proto-Sogeram *nu ‘3SG’ but is rather cognate with nominative enclitics =(m)b in two West Sogeram languages, Nend and Manat. Sirva be, unlike other Sogeram pronouns, functions as a determiner in many constructions, including NP-marking (1) and subordination (2). In this way it resembles the Nend and Manat clitics (3). These forms are also cognate with a suffix that forms emphatic or contrastive pronouns in many Sogeram languages and which is reconstructed as *-mpi on the 1SG pronoun and *-mpa on others (4).

Of these cognates, only the Sirva reflex is a free form, while the rest are phonologically bound. Ordinarily, in a situation like this, most linguists would nevertheless reconstruct a free form similar to the modern Sirva pronoun to Proto-Sogeram—probably *mpi, since the *mp cluster is the etymological source of Sirva prenasalized b—and posit that it underwent similar grammaticalization in several Sogeram languages. But in this case that reconstruction is problematic because of the reconstructible phonotactics of Proto-Sogeram: word-initial clusters of nasal plus stop were not allowed. Of the 318 Proto-Sogeram lexical reconstructions posited by Daniels (2015), none begin with a nasal-stop cluster. For this reason, I argue that the most parsimonious account of the data is as follows: Proto-Sogeram had an enclitic *=mpi/*=mpa that attached to NPs and had contrastive meaning. In Sirva the *=mpi variant was generalized and eventually debonded from the NP. It also underwent semantic change to become a 3SG pronoun. Relics of this process can be seen in the fact that the pronoun, in contrast to other Sogeram pronouns, still retains several of its NP-marking functions.

Thus we see that degrammaticalization is indeed reconstructible, given the right circumstances. By viewing the reconstruction in its full linguistic context—in this case, considering the phonotactics of Proto-Sogeram—we see that the bound reflexes in the other Sogeram languages are more likely to be archaic, while Sirva be is probably innovative. Although minority patterns are, by definition, infrequent, with careful attention to the data they are recoverable.

The origins of root expansion in Lamalama and Rimanggudinhma

ABSTRACT. This paper analyses processes of root expansion in Lamalama and Rimanggudinhma, two Lamalamic (Paman < Pama-Nyungan) languages from the east coast of Cape York Peninsula (Australia). Lexical roots in these languages are unusual by Australian standards, shaped by processes of initial erosion, specifically loss of initial consonants and syllables, and subsequent expansion, leftward through VC prefixing, and rightward through morphological augmentation and subsequent semantic bleaching. This paper analyses the history of these expansion processes, and suggests that they may have originated as mechanisms to compensate for initial erosion to monosyllables. In this sense, expansion may be diachronically linked to erosion, and its origins explained in terms of a principle of word minimality proposed for Australian languages more generally (Baker 2014).

Processes of initial erosion are not unusual for languages of Cape York Peninsula, but in Lamalama and Rimanggudinhma they include not just loss of initial consonants (see Alpher 1976, Hale 1976, Blevins 2001), but also loss of initial syllables. Given that the canonical Pama-Nyungan (and Proto-Pama-Nyungan) root is bisyllabic, the expectation is that this would create a large number of monosyllables, as in (1) below.

(1) *pama ‘person’ (Proto-Paman) ~ mba ‘person’ (Lamalama) ~ ba ‘person’ (Rimanggudinhma)

In both languages, however, the percentage of monosyllables is no more than one quarter of all roots. This can be attributed to processes of expansion subsequent to initial erosion. The process of leftward expansion is illustrated in (2), which shows how erosion to a monosyllabic root is followed by prefixing of a meaningless syllable arr- or al-, lexically fixed in Lamalama and partly variable in Rimanggudinhma. The process of rightward expansion is illustrated in (3), which shows how what would be a monosyllabic reflex of a bisyllabic proto-form is extended with a syllable -du (of uncertain origin) in Lamalama.

