A Salvage Grammar of Malgana - The Language of Shark Bay, Western Australia

Gargett, Andrew (2011). A Salvage Grammar of Malgana - The Language of Shark Bay, Western Australia. Pacific linguistics, 624. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University.


There are no longer any speakers of the West Australian Aboriginal language Malgana who have any degree of fluency, and the series of analyses in this report are based on data from audio tapes made in the middle of the last decade of the 20th century, as well as various written materials produced over more than 150 years. This grammar is therefore an attempt to salvage from the scarce material available as complete a description of Malgana as possible. Nevertheless, the character of Malgana shines through what remains. For example, typical of Pama-Nyungan languages in general, Malgana exhibits split-ergative nominal marking, and of Aboriginal languages of the central West of Australia in particular, Malgana displays a full contrastive laminal series of stops in its phonology. A conscious effort has been made to provide in this grammar as many resources as possible for the researcher interested in comparative study of the surrounding languages. To this end, a (Malgana-based) comparative wordlist has been constructed for the languages of the region centring on the Murchison River: Malgana, Nhanda, Badimaya, Wajarri, and (Southern and Northern) Yingkarta.

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