Language and people in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria : a comparative study

Curran, Georgia (2002). Language and people in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria : a comparative study Honours Thesis, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Archaeology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Curran, Georgia
Thesis Title Language and people in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria : a comparative study
School, Centre or Institute Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Archaeology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2002
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Open Access Status Other
Supervisor Dr Mary Laughren
Dr John Bradley
Total pages 123
Language eng
Subjects 200201 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Studies
200319 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages
Formatted abstract
The southern Gulf of Capentaria is an area of great linguistic diversity. Several interesting geographical discontinuities exist among some genetically close languages that are spoken in this region. In this thesis I aim to explain this interesting situation through a comparison of the lexicon of the languages that are currently spoken in this region. In examining the languages for evidence of social contacts amongst the speakers of these languages this thesis will shed light on the complex prehistory of this part of Australia.

Through the use of the methods of comparative linguistics I will examine the regular sound changes that are evident in the language groups and families in this region. I will present a relative chronology of sound changes on to which borrowed words will then be mapped. In identifying when words were borrowed this thesis will also present a relative time line for certain social contacts. It is evident that the speakers of the languages in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria have undertaken prehistoric migrations and had extensive contact with the speakers of other languages. This study will use linguistic evidence to highlight some of these social contacts and attempt to explain the present day geographical locations of the languages.
Keyword Aboriginal Australians -- Languages -- Research
Aboriginal Australians -- Northern Territory -- Languages.

 
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