By R. M. W. Dixon
Professor Dixon's e-book The Dyirbal Language of North Queensland (CUP 1972) is recognize to be a vintage examine. His examine of Yidin is without delay similar in significance. Yidin, that is additionally a loss of life language, is Dyirbal's northerly neighbour. but the 2 languages have awesome and basic modifications in every one quarter of grammar (while nonetheless either belonging to the Australian language family). within the phonology, there's a choice for every be aware to encompass an excellent variety of syllables, so that it will fulfill the strain pursuits of Yidin. Syntactically, the language is of a 'mixed ergative' style that can't simply be accommodated when it comes to common syntactic conception. those and several other distinct beneficial properties of Yidin have a vital touching on numerous theoretical enquiries into linguistic universals.
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Additional info for A Grammar of Yidin
This could not be checked and the writer is rather doubtful of its truth. At first, the writer wondered if one of the three moiety pairs might be an error. But each of the pairs is confirmed by sufficient sources for there to be no doubt that there were these three arrangements - involving every combination of two out of the three terms: Guramijia, Gurabana, Guragulu. ) Tablelands Yidiji, and Nga4an This is, at first sight, confusing. Thus a coastal Yidind,i Guramijia person would, if he chose a spouse from the west, have to select a Guragulu.
This - which could pass as a plausible account of a volcanic eruption - is said to explain the volcanic crater lake, Eacham (see also Dixon 1972: 29). The Yidind,i had a considerable number of myths explaining the origin of animals and birds, of geographical formations, and so on. Unfortunately, most of these are now forgotten - and are known only by allusion - but the writer was able to collect parts of eight traditional tales. j' storytime person, thing or place'); the term ' dreamtime' is not used in this region and there seems to be no connection with 'dreams'.
A 400-word sample reveals that 53% of the lexicons are identical or very similar, suggesting that the languages have been separate for a long enough period for the fraction of common vocabulary to have dropped (through separate taboo and replacement in the two languages) to the 'equilibrium level' (see Dixon 1972: 33O-4I)To the south, Yidiji and Wajiur are contiguous with two of the dialects of the 'Dyirbal language'-Nga4an and Mamu. Yidiji and Dyirbal are - considering that they are both languages of the general Australian type - totally dissimilar in every area of grammar.
A Grammar of Yidin by R. M. W. Dixon