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Abstract

This paper looks at directional morphemes in Ngaanyatjarra, a language spoken in Western Australia. This is part of the suffixing subdivision of Australian languages with both nominals and verbs having rich sets of inflectional and derivational suffixes. Despite this typological categorisation, there are a small number of directional prefixes. Using a Role and Reference Grammar (RRG) account, we look at directional elements, both prefixes and local peripheral case marking suffixes. RRG posits two types of directional operator, at the nucleus and the core. We find that the prefixes are nuclear operators describing the direction of the verb itself; while the case endings are core operators indicating movement of the predicate’s arguments.

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