He's not heavy, he's my brother (2013-2016)

The acquisition of kinship terminology in a morphologically complex Australian Language

Dr Joe Blythe

Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

Of the 250+ Aboriginal languages spoken pre-contact, only 18 are still being learned by children. One of these is Murrinhpatha. Extended family networks lie at the nexus of the social universe and of Murrinhpatha's very complex grammar. This project investigated how children acquire the grammar and lexicon of kinship. It furthered the continuity of Murrinhpatha and other strong languages by investigating the attainment of grammatical and social competence, thus placing Australia at the forefront of kinship acquisition, morphologically complex language acquisition and scientifically targeted language maintenance.