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date: 09 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Australia provides an important study case for how people coin terms for new concepts, since the 1788 invasion resulted in many Pama-Nyungan speech communities rapidly developing hundreds of new terms. The presence of only two major word-classes in most Pama-Nyungan languages leads to the most common category-changing processes being those creating verbs and nominals. The fact that grammatical relations are expressed by case suffixes contributes to there being a continuum between derivational suffixes and those suffixes which express syntactic relations. Processes discussed include compounding, reduplication as well as category-changing and category-retaining derivational suffixes. Widespread derivational suffixes include notions of having and lacking, inhabitant of, evaluation and kinship, as well as emission of sound, light, and fluids, and associated motion and path.

Keywords: reduplication, compounding, borrowing, kinship morphology, Yir Yoront, Nyangumarta, Ngiyampaa, Warumungu, Warlpiri, Wangkajunga, Diyari, Kriol

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