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Scientists Discovered a New Language Called Light Warlpiri in Northern Australia

Jun 20, 2013 15:49 IST

Scientists at the department of linguistics at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor discovered a new language called Light Warlpiri in Northern Australia. This language is composed of unique blend of elements from different languages as well as rare grammatical innovations.

Carmel O'Shannessy of the department of linguistics at the University of Michigan discovered this language while working with school in the Northern Territory where this language was taught to the children. Carmel O'Shannessy also explained that Light Warlpiri might have been evolved during 1970s and 80s.

About the newly discovered language- Light Warlpiri

• Light Warlpiri is spoken by a small community of 300 people in the remote desert situated around 644 kilometres from Katherine, a town situated in Northern Territory of Australia.
• Light Warlpiri is also called the mixed language because it has elements from various other languages such as Traditional Warlpiri, Kriol and English. Traditional Warlpiri is spoken by around 6000 people throughout Tanami Desert in the Northern Territory. Kriol is the English-based Creole language which is spoken in different regions of Australia.
• The striking feature of this newly discovered language is that most of its verbs are from Kriol or English but a lot of grammatical elements in sentences originate from traditional Warlpiri.
• In Light Warlpiri, the words are being placed in a sentence in any order and grammatical interpretations are dependent on the suffixes which are associated with the noun.
• Another distinction of this language is that the word form can refer to present as well as past but not to the future. This kind of structure cannot be found in any other existing language. This is the reason why Light Warlpiri is seen as a separate linguistic system.

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