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By Alan Charles Dench

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Extra info for Martuthunira: A language of the Pilbara region of Western Australia

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Unreduced versions are occasionally heard in text and are usually given in careful response to elicitation. 6 CONSONANT ASSIMILATION The forms of the locative and effector nominal suffixes on stems with a final consonant can be described in terms of an assimilation of a non-nasal consonant to certain features of the stem-final consonant. The locative forms are: -ta -rta -tha -a following /n/ following /rn/ following /ny/ following a lateral or /rr/ Following an apical nasal, the allomorph involves a homorganic stop.

1967, 1972a&b, 1973) he has never published a description of his findings on this language. I have been able to consult von Brandenstein’s diaries in the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies but because of access restrictions have not been able to include his field notes as part of the data base of this investigation. By observation only then, the grammatical data collected by von Brandenstein appear to be consistent with those forming the basis for this study. 6 INFORMANTS There were only three remaining speakers of Martuthunira when I began work on the language in 1981, although a handful of other people in Onslow and Roebourne had some very limited knowledge (amounting to a basic vocabulary and a few well-worn everyday phrases).

T cluster would fill its position as the intervocalic allophone of the retroflex stop /rt/. Under this analysis the apical stops share very similar phonotactic and phonetic properties: both are very rare in intervocalic position, occurring in just a handful of words, and both are realised in intervocalic position as relatively long, voiceless stops. On the other hand, the retroflex flap /rd/, like the apical tap /rr/, is extremely common in intervocalic position (in fact it only ever occurs in this position).

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