Djambarrpuynu: A Yolnu Variety of Northern Australia

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LINCOM GmbH, 2012 - Aboriginal Australians - 727 pages
This study is a reference grammar of Djambarrpuynu. Djambarrpuynu is an agglutinative non-configurational language spoken in north-east Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia. There are perhaps 1000 speakers of Djambarrpuynu. Unlike other Australian languages it is being spoken by a greater number of people than would have occurred traditionally. This study focuses on the language of older Djambarrpuynu clanspeople as occurs in texts. It covers areas of phonology, morphology and syntax as revealed in this corpus and through elicitation. There are numerous examples from the texts throughout the study. Phonologically the language is of interest because of the presence of a stop contrast and a glottal stop. Djambarrpuynu has been affected by regional morphophonological processes such as lentition and vowel deletion. Demonstratives are used not only to indicate spatial deixis and temporal relations, but also function prominently in referential tracking in texts. There is a specific set of pronominals used to code intraclausal coreference. Case suffixes may have adnominal, relational or complementizer functions. Tense needs to be described in terms of metrical and cyclical factors. The study also describes the synchronic relationship of Djambarrpuynu to other languages in the areas, with particular attention to the closely related clan varieties Djapu, Gupapuynu and Gumatj.

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