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Place reference and pointing in Gija conversation
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 23:14 authored by Caroline de Dear
This thesis investigates place reference in conversations conducted in Gija; an endangered Australian Aboriginal language from the East Kimberley region, northern Western Australia. Sixty-six minutes of video-recorded multiparty conversation were transcribed and analysed with the aims of investigating how spatial relationships are expressed through talk and pointing gestures, and the ways that participants manage problems that arise in the context of place reference. This thesis adopts an innovative 'geospatial' approach to multimodal conversation analysis through the use of a Geographic Information System (GIS) from Google Earth. This method laminates occasions of place reference onto actual geographical space, thus creating an additional layer of 'situatedness'. This is one of the few comprehensive studies of gesture and its relationship to talk conducted in an Australian language and one of the first to draw on informal conversational data. Findings reveal the overlapping use of absolute and intrinsic spatial systems in Gija. The innovative application of interactional linguistics advances our understandings of Gija demonstratives and the semantics of certain suffixes and enclitics used to mark motion between specified locations -- abstract.