Central NT languages -- resources

Last changed 31 December 1997.

This page supports the Language Tutorial at the Spring Conference of LAGB, University of Edinburgh, 6-9 April 1997.

LAGB Language Tutorial: Central Australian languages
  1. 11:30am-12:50pm Tuesday 8 April: Introduction,Warlpiri
  2. 7:45pm-8:45pm Tuesday 8 April: Warlmanpa, Warumungu
  3. 11:30am-12:50pm Wednesday 9 April: Gurindji, Wambaya; social situation leading to convergent phonologies and grammars

Further details on contents of each session.

An a item of related interest ["7. Language endangerment in Australia - the case of Warumungu (report by David Nash and Jane Simpson)"] is on the agenda of the meeting of the Foundation for Endangered Languages General Meeting on Sunday 6 April, at 2pm in Adam Ferguson Building B9, 50 George Square, Edinburgh 8.

Convenor: Jane Simpson, University of Sydney
Other tutors: Mary Laughren, University of Queensland
Patrick McConvell, Northern Territory University
David Nash, ANU and AIATSIS
Rachel Nordlinger, Stanford University.
Send e-mail to tutors: Mary Laughren (Warlpiri), Patrick McConvell (Gurindji), David Nash (Warlmanpa), Rachel Nordlinger (Wambaya), Jane Simpson (Warumungu).


Where the languages are spoken, and a brief history of contact.


The key introduction to the Warlpiri language is:

Laughren, Mary & Robert Hoogenraad. 1996. A Learner's Guide to Warlpiri. Tape Course for beginners. Wangkamirlipa Warlpirilki. Based on a tape course prepared by Kenneth Hale & Robin Japanangka Granites. Alice Springs: IAD Press. v+218pp., 5 audio cassettes. ISBN 094965919 [further information]

A Warlpiri Dictionary has been being compiled by Ken Hale, Mary Laughren and others and is nearing completion. It will be published by the same publisher as the Learner's Guide, IAD Press, Alice Springs. In the mean time, a 1.1Mb lexical file is available: Steve Swartz's Warlpiri dictionary (no internal links; see conditions in header).
Steve Swartz has also prepared a simplified Warlpiri Dictionary suited for use in the various Warlpiri Community Schools -- 210 pages printed front and back and pro-bound with a plastic see-through cover; $25 including postage. Order with a cheque made payable to SIL to:
The Bible Place, 55a Gap Road (behind the Mbantua Store), P.O. Box 8794, Alice Springs NT 0871
Ph/Fax: 89533057; E-mail: silalice@taunet.net.au

For practice you can try working through one of Steve Swartz's Warlpiri interlinear glossed texts.

A selection of other references on Warlpiri language follows; a full listing is elsewhere.

Austin, Peter & Joan Bresnan. 1996. Non-configurationality in Australian Aboriginal Languages. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 14.2,215-268. Brunson, Barbara. 1988. A Processing Model for Warlpiri Syntax and Implications for Linguistic Theory. Computer Science Department, University of Toronto. NTIS, CSRI-208. Amended version of 1986 M.A. Thesis, University of Toronto.

Hale, Kenneth. 1983. Warlpiri and the grammar of non-configurational languages. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 1 (1):5-47.

Hale, Ken, Mary Laughren, & Jane Simpson. 1996. Warlpiri Syntax. In Handbook of Syntax. Vol.2. Edited by J. Jacobs. Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft. 1430-1451. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter.

Kashket, Michael B. 1991. Parsing Warlpiri -- a free-word order language, pp.121-151 in Pinciple-based parsing: computation and psycholinguistics, ed. by Robert C. Berwick, Steven P. Abney & Carol Tenny. (Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy, Volume 44) Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

King, Heather B. In progress. The Intonation of Warlpiri. Doctor of Philosophy (Linguistics), University of Edinburgh.

Laughren, Mary. 1988. Towards a lexical representation of Warlpiri verbs. In Thematic relations. Edited by W. Wilkins. 215-242. New York: Academic Press.

