Cohesive features In Rembarrnga narratives

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Australian Linguistic Society


Education and Arts


Communications and Arts, Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts,Technology, Education and Communications




This article was originally published as: McKay, G. (2008). Cohesive features in Rembarrnga narratives. Selected papers from the 2007 Conference of the Australian Linguistic Society. Adelaide, South Australia.


A number of features found in spoken narratives in the Rembarrnga language of Arnhem Land can be seen to serve a cohesive function within the text. These include not only ellipsis of pronominal prefixes and tense marking from the verb complex but also the repetition of fully inflected verbs in subsequent sentences in order to background completion of one activity/event in the process of moving on to the next. Repetition of sentence elements in differing order allows focus to come upon different elements in turn. Incorporation of the noun into the verb complex allows cohesive backgrounding of a nominal element following its initial introduction to the text. A number of text examples of such apparently cohesive features are explored.