(2)a. iman ‘high’ (Umbuygamu) ~ arrmian ‘hill’ (Lamalama) b. *kampul ‘stomach’ (Proto-Paman) ~ (al)mbul ‘belly’ Rimanggudinhma) (3)*camal ‘foot’ (Proto-Paman) ~ mbaldu ‘foot’ (Lamalama)

This paper examines the diachrony of these expansion processes, using historical-comparative evidence to detect leftward expansion through CV prefixing, and comparative and phonotactic evidence to detect other forms of augmentation in synchronically unanalysable roots. Some aspects of the synchronic distribution of expansion also suggest that its origins can be linked to initial erosion. Specifically, the morphosyntactic distribution of variable prefixes, as well as a strong association of expanded forms with what would otherwise be monosyllables, suggest that both processes may originate in a mechanism to counterbalance the development of monosyllables. This may itself be linked to a more general tendency towards a minimal word size for Australian languages (Baker 2014). While this has usually been observed in synchronically productive enhancement mechanisms (e.g. Hale 1973, Round 2011 on Lardil), the Lamalamic material suggests that it can also operate diachronically and produce a more mixed picture, with evidence for expansion processes originating as a compensation mechanism, but at the same time synchronically licensing a sizeable set of monosyllables without any form of enhancement.

An unusual diachronic trajectory in Northern Australia: Noun class > Article > Case
SPEAKER: unknown

ABSTRACT. A number of languages in Northern Australia exhibit two paradigms of noun class prefix morphology: e.g. Ngalakgan (Merlan 1983, Table 1). In some languages, the two series mark discourse functions. In others, they mark case functions. Two aspects of the pattern are puzzling. First, the discourse/case morphology is inside the noun class morphology, counter-exemplifying claims about scope and morpheme order (Bybee 1985). Second, the marking of 'core' cases, including Subject, is more contentful than the marking of 'oblique' cases, such as Locative: e.g. Gurr-goni (Table 2). This counter-exemplifies the usual distribution of case morphology (Comrie 1989:126), whereby if any case is Ø-realised, it is Intransitive Subject. We argue that both these patterns derive from historical accretion of class-prefixed demonstrative paradigms, and can be explained by the sequence of changes schematised in (1). Each of these changes is exemplified by one or more current languages. At Stage 1, exemplified by Burarra (Green 1987), NC prefixes attach to modifiers, but not nouns. At Stage 2, exemplified by Marra (Heath 1981), a demonstrative paradigm becomes grammaticalized as a Topic article paradigm. Topic-marking articles are characteristically associated with generic referents, as in (3), and referents which are newly introduced or re-introduced, and thus often in contrastive function. At Stage 3, exemplified by Ngalakgan and Wubuy (Heath 1984), this article paradigm is reduced to prefixal status. The erstwhile demonstrative root is re-analyzed as a Topic prefix. This accounts for the first puzzling characteristic. In this system, noun class prefixes are distributed primarily according to discourse considerations. However in Wubuy, the original non-topic prefix paradigm has developed frequency-based associations with oblique cases. We argue that these associations developed through paradigmatic opposition to the topic-marked paradigm. There are characteristic patterns of co occurrence between humanness, topicality, and case. Referents in direct cases (subject, object, recipient) are overwhelmingly human, as we demonstrate with reference to a corpus of a typologically diverse group of languages (Haig & Schnell 2016). Given the strong association between topicality and humanness, topic-marked nouns are frequently in direct cases (as in Japanese: Shibatani 1990:276). A re-analysis of Topic > Core and Non-Topic > Oblique is the last stage of the grammaticalisation path, illustrated in (2). The development of case marking from topic-marking is otherwise attested, but the motivations require fuller examination. We discuss the few cases in the literature of the trajectory, demonstrative > article > case marker (Klimov 1962, McGregor 2008, Pensalfini 1999). We demonstrate that they can likely be explained by the same kinds of mechanisms that gave rise to the northern Australian patterns. In the case of Gurr goni and languages showing similar prefixal case marking, we argue in addition that the grammaticalisation of class prefix allomorphs as case markers was at least partly motivated by the lack of other means of indicating case (e.g. suffixation) in these languages. We discuss alternative hypotheses about the origin of this system such as Heath (1987) and show that they rest on unlikely assumptions.

15:30-17:00 Session 9B: Sessions B
Location: Cullen South
The Kinship system in Brag-dbar dialect of Situ Rgyalrong
SPEAKER: Shuya Zhang

ABSTRACT. Rgyalrong languages, a subgroup of the Burmo-Qiangic branch of Sino-Tibetan family, are spoken in the west of the Sichuan Province of China. They are polysynthetic languages exhibiting head-marking morphology. Based on mutual intelligibility, four independent languages are recognized: eastern Rgyalong language, also known as Situ, and northern Rgyalrong languages, Japhug, Tshobdun and Zbu. The kinship systems of these languages show distinct characteristics in the Sino-Tibetan family. Nevertherless, this subject is not sufficiently addressed in Rgyalrong studies. This talk is aimed to provide a preliminary presentation of the kinship system in Brag-dbar dialect of Situ.

