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date: 15 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter surveys the polysynthetic characteristics of the languages of the Daly River region of Australia’s Northern Territory. Although they are not all closely related, these languages share many typological features typical of polysynthesis, including the encoding of core arguments in the verbal word; noun incorporation; applicatives; and complex templatic verbal morphology. In addition the Daly languages exhibit complex verbal predicates composed of two discontinuous stems, one functioning broadly to classify the event type and the other providing more specific lexical semantics. These properties are surveyed across a range of Daly languages, considering both their similarities and their differences, and the implications they have for a cross-linguistic typology of polysynthesis.

Keywords: polysynthesis, complex predicates, incorporation, applicatives, Australian languages

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