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|Title: ||Word Structure in Ngalakgan|
|Authors: ||Baker, Brett|
|Keywords: ||linguistics, Australian Aboriginal languages, morphology, prosody, phonology|
|Issue Date: ||1999|
|Publisher: ||University of Sydney, Linguistics|
|Abstract: ||Ngalakgan is an Australian language of the Gunwinyguan family, spoken fluently by just a few people in the mid Roper River area of the Top End. The thesis is a description and examination of the phonology, prosody, and morphology of Ngalakgan, based on several years of fieldwork. Ngalakgan is a language with a rich inventory of classically Gunwinyguan morphological features, including noun class agreement for all major and some minor word classes, compounding of both nouns and verbs, and a rich array of modifying and inflectional prefixes and suffixes. In Ngalakgan, there is a distinction between two kinds or 'levels' of morphology: 'root'-level and 'word'-level. Root-level morphology is lexicalised and unproductive. It is restricted to the tense/aspect/mood inflection of the small closed class of 'finite' verb roots, and to the large closed class of compounds of these roots. Word-level morphology is productive, and includes almost all prefixes, all (non-tensed) suffixes and all clitics. Only word-level structure is consistently reflected in prosodic structure; forms which are complex only at the root-level are treated as prosodic units. I show that all word-level morphemes constitute prosodic domains: every word-level stem, affix and clitic potentially begins a new domain for metrical foot structure. Geminates and glottal stops are over-represented at morpheme boundaries in complex words. In addition, they are subject to complex, non-local alternations with simple stops and zero, respectively, in Ngalakgan and related languages. The alternations are conditioned by preceding geminates and voiceless obstruent clusters, as well as by prosodic and morphological structure. I propose that voiceless obstruent clusters constitute 'boundary signals' to morphological structure, in a similar fashion to stress and, like stress, are 'licensed' by the organisation of intonation. Ngalakgan displays a quantitive-sensitive stress system in roots which is apparently unique to languages of this area. Heavy syllables in Ngalakgan are those which are articulatorily and perceptually complex: those in which the coda is followed by a consonant with a distinct place of articulation. Geminates, homorganic nasal+stop clusters and glottal stops interact with this distinction in ways which are not predicted by current prosodic theories.|
|Rights and Permissions: ||Copyright Baker, Brett Joseph;http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/copyright.html|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (Open Access)|
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