Australian National University
This work presents a salvage grammar of the Biri language of Eastern Central Queensland, a Pama-Nyungan language belonging to the large Maric subgroup. As the language is no longer used, the grammatical description is based on old written sources and on recordings made by linguists in the 1960s and 1970s. Biri is in many ways typical of the Pama-Nyungan languages of Southern Queensland. It has split case marking systems, marking nouns according to an ergative/absolutive system and pronouns according to a nominative/accusative system. Unusually for its area, Biri also has bound pronouns on its verb, cross-referencing the person, number and case of core participants. As far as it is possible, the grammatical discussion is ‘theory neutral’.
The first four chapters deal with the phonology, morphology, and syntax of the language. The last two chapters contain a substantial discussion of Biri’s place in the Pama-Nyungan family. In chapter 6 the numerous dialects of the Biri language are discussed. In chapter 7 the close linguistic relationship between Biri and the surrounding languages is examined.
ISBN 9783895865329. Languages of the World/ Materials 258. 100 pp. 1998.