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. This project seeks to undertake the first extensive survey of colonial language change in Australia. It aims to develop new methodologies for investigating & predicting the mechanisms of change across languages and generations of speakers. Exploring these changes is crucial to recognising new ways of speaking & providing Indigenous communities with guiding principles for language revitalisation. It aims to place Australia at the forefront of studies of language change.

Project members

Dr Felicity Meakins

Linguistics Discipline
Senior Lecturer
School of Languages and Cultures