Dr Mary Laughren's research interests include syntax semantics interface, lexicography, language in education, and Australian Aboriginal languages.
Her current research interests include the documentation of the Waanyi language (southern Gulf of Carpentaria) in collaboration with Gavan Breen, and the Warlpiri language (central Australia). In partnership with Prof Nicolas Peterson (ANU) and Dr Myfany Turpin (UQ) she is recording and documenting traditional Warlpiri songs analysing them in their social and performance context, with particular emphasis on the relationship between linguistic and musical properties. She is also actively engaged in the professional development of Warlpiri teaching personnel working in Warlpiri community schools, and in Waanyi language revitalisation.
She is the author of:
- Articles on African and Australian languages.
- Warlpiri-English encyclopaedic dictionary.
- Forty Years On: Ken Hale and Australian Languages, Pacific Linguistics. ANU Canberra, 2001.