At the Research Unit for Indigenous Language (RUIL) we send out a PDF of our Research newsletter to those people on our mailing list. People on our mailing list also receive emailed invitations to our public lectures and to other public lectures in Melbourne. If you would like to join our mailing list, please send us an email:
RUIL Research Newsletter November 2016
Welcome to the latest newsletter of the Research Unit for Indigenous Language. This newsletter was published thrice-yearly in 2016 and contains details of the research activities, latest news and other achievements of the Research Unit.
Fieldwork Report: Dr Stefan Schnell
This October, I visited the village of Vera'a on the west coast of Vanua Lava, the largest of the Banks Islands in the northern Torba Province of the Republic of Vanuatu, one of Australia's closest neighbours in the Pacific. Like all other languages of Vanuatu, Vera'a belongs to the group of Oceanic languages within the Austronesian language family. During my 12th or so stay on Vanua Lava since end 2006, we continued our... Continue reading....
Linguistics Roadshow visits Broome, WA
In August, community members in Broome, WA were visited by the Linguistics Roadshow - a workshop program developed by RUIL student Katie Jepson and associates Jill Vaughan and Rosey Billington. They were joined this year by RUIL student Pete Nyhuis and also by Amit German. The Linguistics Roadshow is an interactive showcase introducing the science of language for high-school students. The Roadshow has... Continue reading....
The Daly Languages Project
2016 saw the establishment of an exciting new repatriation project run by RUIL Director Rachel Nordlinger and Dr Ian Green. From 1980 until the mid-1990s, Ian conducted linguistic fieldwork in the Daly region in the Northern Territory. During this time he created an extensive collection of audio recordings, field notes and analyses on many of the languages in the area. Most of these languages are... Continue reading....
Newsletter July 2016
Welcome to the July edition of the Newsletter for the Research Unit for Indigenous Language. Our newsletter is published thrice-yearly in 2016 and contains details of the research activities, latest news and other achievements of the Research Unit.
Fieldwork Report: Yipirinya School, Alice Springs
RUIL team member Gillian Wigglesworth, and one of our PhD students Carly Steele visited Alice Springs at the end of May. They were there to trial different data collection methods for a project currently under consideration for funding with the Australian Research Council. They are working with Rhonda Oliver (Curtin University) and Robyn Ober (Bachelor Institute for Indigenous Tertiary Education). Their week in Alice Springs was spent working with teachers and students at Yipirinya Independent School. They spent time with teachers and children in.... Continue reading....
Nafsan dictionary work
Nick Thieberger has been working on a dictionary of Nafsan (Efate, Vanuatu) and ran a workshop in Erakor village in May, following up from a similar workshop in September 2015. The participants are all very keen to work on extending the information in the dictionary, especially as government policy is now in favour of initial vernacular literacy in schools. Continue reading....
Community book launch at Ti Tree
A new book, Mer Angenty-warn alhem: Travelling to Angenty waterhole (Batchelor Press), was launched at Ti Tree on the 18 May. An Anmatyerr team led by April Pengart Campbell and Clarrie Kemarr Long worked with Jenny Green from RUIL and Margaret Carew from Batchelor Institute to document songs and stories from Angenty, a sacred waterhole in Anmatyerr and Warlpiri country to the north of Alice Springs in Central Australia. Continue reading....
Newsletter April 2016
Welcome to the latest newsletter of the Research Unit for Indigenous Language. This newsletter is published twice-yearly and contains details of the research activities, latest news and other achievements of the Research Unit.
Fieldwork Report: Dr Brett Baker and Dr Rikke Bundgaard-Nielsen
Brett and Rikke are currently pursuing two research projects. Firstly, they are wrapping up their 3-year ARC Discovery Project 'Learning to talk whitefella way', which investigates the sound system of North Australian Kriol and how this affects children's learning of Standard Australian English. As part of this project, they travel to Numbulwar and Beswick, NT, to work with adults and primary school-aged children. In 2015, they were accompanied by a student from the University of Arizona, Elise Bell, on an 8 week internship funded by the National Science Foundation (US) and Australian Academy of Sciences. Last year, they tested children aged 5-12 with a new set of Kriol speech production and Kriol-based phonemic awareness tests which showed that children's voicing categories in Kriol reflect adult Kriol behaviour... Continue reading...
A visit from Wadeye youth language worker Madjarra Luke Parmbuk
In October 2015, The University of Melbourne's linguistics department was visited by Madjarra Luke Parmbuk, who came for a week to work with RUIL team members on Murrinhpatha transcription, phonetics and grammatical structure. Madjarra is a 27-year-old Marri Ngarr man from Wadeye, N.T., whose everyday language is Murrinhpatha. He has done extensive language work in Wadeye over the last 3 years, and was very excited to continue this work in Melbourne. His dedication to language work is especially impressive, given that young men from Wadeye often lack the confidence to participate in formal work or education. During his time in the linguistics department, Madjarra worked with multiple RUIL team members on a variety of projects... Continue reading...
Newsletter December 2015
Welcome to the fifth newsletter of the Research Unit for Indigenous Language. This newsletter is published twice-yearly and contains details of the research activities, latest news and other achievements of the Research Unit.
