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mar. 05/04/2022 Some observations on placeholders in Dalabon (Gunwinyguan, non-Pama-Nyungan, Australia)
10h-12h
MSH-LSE, salle Elise Rivet
Conférence de :
  • Maïa Ponsonnet (DDL)

dans le cadre DILIS : Atelier Morphosyntaxe

  • Link to the videoconference room
  • Link to the material


      In this session I will present the use of the placeholder keninjhbi in Dalabon, a polysynthetic language of the Gunwinyguan family (non-Pama-Nyungan, northern Australia). After establishing that keninjhbi is best described as a “placeholder” – against other types of fillers –, I will discuss its origins, distribution and morphological affordances, as well as potential discourse and pragmatic functions. Based on the data at hand, the discourse and pragmatic roles of keninjhbi (such as euphemistic and evaluative functions) seem relatively limited. Notwithstanding some stylistic overtones, speakers appear to use this placeholder primarily as a tool to manage disfluencies. At the same time, in line with the overall morphosyntactic tendencies of Dalabon, keninjhbi is syntactically and morphologically flexible, thus offering speakers a range of possibilities when dealing with disfluencies. To illustrate this, in the last part of the talk I will dwelve into two differentiated patterns of use of keninjhbi, based on quantitative analysis of data from two different speakers who exhibit different “styles” of disfluency management.


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