On one hand, like other Rgyalrong languages (Jacques, 2015; 17-18; Prins, 2016, 176-177), most kin terms in Brag-dbar are marked by a vocative prefix or a possessive prefix:

(1) ŋa-pū tə-mī kənə̂s ˈndo poss.1sg-child poss.indef-daughter two exist:fac I have two daughters.’

(2) ŋə-mô wa-jtsiɛ̂ tə a-kû ka-tsə̂ ˈŋas poss.1sg-mother poss.3sg-brother det voc-uncle inf-say be:fac

However, Brag-dbar’s system distinguishes itself by the unexpected contrast between the vocatives ‘a-’ and ‘ɐ-’ as in a-tsī ‘uncle (father’s younger brother)’ and ɐ-tsī ‘aunt (father’s and mother’s younger sister)’. This contrast has neither been reported in other Situ dialects (Lin, 2016, 17-18; Prins, 2016, 176-177) nor in Northern Rgyalrong languages (Jacques, 2015). the a-/ɐ- oppposition can not be simply interpreted as a morphological expression of the grammatical gender, since it does not occur systematically. This talk is going to unveil the conditions triggering the differentiated marking of a-/ ɐ- in Brag-dbar.

On the other hand, Jacques (2008, 42-43) has mentionned that Japhug’s kinship system is similar to the Omaha type where relatives are classified according to their descent and gender (Deliège, 2011, 38-41). In Japhug’s system, the status of the child of my mother’s brother is promoted, whereas that of my father’s sister is downgraded. A same term is used to address the maternal uncle and his child, and the same case is found with the pair of the child of paternal aunt and one’s sister’s child. In Brag-dbar, such system is only a basic layer, where the upgradation of the maternal uncle’s child is conserved and expressed by a-kə-pō and ɐ-tsi- pū in which a-kû ‘maternal uncle’ and ɐ-tsī ‘parents’ sister’ can be recognized. However, the downgradation of my father’s sister’s child is blurred.

Based on the description of Brag-dbar’s kinship system, we will first compare it with the systems of other Rgyalrong languages. We will see how the case in Brag-dbar can complete the documentation of the kinship systems in Situ Rgyalrong and contribute to the typology of kinship systems.

References: Deliège, Robert. 2011. Anthropologie de la famille et de la parenté. Paris: Armand Colin Éditeur. Jacques, Guillaume. 2015. A skecth of japhug. to appear . Jacques, Guillaume 向柏霖. 2008. Jiarongyu yanjiu 嘉绒语研究 [research on the rgyalrong language]. Beijing: Nationalities Press. Prins, Marielle. 2016. A grammar of rgyalrong jiǎomùzú (kyom-kyo) dialects. Leiden: Univer- siteit Leiden.

Kuni Emotion Terminology 1899-1952
SPEAKER: Alan Jones

ABSTRACT. Kuni is a Western Oceanic language of the Papuan Tip linkage. It is head-marking and verb-final. Verbs predominate in conversation and as well as more specialised speech genres. I here present an historical, text-based study of the available expressions for emotions, 1896-1952.

Unlike object-dominant languages (Capell, 1969), Kuni tends to express many abstract categories dynamically, either as finite verbs or in the form of metaphorical body-part predications. Emotions, for example, can be encoded in any of the following ways:

a) As apparently unmotivated (i.e. ‘literal’) verbs b) As derived nouns – a comparatively rare usage c) As metaphorical body-part predications (MBPPs) d) As lexified MBPPs

Certain emotions are only expressed by abstract verbs, others only as MBPPs. However, anger type emotions can be encoded either by abstract verbs or MBPPs. The nature of the emotions so grouped suggests certain social-functional categories. However, the picture is distorted by the fact that some MBPPs are lexified as complex verbs. Below I summarise membership of three groups of emotions:

Group I. Emotions represented solely by unmotivated verbs.

Ia. Emotions represented by a single unmotivated verb. Salient here are the terms for ‘love’ and ‘fear’ and ‘shame’.

