Rembarnga, a language of central Arnhem Land
Graham R. McKay
Edith Cowan University
RMW Dixon (series ed.)
Rembarrnga is polysynthetic Aboriginal language of central Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia. It is one of the ‘prefixing’ languages of northern Australia, having both prefixes and suffixes, and has been classified as a Gunwinyguan language. Verb morphology is complex, with the verb word able to constitute a sentence on its own and frequently doing so. The incorporation of nouns and other elements into the verb is a prominent feature of this verb complexity. The approach taken in this grammar of the language is primarily descriptive, drawing on a variety of theories of its time for different aspects of the description, but largely using traditional grammatical terminology to maximise the work’s usefulness to linguists with various theoretical backgrounds and to people with practical aims in view such as school programs, literacy work or language learning.
Areas of particular focus in this description are: medial geminate consonants; syllabic glottal stops; pronoun categories, including first person inclusive and its number implications; morphology, including noun incorporation into the verb; and syntax, especially a generalised subordinate clause construction. The work features extensive exemplification and some short texts, plus a list of botanical species names.
ISBN 9783862880898. Outstanding grammars from Australia 05. 406pp. 2011.