5th European Australianists’ workshop (2)

Day two kicked off in fine North England drizzly style. I gave a talk on hunter-gatherer linguistics and things we might want to think about when considering hunter-gatherer language change. Continuing the  historical theme, my student Natalie Weber gave a nice report on her Marrngu reconstruction work. After coffee, Robert Mailhammer did a great study of Amurdak TAM marking (or, as he said, AM marking, since tense isn’t really involved).

Then followed three talks on different aspects of Jaminjung: Dorothea Hoffmann on motion event representation, Eva Schultze-Berndt on discontinuous noun phrases and Candide Simard on prosody. This is work on the Jaminjun and Eastern-Ngumpin DoBeS project and ripper talks they were too. I especially liked Candide’s talk on her dissertation work on establishing the prosodic units in Jaminjung and their function. I don’t know of any other detailed intonation work in Australia so this is pretty cool. Eva’s paper was an examination of the functions of discontinuity in Jaminjung; she showed that the language has true NPs, and discontinuity which is distinct from dislocation. The discontnuous phrases appear to mark sentence focus. Dorothea’s paper was a contribution to the motion event representaiton literature (which, iirc, was also the subject of the first Australianists workshop at the MPI some years ago). She compared event segmentation in Kriol and Jaminjung and discussed some of the problems in defining different types of event-segmentation parameters in languages with badly-defined VPs.

The last session included Steph Spronck givings us an outline of his planned PhD research on Ngarinyin social cognition, and Stefanie Fauconnier on her MA findings (which will be expanded in her PhD) on inanimate agents.

So, all in all, a successful weekend! It was particularly nice to see the number of student talks (almost half the total program) and the variety of work (and variety of languages!).

There are rumours that the next conference will be in Belgium next year, and I’ve offered to host the one after that in the US.

Many thanks to Eva, Felicity, Candide and all who made the weekend so successful!

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One response to “5th European Australianists’ workshop (2)

  1. > motion event representation
    > (which, iirc, was also the subject of the first Australianists workshop at the MPI some years ago
    Yes, April 1998, billed as 3rd, but in some sense 1st International — though we had at least one at MIT one January about 1979.

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