Aboriginal people have been in Australia for at least 40,000 years, speaking about 250 languages. Through examination of published and unpublished materials on each of the individual languages, Professor Dixon surveys the ways in which the languages vary typologically and presents a profile of this long-established linguistic area. The areal distribution of most features is illustrated with more than 30 maps, showing that the languages tend to move in cyclic fashion with respect to many of the parameters. There is also an index of languages and language groups. Professor Dixon, a pioneering scholar in the field, brings an interesting perspective to this diverse and complex material.
• A comprehensive study of the indigenous languages of Australia • Study of a large-scale and long-established 'linguistic area' by a pioneering scholar in the field • Illustrated with over 30 maps and includes an index of languages and language groups
List of maps; List of abbreviations and conventions; Preface; Acknowledgements; Conventions followed; List of languages and language groups; 1. The language situation in Australia; 2. Modelling the language situation; 3. Overview; 4. Vocabulary; 5. Case and other nominal suffixes; 6. Verbs; 7. Pronouns; 8. Bound pronouns; 9. Prefixing and fusion; 10. Generic nouns, classifiers, genders and noun classes; 11. Ergative/accusative morphological and syntactic profiles; 12. Phonology; 13. Genetic subgroups and small linguistic areas; 14. Summary and conclusion; References; Index of languages, dialects and language groups; Subject index.