Fieldwork Report: Dr Barb Kelly
Over the past five years Barb Kelly has been immersed in discovering what she can about the acquisition of Murrinhpatha, spoken in Port Keats (Wadeye) in the north west of the NT. Together with members of the Language Acquisition in Murrinhpatha (LAMP) project she has been investigating how children acquire a complex polysynthetic language with a rich morphological system. Barb's research has focused primarily on how speakers of Murrinhpatha guide children in their early language use and how children then develop the language. On her third and most recent field trip to Wadeye in October, she enjoyed creating... Continue reading...
First precious box of cultural materials on its way to digitisation
In an exciting stage of the ARC Linkage project ‘Re-integrating Central Australian Community cultural collections’, the first box of recordings has been handed over to PARADISEC for digitisation. This ARC project (LP140100806) is a partnership between the Central Land Council (CLC), the peak Indigenous representative body covering the southern half of the Northern Territory; the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne. Continue reading...
Newsletter July 2015
Welcome to the fourth newsletter of the Research Unit for Indigenous Language. This newsletter is published twice-yearly and contains details of the research activities, latest news and other achievements of the Research Unit.
Fieldwork: Documenting Sugarbag (Honeybee) Knowledge in Maningrida
Over three fieldtrips lasting around six months (2014-15), Aung Si has been working with speakers of Kune, Rembarrnga, Djinang, Burarra and Ndjebbana to document the various names for sugarbag or bush honey in these languages. An exciting challenge is to try and figure out what criteria the speakers of these languages use to identify the different sugarbag types - the bees look very similar, so that doesn't help! Dr Anne Dollin, a honeybee taxonomist based in Sydney, has been identifying the samples collected by Aung Si in and around Maningrida. Charlie Brian, traditional owner of Buluhkaduru outstation, is an expert sugarbag finder, and has played a leading role in locating and naming all the different types. Continue reading...
Visiting Indigenous Linguists
Indigenous linguists Janet Mardbinda and Rachel Meiyinbara visit The University of Melbourne from Warruwi Community
In March, Janet Marbinda and Rachel Meiyinbara visited The University of Melbourne to work with Research Fellow Ruth Singer. The visit was supported by the RUIL Indigenous Researcher Small Grant Scheme. The six-day visit was actionpacked and included training, research and a bit of sightseeing. It was Janet's first visit to Melbourne and Rachel's second visit, the earlier one being in 1984. Continue reading...
Newsletter December 2014
Welcome to the third newsletter of the Research Unit for Indigenous Language. This newsletter is published twice-yearly and contains details of the research activities, latest news and other achievements of the Research Unit.
Public lecture and book launch: Drawn from the Ground: Sound, sign and inscription in Central Australian sand stories
On 16 September 2014 a public lecture was delivered by Dr Jenny Green (ARC Research Fellow in RUIL) at The University of Melbourne. It was held in conjunction with the book launch and reception for Dr Green's recently published book Drawn from the Ground: Sound, sign and inscription in Central Australian sand stories. We were thrilled to have Rachel Perkins, founder of Blackfella Films, with us to officially launch Dr Green's ground breaking publication. Generous funding support was provided by a University of Melbourne Faculty of Arts Engagement and Advancement grant.
Code-mixing in Maningrida
Jill Vaughan spent time in Maningrida, Arnhem Land, in May and October this year to begin work on a sociolinguistic project investigating code-mixing in this highly multilingual community. Along with Batchelor Institute linguist Margaret Carew, Jill recorded multilingual interactions in public domains (eg at the footy grand final) as well as narratives from speakers of a number of local languages (Ndjébbana, Burarra/ Gun-nartpa, Djinang, Djambarrpuyngu, Kune and Na-kara). Data collection for this project will begin in earnest in 2015. Continue reading...
Newsletter July 2014
Welcome to the second newsletter of the Research Unit for Indigenous Language. This newsletter is published twice-yearly and contains details of the research activities, latest news and other achievements of the Research Unit.
Launched in May 2013, the Research Unit consists of a team of researchers from the School of Languages and Linguistics. Led by Professor Gillian Wigglesworth (Director) and Associate Professor Rachel Nordlinger (Deputy Director), the Research Unit is advised by a distinguished Steering Committee consisting of language experts from a range of government, academic, community and other organisations.
Staff within the Research Unit have been active in research into Indigenous languages and the communities where they are spoken. This newsletter presents some of the highlights, and focuses particularly on fieldwork, new and continuing projects, and new grants and publications. A full list of all publications, conference presentations and current grants can be found on the RUIL website.
The Getting in Touch workshop was held on 8 and 9 April 2014 at the Desert Peoples Centre (DPC) in Alice Springs (NT). It was hosted and supported by The Centre for Australian Languages and Linguistics (CALL) at Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education. This workshop was made possible by funding from the Melbourne Social Equity Institute, First Languages Australia and RUIL. More information can be found in "The next step for Indigenous languages in the NT" on the ABC OPEN website. Continue reading...
Welcome to the first newsletter of the Research Unit for Indigenous Language. The Research Unit for Indigenous Language was launched on 16 May 2013. This event combined a meeting of the Steering Committee with a public lecture by Bruce Pascoe.
Staff within the Research Unit have been active in research into Indigenous languages and the communities where they are spoken. This newsletter presents some of the highlights, and focuses particularly on fieldwork, new projects, media exposure and public outreach activities. We have also participated in a range of national and international conferences, including the Australian Linguistic Society Conference, this year hosted by the School of Languages and Linguistics. Continue reading...