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Can anyone give me any information at all on the distribution of fricatives (or the lack thereof) in Australian aboriginal languages, nearby languages, and worldwide? Additionally, any further or related information would be very helpful. Any source at all will do, the more the better, but I would prefer well-established academic sources. Explicit quotations with citations would be handy too (but a quote without a citation is not as helpful).

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Regarding Australian languages, have a look at R.M.W. Dixon (2002) 'Australian Languages, their nature and development' (in the Cambridge Language Surveys series). Pp 602ff deal with stop contrasts and fricatives. It's well-known that Australian languages mostly lack phonemic fricatives, but an explanation for this has been proposed by Andy Butcher of Flinders University (as you might guess, it remains somewhat controversial).

Fletcher & Butcher have an article titled 'Sound patterns of Australian languages' in an upcoming publication which covers these questions.

WALS also discusses this issue, surveying the situation across the world and providing a map of the distribution of fricatives (along with some other consonants.

A now dated but still useful reference on the distribution and prevalence of phonemes is Maddieson (1984) 'Patterns of Sounds', CUP.

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