Ib Emotions capable of being represented by either of two seemingly synonymous unmotivated verbs. Here we find terms for ‘envy’, ‘resentment’ and ‘desire’.

Group II. Emotions that can only be expressed by a metaphorical body-part predication. These include ‘sorrow’ or ‘grief’, along with terms for ‘liking’ and ‘disliking’. (The last two MBPPs are relatively motivated in that they predicate ‘goodness’ or ‘badness’ of the ‘heart’, the nua.)

Group III. Emotions where speakers have a choice between abstract terms and MBPPs. Here we find primarily expressions for anger type emotions, a class of affects that here, as in so many languages, is hyperlexicalised.

In short, speakers have a choice between representing anger type emotions unemotionally – forensically, as it were – and attempting to communicate the quality of the experience involved. More broadly, there is a choice a between two discourses: a discourse of blaming, explaining and distancing and a discourse of empathy, sympathy, justification and solidarity. I suggest further analysis in terms of prototypical speech acts.

Data sources

Egidi, V. M. (1913). Mythes et légendes des Kuni, British New Guinea. Anthropos 8: 978-1009.

Egidi, V. M. Mythes et légendes des Kuni, British New Guinea. Anthropos 9: 81-97 and 392-404.

Eschlimann, P. H. (1935). Grammaire Kuni. Waigani and Fane: Manuscript. Available on microfilm: AU PMB MS 661.

Eschlimann, P. H. and Rossier, R. F. J. (1952). Biblia Bukana. (Illustrated Bible History. Kuni dialect). Yule Island, PNG: Catholic Mission.

Norin, G. (1937). Kuni-French Dictionary, prefaced by Eschlimann’s Kuni grammar sketch. Available on microfilm: AU PMB MS 662.

Relevant scholarship

Capell, A. (1969). A survey of New Guinea languages. Sydney University Press.

Klamer, M. (2001). Phrasal emotion predicates in three languages of Eastern Indonesia. In Yearbook of Morphology 2000 (pp. 97-121). Springer Netherlands.

Ponsonnet, M. (2014). The Language of Emotions: The case of Dalabon (Australia). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Degree of variation in the metaphorical conceptualisations of emotion near-synonyms: A quantitative corpus-based study of happiness concepts in Indonesian

ABSTRACT. In this presentation, I demonstrate that near-synonyms in an emotion lexical fields exhibit variation in their preferred metaphorical construal. I will show how this variation can be captured using a set of corpus linguistic techniques in the study of metaphor and semantics. The implications will be discussed in relation to (i) the study of emotion metaphorical-semantics (e.g. Kövecses, 2008) from the corpus-based perspective, and (ii) the interaction of metaphors and lexical semantics (Stefanowitsch, 2006).

As a case study, I investigate five prototypical concepts of the happiness category in Indonesian (Shaver, Murdaya, & Fraley, 2001): bahagia ‘happ(y/iness)’, senang ‘happy; contented’, gembira ‘excited; exuberant’, ceria ‘pure; clean; cheerfulness’, and riang ‘very happy; joyous’. Based on the Indonesian Leipzig Corpora, I analysed in total 5250 citations containing the noun words denoting the five concepts, and identified 3646 tokens of metaphorical expressions. Token frequency of the conceptual metaphors evoked by the linguistic metaphors across the happiness concepts are submitted to Multiple Distinctive Collexeme Analysis (MDCA), a member of the Collostructional Analysis (Stefanowitsch, 2013). MDCA outputs the so-called collostruction strength (CollStr) values showing the degree of attraction (positive CollStr) or repulsion (negative CollStr) between the metaphors with one of the five happiness concepts.

As a glimpse of the results, happiness is a desired goal/destination metaphor (i) is strongly attracted to both bahagia (CollStr 19.019) and senang (9.712), but (ii) is strongly repelled by gembira (-21.091), ceria (-17.766), and riang (-5.169). This suggests a strong aspirative profile of bahagia and senang. Yet, senang also has a negative tone for strongly attracting deceiver (8.151), subjugator (5.9), and adversary (3.459) metaphors. Meanwhile, gembira, ceria, and riang attract metaphors invoking their intense and expressive profiles. Gembira attracts happiness is a liquid in a container (12.086), subsuming two frequent submetaphors: expression of happiness is released liquid and intensified happiness is heated liquid. Ceria and riang strongly attract happiness is a contained entity (9.986 for ceria; 5.647 for riang), most frequently focusing on the fullness of the entity. The (in)expressiveness of ceria is shown by the colour (4.862) metaphor; riang is construed as drawing (3.41); and gembira as concealed object (6.01). Overall, the results indicate (i) degree of nuances between members of a generic emotion category, and (ii) interaction between metaphorical usages and near-synonyms.

