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Tasmanian (was: Concosmic Conlocation)

From:Kristian Jensen <kljensen@...>
Date:Friday, July 23, 1999, 20:52
Matt Pearson siespe ia:

>On Thu, 22 Jul 1999, Kristian Jensen skrev: > >> On occassion, I have sketch a language for the Tasmanian aboriginals. > >Apparently a few words of Tasmanian were recorded before the language >died out. Have you had a look at those word lists, and if so, did >you incorporate the words into your Tasmanian project?
There are two problems with these word lists. First of all, they were=20 collected in the last century by people who more than likely did a=20 poor job at recording the sounds they heard in writing. I do not know=20 how reliable they are. Secondly, the published word list by Brian=20 Plomley (who has done a lot of work on Tasmanian aboriginals) are out=20 of print, so I cannot obtain them. Until I obtain a word list, I won't work on the phonology or=20 morphology. Instead, what I have sketched is the grammar. BTW, does anybody happen to have such a word list?
>Also, I heard from a professor of mine that Tasmanian was probably >non-Pama-Nyungan, and that it may even have been a Papuan language >rather than an Australian language. Have you looked into this >issue at all? What resources have you used, besides your imagination, >in constructing your Tasmanian language?
That's what I have heard as well. Birdsell has written in his book on=20 Human Evolution that there are archaeological evidences that seem to=20 indicate that all of Southeast Asia to Australia were inhabited by=20 negritoids, and that the Andaman Islanders, Negritos, Papuans, and=20 Tasmanians represent remnants of this early population. Evidence shows=20 that the east coast of Australia (i.e., from the east coast of New=20 Guinea to Tasmania before sea-levels raised 10 thousand years ago) was=20 occupied by Tasmanian-like people long before the arrival of=20 Australians. When the sea-levels began to rise, the Australians=20 managed to occupy all of Australia separating two populations of=20 similar (or identical) phenotype; Papuans in the north, and Tasmanians=20 in the south. So yes, I have looked into this issue. Because of the great diversity that exists with New Guinea itself, I'm=20 practically free to develop my own grammar for the Tasmanians. But I=20 intend to have certain features that are common to Papuan languages=20 like; verb-final word order, highly complex verbal systems but very=20 simple nominal systems, and use of the switch reference system. In=20 fact, I was thinking of employing the idea I had discovered and reveal=20 to the list last year of a verb-final trigger language. Indeed, such a=20 language fits the description of being verb-final with a complex verbal=20 system. However, I know nothing of the Andaman languages, and some=20 Andamanese features could be useful. -kristian- 8)