ARC Future Fellowship in Linguistics

16 June 2017

Dr Felicity Meakins, Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at the School of Languages and Cultures, has recently been awarded an ARC Future Fellowship for the next four years of her research on “Something old, something new: Indigenous languages since colonisation”. The project aims to undertake an extensive survey of colonial language change in Australia.

English has changed the linguistic landscape of Indigenous Australia profoundly. Of the 300 languages spoken at first contact, only 18 remain strong. In their place is a complex array of restructured varieties, Kriol dialects and fusions of traditional languages with English. The project aims to develop new methodologies for investigating and predicting the mechanisms of change across languages and generations of speakers. 

The expected outcomes of the project include recognising new ways of speaking and providing Indigenous communities with guiding principles for language revitalisation. This will place Australia at the forefront of studies of language change.

Felicity Meakins and Myfany Turpin work with Ronnie Wavehill and Thomas Monkey on Gurindji songs (Photo: Brenda L Croft 2015)