Article published in:Land and Language in Cape York Peninsula and the Gulf Country
Edited by Jean-Christophe Verstraete and Diane Hafner
[Culture and Language Use 18] 2016
► pp. 105–136
Fission, fusion and syncretism
Linguistic and environmental changes amongst the Tangkic people of the southern Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Australia
A revised model of Tangkic linguistic and cultural history is developed based on a reanalysis of relationships between six Tangkic languages in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria and drawing on recent archaeological and environmental studies. Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of Tangkic basic vocabulary was employed to infer the topology of the Tangkic family tree and define structural branching events. Contrary to previous models suggesting progressive colonisation and fissioning from mainland sources, the data support hypotheses that the modern configuration of Tangkic owes its form to pulses of outward movement from Mornington Island followed by subsequent linguistic divergence in both grammar and lexicon of the varieties. We also speculate that an extreme environmental event (c.800–400 BP) may have flooded low-lying coastal areas resulting in abandonment of some areas, a relatively short co-residence involving cultural and linguistic syncretism between neighbouring groups and then recolonization.
Published online: 18 February 2016
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This list is based on CrossRef data as of 19 may 2022. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.