[Continuing my clean-out of partial posts in my livewriter folder…]
Girri’ means ‘clothes’ in Yan-nhaŋu; it also means ‘stuff’, as I found out yesterday when we were looking for general terms for the thesaurus. It’s interesting, though, that I’d never come across the context for the more general (and perhaps more focal meaning) during elicitation and conversation. I think there are a few reasons. One is that I did a bunch of elicitation a while ago with ‘same’ or ‘different’ involving dresses and clothes, so it has focal semantics for me through that. Also, I did colour elicitation talking about shirts. Second, though, whenever anyone used a sentence in Yan-nhaŋu involving ‘stuff’ (where I’d say stuff in English), they used ŋumun’ “something” and then a more specific word.
It’s a nice illustration of how language learning can be semantically misleading.