By R. M. W. Dixon
Professor Dixon's publication The Dyirbal Language of North Queensland (CUP 1972) is recognize to be a vintage examine. His examine of Yidin is without delay similar in value. Yidin, that's additionally a loss of life language, is Dyirbal's northerly neighbour. but the 2 languages have remarkable and primary adjustments in every one quarter of grammar (while nonetheless either belonging to the Australian language family). within the phonology, there's a choice for every notice to encompass an excellent variety of syllables, for you to fulfill the strain ambitions of Yidin. Syntactically, the language is of a 'mixed ergative' variety that can't simply be accommodated when it comes to common syntactic conception. those and several detailed gains of Yidin have a very important concerning a number of theoretical enquiries into linguistic universals.
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Extra info for A Grammar of Yidin
In fact, the languages show striking similarities with languages spoken in other parts of the continent (by Aborigines who do not show Barrinean physical characteristics); the point worthy of note is that there is such a large linguistic difference - and such overt hostility - between the Yidin-Dyarbugay speakers in the northern part of Tindale and Birdsell's bloc, and the Dyirbal speakers in the south. Note also that Dyirbal shows considerable similarities with languages on the South Queensland and New South Wales coasts, and that travellers in Dyirbal myths all come from the south (Dixon 1972, 1976b).
Note also that Dyirbal shows considerable similarities with languages on the South Queensland and New South Wales coasts, and that travellers in Dyirbal myths all come from the south (Dixon 1972, 1976b). It is tempting to speculate that there may well have been, in the Cairns Rain Forest region, a people of a different physical type from the tribes around them, who may at one time have had their own distinctive language and culture. One would expect such an isolated block to be gradually infiltrated perhaps by Dyirbal-speakers from the south, and by Dya:bugay/Yidijispeakers from the north.
Note also that there was a place half-way between Fitzroy Island and King Beach that was called mudaga ('pencil cedar') after the trees which grew there; it is now completely submerged. Again, Green Island is said to have been at one time four times as big as it is now - only the north-west portion remains above water (this is, in fact, consistent with water depths around it). ' They gave twelve tribes belonging to this 'Barrinean type'-six speak Dyirbal, two Dyarbugay and three Yidin (Yidiji4i, Gungajid,i and Wajiur).
A Grammar of Yidin by R. M. W. Dixon