A language of the Gunwinyguan family, spoken by a dwindling population in Arnhem Land in Australia's Northern Territory. Person and number of verbal arguments (subject and object) is expressed by a combination of prefixes and preverbal clitics. In certain transitive combinations of first and second person there is syncretism with certain third person forms. We use Dalabon to illustrate the role of generalized referrals, which may involve a degree of underspecification, and where whole sets of cells can be referred to other sets of cells.

Brown, Dunstan and Andrew Hippisley. 2012. Network Morphology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Chapter 4]
Evans, Nicholas and Francesca Merlan. 2003. Dalabon verb conjugations. In: Nicholas Evans (ed.). The non-Pama-Nyungan languages of northern Australia: comparative studies of the continent's most linguistically complex region. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. Pp. 269-283.


In this account we show that syncretism of 2 > 1 (second person subject and first person object) with the 3 > 1 paradigm can be accounted for by the use of referrals of 2 > 1 to 3 > 1. Similarly, the 1 > 2 Sg refers to 3 > 2 Sg paradigm. As the account involves generalized referrals, which are also partly underspecified, it allows for sets of paradigm cells to be picked out (namely the 3 > 1 and 3 > 2 Sg cells).

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