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Seminar: Gangulu and Yi:man: what happens when two subgroups meet?, Tony Jefferies, 8 June

Australian National University

Date: 30 May 2018

Seminar: Gangulu and Yi:man: what happens when two subgroups meet?

Speaker: Tony Jefferies,

When: 8 June, 3.30pm-5.00pm

Where: Basham Room, Baldessin Building, ANU


Gangulu and Yi:man are lower branch languages of the Maric and Wakka-Kabic subgroups respectively. Each consists of a number of dialects that have similarities as well as differences. Gangulu and Yi:man meet in the Dawson River Valley of Central Queensland. I hypothesis that the broad distributions of both the Maric and Wakka-Kabic subgroup are the result of recent demic migration. That is, that their speakers have migrated to occupy these distributions within the two thousand or so years preceding the arrival of Europeans. I discuss the linguistic composition of both Gangulu and Yi:man, firstly in the context of the subgroups of which they form a part, and secondly in the context of their having come into contact on the periphery of both subgroup expansions. I argue that the speakers of both the Gangulu and Yi:man lower order subgroups effectively form alliances, the creation of which was driven by the demographic pressures of Late Holocene population growth and demic expansion. These socio-political entities are coterminous with the linguistic phylogenetic branch subgroups described. I outline a heuristic program for historical linguists interested in the analysis and interpretation of these socio-political entities and their linguistic correlation.

  • Australian Government
  • The University of Queensland
  • Australian National University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Western Sydney University