15:30-17:00 Session 9C: Sessions C
Location: Cullen North
Korean L2 learners’ perception and production of Vietnamese tones
SPEAKER: unknown

ABSTRACT. 1. Aims The goal of this study is to understand how L1 experience with prosodic features affects L2 speech production and perception at the suprasegmental level by examining the Vietnamese tone patterns of monosyllabic words in Korean learners. The study aims to address three research issues: a.) Korean learners’ performance in Identification, Read-Aloud, and Imitation of the six Vietnamese tones are compared to examine whether perception or production exerts a stronger influence on imitation, b.) the general error patterns of Vietnamese tones by Korean learners, and c.) how Korean prosodic system influences tonal perception and production of Vietnamese. 2. Method The L2 learners of Vietnamese consisted of 11 native Korean speakers (5 male, 6 female) recruited from second-year students of Vietnamese Department of the Busan University of Foreign Studies in South Korea. Their average age was 21 and their average length of learning Vietnamese was more than one year. A control group of 11 Northern Vietnamese (Hanoi) speakers (7 female, 4 male) was also included. They were international students at Macquarie University and have lived in Australia from 6 months to 1 year. Their average age was 35.3 (SD=7.2). The experiment used open syllables with the initial stop consonant /t-/ and the nine Vietnamese vowels /i/, /e/, /ɛ/, /ɯ/, /ɤ/, /a/, /u/, /o/, /ɔ/, three diphthongs /ie/, /ɯɤ/, and /uo/. These vowels were then embedded in /t_/ carrier words. Each word independently carried one of the six Northern Vietnamese tones. The analysis includes learners' mean percentage accuracy and error rates for the six Vietnamese tones in the three different tasks which were calculated and summarized in confusion matrices. Furthermore, acoustic analysis was performed on the imitation and read-aloud data of both groups of speakers (Korean learners and control Vietnamese). The key acoustic parameters included F0 (Fundamental frequency) maximum and F0 minimum for each tone, F0 range, the Fundamental frequency (F0 in Hz) at 10 equidistant points on the tone contour of each syllable rime, and a qualitative transcription of the F0 contours and voice quality. 3. Results

The results showed that the Imitation task was generally easier for Korean speakers than the Identification and Read-Aloud tasks, suggesting that imitation was performed without some of the skills required by the other two tasks. The result on tonal F0 range and speakers’ tonal range showed that the Korean leaners have significantly narrower tonal F0 range than control Vietnamese speakers. The results of error pattern analysis and tonal transcription showed that Korean learners failed to produce the glottal stop and/or creakiness in the Broken and Drop tones, thus making the two native Vietnamese listeners confuse many Broken as Curve tones and Dropping as Falling tones. This can be said to be a negative transfer from their L1 since voice quality is not a distinctive feature in Korean while it is in Vietnamese. This also suggested the effects of phonetic realizations of lexical tones in Vietnamese that are in interaction with language transfer from Korean phonology.

