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  • 1.
    Hammarström, Harald
    et al.
    Department of Computing Science, Chalmers University, Gothenburg.
    Thornell, Christina
    Department of African Languages, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg.
    Petzell, Malin
    Department of African Languages, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg.
    Westerlund, Torbjörn
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology.
    Bootstrapping Language Description: The case of Mpiemo (Bantu A, Central African Republic)2008Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Linguists have long been producing grammatical decriptions of yet undescribed languages. This is a time-consuming process, which has already adapted to improved technology for recording and storage. We present here a novel application of NLP techniques to bootstrap analysis of collected data and speed-up manual selection work. To be more precise, we argue that unsupervised induction of morphology and part-of-speech analysis from raw text data is mature enough to produce useful results. Experiments with Latent Semantic Analysis were less fruitful. We exemplify this on Mpiemo, a so-far essentially undescribed Bantu language of the Central African Republic, for which raw text data was available.

  • 2.
    Westerlund, Torbjörn
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology.
    A grammatical sketch of Ngarla: A language of Western Australia2007Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this thesis the basic grammatical structure of normal speech style of the Western Australian language Ngarla is described using example sentences taken from the Ngarla – English Dictionary (by Geytenbeek; unpublished). No previous description of the language exists,  and since there are only five people who still speak it, it is of utmost importance that it is investigated and described. The analysis in this thesis has been made by Torbjörn Westerlund, and the focus lies on the morphology of the nominal word class. The preliminary results show that the language shares many grammatical traits with other Australian languages, e.g. the ergative/absolutive case marking pattern. The language also appears to have an extensive verbal inflectional system, and many verbalisers.

  • 3.
    Westerlund, Torbjörn
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology.
    Blurred lines : when Ngarla nouns ’verb’2015In: Concepts and Structures: Studies in Semantics and Morphology / [ed] Anna Malicka-Kleparska, Maria Bloch-Trojnar & Karolina Drabikowska, Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL , 2015, p. 215-230Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Westerlund, Torbjörn
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology.
    Finite verbs in Ngarla (Pama-Nyungan, Ngayarta)2013Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis provides a description of finite verbs in the moribund Australian language Ngarla (Pama-Nyungan, Ngayarta). Ngarla has previously been spoken in the Pilbara region of northwestern Western Australia, and all the linguistic material used in the thesis has the late Ngarla elder Alexander (Nyapiri) Brown as its source. No study with the scope and detail of the current work has previously been presented for this language.

    Verbal finiteness is defined as a discrete binary phenomenon, with finite verbs occurring in main clauses and taking TAM (tense/aspect/mood) and person marking, and infinite verbs occurring in subordinate clauses. The Ngarla finite verbs are placed in a larger grammatical context, in that word classes of the language are described, as are the noun phrase, predicate types and word order. The 65 known simple verb roots are listed, and the phonology and prosody of Ngarla are introduced briefly.

    Twelve TAM categories occuring in Ngarla main clauses are discussed. They are described as marking four different tenses; present, past, remote past and future tense. In the past, three different aspectual distinctions are also made. There are three modal categories, one epistemic and two deontic. In three categories, temporal and modal information are also combined. However, person markers exist for some persons only.

    Complex verbs, consisting of a non-verbal root, most frequently a nominal, and a verbalising affix, are described as presenting a complicated picture. Not only are no less than ten verbalisers employed to create complex verbs, some of which mark the domain of telicity, there is also, with most verbalisers, a mismatch between the phonological and the grammatical word. Quite a large number of verbs also appear to be complex verbs, although the non-verbal root is not a known Ngarla nominal. Discussed in the thesis are also a smaller number of zero verbalised verbs and verbs that at the time of writing lack a clear analysis.

    Ngarla finite verbs are shown to take two valency decreasing derivations, the reflexive and the antipassive, the latter of which is restricted in use. The very restricted valency increasing derivation is of the causative type.

  • 5.
    Westerlund, Torbjörn
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology.
    När engelskan kom till Australien. [When the English language came to Australia]2010In: Språktidningen, ISSN 1654-5028, no 1, p. 50-53Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 6.
    Westerlund, Torbjörn
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology.
    The basic case marking of Ngarla, a language of Western Australia.2009In: Multilingualism, Proceedings of the 23rd Scandinavian Conference of Linguistics. / [ed] Anju Saxena & Åke Viberg, Uppsala: Uppsala universitet , 2009, p. 115-126Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this paper is to describe the basic case marking in Ngarla (Pama-Nyungan, Ngayarta) - a previously understudied Australian language. Basic case marking – the marking of core clausal constituents - is understood to comprise marking on intransitive subject (S), transitive subject (A), and transitive object (P). Some information will also be provided about peripheral case markers; dative, purposive, instrumental, and aversive. This paper will show that the marking of core clausal functions is complex in Ngarla, and that the peripheral case marking is typologically interesting in several respects. The marking of dative and possessive have for example merged in Ngarla, and the language also appears to have a separate aversive suffix, something that is quite unusual in Australian languages.

  • 7.
    Westerlund, Torbjörn
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology.
    Verb Classification in Ngarla (Ngayarta, Pama-Nyungan)2017In: Australian Journal of Linguistics, ISSN 0726-8602, E-ISSN 1469-2996, Vol. 37, no 3, p. 328-355Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, it is argued that Ngarla (Ngayarta, Pama-Nyungan), an under-studied language of the Pilbara region of northwestern Australia, is a verb classifying language of the type described by, for example, McGregor. Verb classifying languages are found in the north of Australia, but the phenomenon has previously not been recognized in languages of the northwestern Pilbara region. The Ngarla verb classifying system is described as being a highly grammaticalized one. Historical sources of the second part of the verb compound, the inflecting verbs, are sought, and short comparisons are also made to Martuthunira and Yinjibarndi (both Ngayarta, Pama-Nyungan).

1 - 7 of 7
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