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...

RUIL Research Newsletter April 2016