Out of the Mouthes of Babes

January 2013January 2017
ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

In last 225 years, the language ecology of Australia has shifted dramatically to accommodate English. Many Indigenous languages now learnt by children have undergone restructuring under the influence of English. One of these languages is Gurindji. This project is the first diachronic investigation of cross-generational language change in an Indigenous language. It examines the linguistic input Gurindji children received from their caregivers as infants and charts its influence on the children's subsequent language use. Exploring these changes is crucial to understanding language shift, and to tailoring educational programs to suit the needs of Indigenous children.

Project members

Dr Felicity Meakins

Linguistics Discipline
Senior Lecturer
School of Languages and Cultures