The Australian linguistic area

Dixon, R.M.W. (2017) The Australian linguistic area. In: Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y., and Dixon, R.M.W., (eds.) The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Typology. Cambridge Handbooks in Language and Linguistics . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 624-650.

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Abstract

[Extract] Australia is a fascinating linguistic area. At the time of the European invasion, which began in 1788, there were around 250 distinct languages. Many more than half of them are no longer actively spoken or remembered. No more than a dozen could be said to be in a healthy state, being fully learned by children. From about 120,000 until about 7,000 BP, Australia and New Guinea were one land mass. Archaeologists tell us that the first settlers arrived at least 40,000 years and probably 50,000 years ago. There would have been an initial expansion of people - during which tribes and languages split - until they filled all habitable parts of the land mass. At the end of this period of expansion (which is likely to have taken just a few thousand years), a family tree diagram would have appropriately modelled the relationships between languages.

Item ID: 47585
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-316-13571-6
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2017 01:53
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture @ 100%
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