Acquisition of Mandarin Neutral Tone by 4-year-olds
SPEAKER: unknown

ABSTRACT. During early phonological acquisition, children demonstrate challenges in acquiring weak syllables [1]. In Mandarin Chinese, neutral tone (T0) is realised as a weak syllable, exhibiting short duration and varied pitch contours when following different lexical tones. A previous study using perceptual coding of children’s productions reported that T0 is acquired later (after 4;6) than lexical tones (before 3 years) and children tend to lengthen or omit T0 syllables, or produce them as full lexical tones [2]. However, no acoustic analysis on children’s T0 productions has been reported, it still remains unclear what children’s T0 productions are and if they are adult-like. This issue was addressed in the present study by comparing acoustic features of T0 productions from 4-year-olds and adults. Based on previous perceptual reports, we predicted that 4-year-olds would lengthen T0 syllables and show different pitch patterns than adults. Forty-six Mandarin-speaking children (mean: 4yrs., range: 4;1-4;12, 21 boys and 25 girls) and 33 Mandarin-speaking adults (mean: 20 yrs., range: 19-25 yrs., 9 males and 24 females) were recruited in Beijing. Two word types (reduplicative and possessive) of disyllabic T0 words (T1/2/3/4+T0) were selected as stimuli, resulting in 8 items. All words are picturable high-frequency words familiar to 4-year-olds. A picture naming task was used to elicit T0 productions from children and adults. T0 duration ratio (T0Duration / TXDuration) was computed and 10 pitch points were extracted from T0 syllables using Praat software [3] for acoustic analysis. To compare T0 duration between children and adults, a linear mixed-effects model was performed on T0 duration ratio (figure 1) across groups, word types and tonal contexts. The results showed that, relative to adults, children produced longer T0 duration ratios in both possessive syllables after T2 (p < 0.05, Cohen’s d = 0.34) and reduplicative syllables after T3 (p < 0.01, Cohen’s d = 0.61). To compare T0 pitch contours between children and adults, another linear mixed-effects (2nd order polynomial) regression model was performed on T0 pitch values (figure 2) across groups, word types and tonal contexts. The results showed no differences between the overall T0 tone contours from children and adults. However, children differed from adults in 3 scenarios. The linear trend analysis showed that children had flatter pitch contours than adults for T0 in reduplicative syllables following T1 (larger negative linear trends: p < 0.01, Cohen’s d = 0.21) and steeper pitch contours for possessive syllables following T2 (smaller negative linear trends: p < 0.05, Cohen’s d = 0.17). The quadratic trend analysis showed that children had more curved contours than adults for all T0 in possessive syllables (smaller negative quadratic trends, p < 0.01, Cohen’s d = 0.12). These results show that 4-year-olds generally distinguished neutral tone from the four lexical tones in terms of duration and pitch, like the adults; however, the magnitude of the phonetic contrast signalling the distinction was not uniform for the lexical tones. Our results then raise further questions about what the productions by younger and older children (3- to 5-year-olds) might be across development.

Sensitivity to between- and within-category pitch variations: Perception of Mandarin lexical tones by non-native listeners from five different language backgrounds

ABSTRACT. Mandarin is one of the most representative tonal languages in the world. It has four contrastive tone categories (Tone 1 (T1): high level (ā), Tone 2 (T2): high rising (á), Tone 3 (T3): dipping (ǎ), Tone 4 (T4): high falling (à)). Thus, incorrect use of lexical tones leads to confusion or misunderstanding (e.g. 妈mā ‘mother’ vs 马mǎ ‘horse’ or 买mǎi ‘buy’ vs 卖mài ‘sell’). It is widely acknowledged that learning Mandarin tones is difficult for speakers from non-tonal first language (L1) backgrounds.

The purpose of this research was to examine if listeners differ, according to their L1s, in their response to between-category and within-category pitch variations in the perception of Mandarin lexical tones. Five groups of listeners naïve to Mandarin and a control group of 10 native speakers of Mandarin participated. Non-native listeners’ L1 backgrounds included both tonal (Burmese (n = 18), Thai (n = 11), Vietnamese (n = 10)) and non-tonal (Australian English (n = 10), Japanese (n = 14)) languages.

A categorial discrimination test with a four-alternative forced-choice oddity task employed in previous second language (L2) speech research (e.g. Flege et al. 1999; Wayland & Guion, 2004) was used to assess listeners’ perception of Mandarin lexical tones. All six tone pairs (T1-T2, T1-T3, T1-T4, T2-T3, T2-T4, T3-T4) including 336 (252 change, 84 no-change) trials produced by eight (4 males, 4 females) native Mandarin speakers were presented to the listeners. Their task was to listen to the stimuli presented in triads and identify the position of an odd item (1, 2, or 3) in change trials (e.g. bā – bā – bá) or select “NO” if all items were from the same tone category in no-change trials (e.g. mā – mā – mā or dǐ – dǐ – dǐ). Percentages of incorrect discrimination for the change and no-change trials were compared across the six groups of listeners.

