New language discovered in Australia, only spoken by 350 people
2013-07-23 0:00

From: Daily Telegraph News



It’s spoken only by a few hundred people living in a tiny desert community, and almost exclusively by those under the age of 35.

But the discovery of a new language in remote Australia is causing a ripple of excitement among linguists around the world.


Lajamanu, with a population of around 850, lies on the northern fringe of the Tanami Desert, 870 kilometres south of Darwin and 560kms southwest of Katherine by road.

It is one of the Northern Territory’s most westerly communities and its original language, Warlpiri, is spoken by about 6000 people in the region.

Carmel O’Shannesssy, a linguist from the University of Michigan, began visiting the town to study local young people’s speech more than a decade ago.

Lajamanu has no entirely paved roads and during the wet season it can be cut off.

A community-managed airline lands a plane on the town’s dirt airstrip twice a week carrying mail, and once a week a truck brings in supplies to stock Lajamanu’s one village store.

All residents speak traditional "strong" Warlpiri and some speak "Kriol", an English-based creole developed in the late 19th century and widely spoken by indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Around 350 young locals speak the new language documented by Ms O’Shannessy, called "Light Warlpiri".

The language is a complex mix of English, Kriol and Warlpiri, but has a verbal system closer to Kriol and English.

Documented in the journal Language, Light Warlpiri differs from its indigenous origins by mixing in English sentence structure.

"The striking thing about Light Warlpiri is that most of the verbs come from English or Kriol, but most of the other grammatical elements in the sentence come from Warlpiri," Ms O’Shannessy told LiveScience.

In English, the order of words in a sentence generally indicates the grammatical relationship between the subjects and objects of a verb.

In traditional Warlpiri, words can be placed in any order, and grammatical interpretations are based on suffixes that are attached to the nouns.

"In Light Warlpiri, you have one part of the language that mostly comes from English and Kriol, but the other grammatical part, the suffixing, comes from Warlpiri," Ms O’Shannessy said.

[...]

Read the full article at: dailytelegraph.com.au



Related Articles
Social Media Images Form a New Language Online
Fossil words and how language changes
Prairie dogs’ language decoded by scientists
Elephants Communicate in Sophisticated Sign Language
Before Babel: In search of the first language
For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II
Coober Pedy – Australia’s Underground Town
Religious sect found after living underground in Russia for nearly a decade
African Coins Found in Australia Thought to Be 1,000 Years Old: May Rewrite History


Latest News from our Front Page

Better Identification of Viking Corpses Reveals: Half of the Warriors Were Female
2015-04-25 4:52
Shieldmaidens are not a myth! A recent archaeological discovery has shattered the stereotype of exclusively male Viking warriors sailing out to war while their long-suffering wives wait at home with baby Vikings. (We knew it! We always knew it.) Plus, some other findings are challenging that whole “rape and pillage” thing, too. Researchers at the University of Western Australia decided ...
Off Your Knees, Germany! Ernst Zundel 1983 - 2003
2015-04-25 1:15
For more information on the holocaust, how the war was forced upon Germany, and the REAL victims of the second world war see: http://gblt.webs.com/Real_Holocaust.htm http://web.archive.org/web/20130806074314/http://www.666blacksun.org/ http://www.zundelsite.org/
IRS Drops Attack For Six Years – No Evidence of Jurisdiction
2015-04-24 20:29
A big congrats to a friend I’ve been working with for several years, he stood up to the predators commonly called the “IRS” and they dropped their attack. Thanks also for providing me with the proof below. The criminals called the “IRS” initiated an attack claiming my friend was required to file six tax returns, or explain how he made ...
Into Eternity - Finland's 100,000 Year Massive Underground Spent Nuclear Fuel Program
2015-04-24 20:49
Into Eternity is a documentary about a deep geological repository for nuclear waste. The concept of long-term underground storage for radioactive waste has been explored since the 1950s. The inner part of the Russian doll-like storage canisters is to be composed of copper. Hence in the case of Onkalo it is tightly linked to experiments on copper corrosion in running ...
SPLC Accuses Oath Keepers of Inciting “Armed Confrontation” Over Sugar Pine Mine
2015-04-24 20:22
The Southern Poverty Law Center has accused Oath Keepers of inciting an armed confrontation with BLM authorities over the Sugar Pine Mine dispute in Oregon, despite the fact that the organization has explicitly stated that it is not promoting armed confrontation with the feds. In an article provocatively posted on the organization’s ‘Hatewatch’ section entitled Oath Keepers Descend Upon Oregon with ...
More News »