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Reconstructing Long-Term Limits on Diffusion in Australia

From: Anthropological Linguistics
Volume 55, Number 2, Summer 2013
pp. 158-183 | 10.1353/anl.2013.0007

Abstract

Abstract:

There has been extensive research on precolonial and postcolonial diffusions in Australia, but little research concerning the limits on diffusion—something that is central to advancing analysis of diffusional processes. There is evidence that persistent and systematic limits can be reconstructed for some diffusions in precolonial Australia, and that colonization favored diffusion, altering limits. Precolonial limits and postcolonial changes are modeled using social network theory; weak ties favor diffusion, while strong ties do not. Precolonial limits on diffusion correlate with fewer weak ties; colonization increased the proportion of weak ties, favoring diffusion.