Week 2: and with three days to go

I’ve decided to prioritise syntax elicitation for the rest of my time here, with text proofing filling in the time for a bit of a break from other things. I did some intonation elicitation today, and it worked pretty well, apart from the wind noise and the birds in the background. I have ok contour data though.

Some interesting stuff has come up too. I have more examples of final ergatives than any other case or corpus. In Bardi, the ergative behaves like a Wackernagel clitic for placement, but it’s an affix. Until 2008, I didn’t have any examples at all of any other placement. In 2008 I got some where a pronoun or demonstrative optionally didn’t ‘make position’ for the marking. Now I have some really long NPs where the ergative is on the head.

I have some baby talk examples too, though that’s for a different post.

I got some other examples of NP structure that I didn’t know about from previous trips, especially involving questions about interpretation of modifiers. I also got a better sense of almiidan ambooriny ‘anyone’ – it’s just for any in the sense of ‘anybody can tell you where the school is’, not for interrogatives (“did anybody tell you that I was going to Broome”) or under negation (I don’t know if anybody saw it).

I think I’ve done all the stuff I really needed to check in writing the grammar (though of course there’s always new stuff that could be explored!)

The trouble now is with three days to go, there’s still an awful lot to do! What to prioritize? Story proofing? More grammar? Lexical exploration? Video and gesture data?

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6 responses to “Week 2: and with three days to go

  1. interesting about ‘almiidan ambooriny’. What is the literal translation of this?

    Do you think its meaning could be linked to notions of cultural rights, e.g. ‘almiidan ambooriny’ can tell you where the school is, because it’s information that anybody has the right to give. This connotation also seems to make the two examples you give of how you can’t use ‘almiidan ambooriny’ sound funny.

  2. … I don’t think I wrote that last bit clearly enough…

    I mean, the connotation I’m suggesting seems to be concurrent with the ungrammaticality of the interrogative and negative examples you give.

  3. Maybe, though if I remember right there’s also a pretty good syntactic reason for the differences in those types of any too.

  4. Colleen hattersley

    Re priorities: Bardi must now have the most detailed information of any Australian language. Time to go fishing Claire. Colleen (in Brisbane and going nuts with the Minjerribah Moorgumpin Elders’ dictionary of Jandai.)C.

  5. I’d go for lexical exploration, though you’d expect me to say that. Certainly get more video/gesture data if you feel you don’t have enough. Or maybe use the ‘almiidan ambooriny’ example to explore free-choice indefinites?

  6. Hi Colleen! Too right, time for a break – Alma and Bessie organised it all for me this afternoon :) so we’re going up to Boolgin after school to chuck a line in and take some photos together.

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