Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty
 

New Language Discovered In Australia Gives Development Insights

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (UPI) — A new language discovered in a remote indigenous community in northern Australia reveals insights into how languages develop, a U.S. linguist says.

University of Michigan linguist Carmel O’Shannessy has studied a language she has dubbed Light Warlpiri spoken in a small region of Australia’s Tanami Desert.

Residents there speak a highly endangered traditional language, Warlpiri, but a small group in one community called Lajamanu readily switch between Warlpiri, English, and a local English-based creole known as Kriol.

In the 1970s and 1980s, O’Shannessy said, children internalized this switching as a separate linguistic system and began to speak it as their primary language, one with verb structure from English and Kriol, and noun structure from Warlpiri.

These children grew up and taught the new language, Light Warlpiri, to their own children and it is now the primary language of children and young adults in the community, she said.

“Mixed languages” typically consist of combinations of elements from two languages, although it is rare to find the structures of the verb system and noun system from different languages as in Light Warlpiri.

This innovative combining may be an unusual but widely available human language phenomenon, O’Shannessy said.

The study has been published in Language, the journal of the Linguistic Society of America.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “New Language Discovered In Australia Gives Development Insights”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at newstips@personalliberty.com

Bottom
close[X]

Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to PersonalLiberty.com,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.