This paper investigates the genetic status of Lamalamic, a grouping of Lamalama, Umbuygamu, and Rimanggudinhma, three languages from the east coast of Cape York Peninsula (Australia). Lamalamic has long been assumed in the literature to form a subgroup of Paman (Pama-Nyungan), but its status as a genetic unit has not yet been examined in a systematic way. I provide evidence from historical phonology and morphology to show that the three languages do form a subgroup of Paman, defined by shared innovations in phonology and morphology. At the same time, the analysis also provides a detailed picture of the origins of some of the unusual phonological properties that set the Lamalamic languages apart in the broader Australian context, like the development of fricative series, prenasalized plosives, voicing contrasts for plosives and trills, dental glides, and CV metathesis resulting in diphthongs.


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pp. 1-30
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