Tasmanian (was: Concosmic Conlocation)
|Kristian Jensen <kljensen@...>
|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.