This project aims to investigate how traditional sign languages are used in Indigenous communities. Traditional sign languages are part of everyday life in Indigenous communities in central and northern Australia. The project aims to investigate how speech and sign are coordinated, the ways that new signs are added to traditional repertoires, and the ways that other forms of communication, such as drawing, are used together with sign. It is intended that the results of the study will assist Indigenous people in safeguarding their cultural heritage, and support cross-cultural communication in the education, health and legal sectors, and contribute to international debates about how sign languages of the world vary.
Chief Investigator: Dr Jenny Green, funded by an ARC DECRA postdoctoral fellowship, 2014-2017