Nash, David. 1986. Topics in Warlpiri grammar. Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics. Third Series. New York/London: Garland Publishing Inc. * 1980 version available from MITWPL (MIT Working Papers in Linguistics), US$12 plus postage.

Rockman Napaljarri, Peggy, & Lee Cataldi. 1994. Warlpiri Dreamings and histories: Yimikirli. The Sacred Literature Series. San Francisco, London, Pymble: Harper Collins.

Simpson, Jane. 1991. Warlpiri morphosyntax: a lexicalist approach. Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Speas, Margaret J. 1990. Phrase Structure in Natural Language. Studies on Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 21. 312pp. ISBN 0-7923-0755-0 61.00 Dordrecht: Kluwer. s.3.4.3 The Structure of Warlpiri, pp.159-172, in Chapter 3 Configurationality.

Swartz, Stephen, ed. 1982. Papers in Warlpiri grammar: in memory of Lothar Jagst. Work-Papers of SIL-AAB Series A-6. 217-315. Berrimah, Australia: Summer Institute of Linguistics. (Contains papers by Hale, Laughren, Nash, and others)

Swartz, Stephen M. 1991. Constraints on zero anaphora and word order in Warlpiri narrative text. SIL-AAIB Occasional Papers No.1. Darwin, Northern Territory: Summer Institute of Linguistics.


This is a selection: there is a full listing of references on Warlmanpa elsewhere.

Nash, David. 1979. Preliminary vocabulary of the Warlmanpa language (with grammatical preface). (1979 introduction) Ms., Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Papers by Patrick McConvell:

1996. The functions of split-Wackernagel clitic systems: pronominal clitics in the Ngumpin languages (Pama-Nyungan family, Northern Australia), Chapter 8, pp.299-331 in Second Position Clitics and Related Phenomena, ed. by Aaron L Halpern & Arnold M Zwicky. Stanford: CSLI Publications. * P2 Clitics Workshop, LSA Institute, Ohio, July 1993.

1978. Hierarchical variation in pronominal clitic attachment in the Eastern Ngumbin languages, pp.31-117 in Papers in Australian Linguistics No.13: Contributions to Australian linguistics. Edited by B. Rigsby and P. Sutton. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.

1988. Nasal Cluster Dissimilation and constraints on phonological variables in Gurindji and related languages. In Aboriginal Linguistics 1. Edited by N. Evans and S. Johnson. 135-187. Armidale: Department of Linguistics, University of New England.


This is a selection: there is a full listing of references on Warumungu elsewhere.

Simpson, Jane, & Jeffrey Heath. 1982. Warumungu sketch grammar. Typescript and electronic. 216p., Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.

Simpson, Jane. In press. Warumungu morphology. In Handbook of Morphology. Edited by A. Spencer and A. Zwicky. Basil Blackwell Ltd: Oxford.

Simpson, Jane, et al. Warumungu Dictionary. Typescript and electronic.


Papers by Rachel Nordlinger:

1993. A grammar of Wambaya. MA, University of Melbourne. [Includes short wordlist.] In press, Pacific Linguistics.

1996. The 'status' of Wambaya verbal inflection. Presented at the ALS conference, Canberra, July.

1996. (with Joan Bresnan). Nonconfigurational Tense in Wambaya. Presented at LFG conference, Grenoble, August.

Sign languages

Kendon, Adam. 1988. Sign languages of Aboriginal Australia: cultural, semiotic and communicative perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Code-switching, etc

Papers by Patrick McConvell:

1991. Understanding language shift in Aboriginal Australia: a step towards language maintenance. In Language in Australia. Edited by S. Romaine. 143-155. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

1988. Mix-im-up: Aboriginal code-switching, old and new. In Codeswitching: anthropological and sociolinguistic perspectives. Edited by M. Heller. 97-150. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

1994. Discourse frames analysis of code-switching, in Summer School on Code-switching, ed. by A. Piebenga & D. Gorter. Leeuwarden: Network on Language Contact and Codeswitching.

(with Dalton, L, S. Edward, R. Farquharson & S. Oscar). 1995. Gurindji children's language and language maintenance. IJSL

Australia languages
Central Australia

1997 David Nash