Overall, non-native listeners made more perception errors in change than in no-change trials (36% vs 27% on average). In other words, they failed to detect the between-category (e.g. T1 vs T2) differences more so than they failed to ignore the within-category variations. However, some non-native listeners from tonal language backgrounds (i.e. Thai and Vietnamese groups) misperceived no-change trials as frequently as (or more frequently than) change trials (Thai: 23% vs 25%, Vietnamese: 26% vs 30%) as shown in Figure 1. This suggests that tonal language listeners may be too sensitive to linguistically irrelevant pitch variations, which is suitable for processing native, but not non-native, tones.

15:30-17:00 Session 9D: Song Workshop
Location: Sutherland
Tracing the origins of an Aboriginal travelling song: the Wanji-wanji of the Western Desert
SPEAKER: unknown

ABSTRACT. Classical Indigenous Australian culture consisted of ceremonies that were not only land-based songs, but also ‘travelling songs’ (McCarthy 1939). Like folk songs, these toured across political, ethnic and linguistic divides, quickly gaining popularity despite being in a foreign tongue. Many were purely entertainment or ‘fun’ songs, with no religious significance. Early colonists adopted the term ‘corroboree’ from the Sydney region word for this genre, carib-berie.

The most well-documented travelling song is the Molonga, known to have travelled from inland Queensland through central Australia and South Australia (Hercus 1980, Kimber 1990, Gibson 2015). In this paper we trace another example of this genre, first documented in 1913 and recorded more recently by us some 2470kms away. In 2015 we recorded a number of song sets performed by Gurindji men and women in Kalkaringi, NT (Turpin and Meakins, forthcoming). Upon further investigation, 11 of these songs had also been recorded 800 km to the south in 1975 (Moyle 1979). Furthermore, one of these Below), known as Wanji-wanji or ‘Warriwankanya’ had also been documented in WA in 1913 and recorded in 1970 (Bracknell 2015:167).

Like the Molonga, Wanji-wanji is known by different names across the country, and is said to have come from neighbouring or more distant language groups along trade routes and stock routes. In this paper we present the musical and linguistic evidence to show that these are all the same song and coupled with a discussion of the socio-historical context in which the songs were performed, suggest their possible origins and meanings.

Engaging with notes and recordings of Noongar song in community workshops

ABSTRACT. Community workshops undertaken to recirculate archival audio recordings of Noongar songs from the south coast of Western Australia have involved both the interpretation of lyrics and reconnection to ancestral song traditions. Developing old recordings of songs to the spiritual, emotional and intellectual point at which the community can breathe life into them again requires a necessarily gradual process, enhanced by the cultural, genealogical and geographical connections between the people, songs and country involved. Notes in handwritten diaries accompanying audio recorded by C.G. von Brandenstein in 1970 have assisted in this process, but have hardly been accepted as authoritative by the people participating, who include younger relatives of the singers on the original tapes as well as local language and cultural experts.

Engaging with the handwritten notes has involved multiple layers of interpretation and questioning, due to uncertainties introduced by (amongst other factors):

  • limitations in the original field situation including ambient noise and poor microphone quality and technique leading to unclear or muffled recordings;
  • lack of recording of the song text playback and elicitation sessions leading to questions as to the extent to which the researcher could have misheard or misinterpreted information given by the original singer;
  • difficulty in decipherment of the written record, including incomplete song text transcriptions, idiosyncratic handwriting, unusual orthography and diacritics;
  • transcription, copying and compilation errors introduced by the linguist’s data management methods between field note book and published versions of the texts.

With an agreed aim of producing performable texts, many of these uncertainties need to be resolved one way or another within the group. The notes have provided an extra opinion in the room for workshop participants to respond to in positing their own interpretations of particular song texts, many of which relink on-country cultural knowledge to the old melodies hanging in the air.

What is a Songline?
SPEAKER: Michael Walsh

ABSTRACT. The publication in 1987 by Bruce Chatwin made the term, songline, quite well known but what does the term actually refer to? In Chatwin’s terms: the labyrinth of invisible pathways which meander all over Australia and are known to Europeans as ‘Dreaming-tracks’ or ‘Songlines’; to the Aboriginals as the ‘Footprints of the Ancestors’ or the ‘Way of the Law’ (1987: 2). Magowan (2007) uses the terms, song paths and song routes. We also encounter the term, song cycle. In this paper we consider the scope of such terms and pose a number of questions, including:

What is the geographical extent of the so-called songlines?

Are there songlines ‘no longer in use’?

Are there ‘Dreamings’ which have no songs?