Department of Linguistics
University of Michigan
| MAJOR RESEARCH INTEREST:
Documentation of Light Warlpiri, a newly emerged mixed language spoken in the Warlpiri community of Lajamanu, in the Tanami Desert, northern Australia.
Light Warlpiri draws most nouns and nominal structure from Warlpiri, and most verbs and verbal structure from varieties of English and Kriol (an English-lexified Kriol, spoken in the north of Australia).
Listen to a child telling "The Monster Story" in Warlpiri.
Listen to a child telling "The Monster Story" in Light Warlpiri.
Watch a report about how children speak Warlpiri in Lajamanu / Nyirrpi / Willowra / Yuendumu.
The most striking thing about Light Warlpiri is an innovative auxiliary system, which draws on Warlpiri, and varieties of English or Kriol.
The auxiliary word shapes are derived from English and Kriol. The meanings and structure have changed, so that the structure of the auxiliary paradigm is not the same as that in any of the source languages. Light Warlpiri has formal modal categories of realis - irrealis, influenced by Warlpiri modal semantics.
Some verbs also show innovations, by combining Warlpiri stems with Aboringinal English or Kriol transitive affixes.|
In the examples, words in this color are from Warlpiri, and those in this color are from English or Kriol. This color is for the innovative auxiliary system and verbal structure.
The role of children in nativizing and developing Light Warlpiri, and their acquisition of both Light Warlpiri, and Warlpiri, are particularly interesting.
Young adults and children in Lajamanu are multilingual, as they speak Warlpiri, Light Warlpiri and varieties of English and Kriol.
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