- Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics
- The Oxford Handbook of Polysynthesis
- About the Contributors
- Polysynthesis and Complexity
- Argument Marking in the Polysynthetic Verb and Its Implications
- Polysynthesis and Head Marking
- Sub-Types of Polysynthesis
- The Subjectivity of the Notion of Polysynthesis
- What are the Limits of Polysynthesis?
- The Lexicon in Polysynthetic Languages
- The ‘Word’ in Polysynthetic Languages: Phonological and Syntactic Challenges
- The Anthropological Setting of Polysynthesis
- Phraseology and Polysynthesis
- Polysynthesis in the Arctic/Sub-Arctic
- Polysynthesis in North America
- The Northern Hokan Area
- Polysynthetic Structures of Lowland Amazonia
- Polysynthesis in Northern Australia
- Polysynthesis in New Guinea
- Patterns of Innovation and Retention in Templatic Polysynthesis
- Is Polysynthesis a Valid Theoretical Notion?: The diachrony of complex verbs in Ute
- Polysynthesis and Language Contact
- Language Obsolescence in Polysynthetic Languages
- Polysynthesis in the Acquisition of Inuit Languages
- The Acquisition of Murrinhpatha (Northern Australia)
- The Acquisition of Polysynthetic Verb Forms in Chintang
- Western Apache, a Southern Athabaskan Language
- Central Alaskan Yupik (Eskimo-Aleut): A sketch of morphologically orthodox polysynthesis
- Innu (Algonquian)
- Polysynthesis in Nuuchahnulth, a Wakashan Language
- The Polysynthetic Nature of Salish
- Nawatl (Uto-Aztecan)
- Purepecha, a Polysynthetic but Predominantly Dependent-Marking Language
- Tariana, an Arawak Language from North-West Amazonia
- Polysynthesis in Lakondê, a Northern Nambikwaran Language of Brazil
- Polysynthesis in Dalabon
- The Languages of the Daly River Region (Northern Australia)
- The Polysynthetic Profile of Yimas, a Language of New Guinea
- Polysynthesis in Ainu
- Polysynthesis in Ket
- Polysynthesis in Sora (Munda) with Special Reference to Noun Incorporation
- Adyghe (Northwest Caucasian)
- Series Information
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter reports on initial findings of an ongoing large-scale research project into the acquisition of Murrinhpatha, a polysynthetic language of the Daly River region of the Northern Territory of Australia with complex morphology. The complex verbal structures in Murrinhpatha, which can contain a large number of morphemes and bipartite stem morphology discontinuously distributed throughout the verbal template, raise a multitude of questions for acquisition. In this chapter we focus particularly on the acquisition of the complex predicate system in the verb, and the acquisition of subject-marking categories and tense/aspect/mood. Our findings are based on the language development of five Murrinhpatha acquiring children aged from 2;7–4;11 years.
William Forshaw is currently undertaking his PhD research at the University of Melbourne as a student of the Research Unit for Indigenous Language. He is also an affiliate of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. His PhD research is a longitudinal study examining the acquisition of bipartite stem morphology in Murrinhpatha as a first language. His research interests include the acquisition of complex morphology, the impact of morphological theory on models of language acquisition and the documentation of Australian languages.
Lucinda Davidson is a PhD student with the Research Unit for Indigenous Language at the University of Melbourne. Her dissertation draws on longitudinal data to investigate the development of social identity through language in a group of young Murrinhpatha-acquiring children. Her main research interests centre on the role that language and culture play in children’s development, child discourse and interactional linguistics, especially with respect to Australian languages.
Barbara Kelly teaches linguistics at the University of Melbourne. Her PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara, focused on infant non-verbal communication. She has lived and worked in Nepal and wrote the first grammar and glossary of Sherpa. Barbara's research and publications focus primarily on language development, specifically how language-internal grammatical pressures interact with social pressures in children's socialization toward becoming competent language users. She is intrigued by carer-child communication practices across vastly different languages and cultures, including in remote Himalayan communities, remote Indigenous Australian communities, and urban Australian and North American settings.
Rachel Nordlinger is Director of the Research Unit for Indigenous Language at the University of Melbourne, and a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. Rachel’s research centres on the description and documentatio
Gillian Wigglesworth is Professor of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at the University of Melbourne and Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. She obtained her PhD from La Trobe University, Melbourne, and has worked extensively in first and second language acquisition and bilingualism. Her major research focus is on language use in remote indigenous communities. In particular she is interested in the complex multilingual input many indigenous children receive from their caregivers, and the languages that indigenous children are learning both at home and school.
Joe Blythe is an interactional linguist with field experience in Australian Aboriginal languages. In 2009, he completed his PhD at the University of Sydney on person reference in the Australian polysynthetic language Murrinh-Patha. He joined the University of Melbourne as an ARC DECRA fellow where he researches Murrinh-Patha language use in face-to-face conversational interaction and the acquisition of kinship categories. His interests include referential processes, preference organization, requests, repair, prosody, kinship and kin-based morphosyntax, and the evolution of language.
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