Linguistics research in the School looks into the nature of language as a manifestation of human cognition and social interaction, and the use of language to achieve social action, social identities and interpersonal relationships.It includes theoretical and empirical studies of language structure and meaning, studies of language change, language documentation and description, and the pragmatics of language and interaction in cross-cultural and institutional settings. It is concentrated around three subthemes, Linguistic structure, meaning and change; Discourse and interaction; and Australian Indigenous languages.

Linguistic structure, meaning and change focuses on how aspects of language are structured, such as sound patterns, word and sentence formation, and the organisation of linguistic meaning. This includes research on particular individual languages as well as comparisons across languages.

Discourse and interaction looks into linguistic and other communicative practices as they are used to achieve social actions.

The School makes a strong contribution to raising awareness, both within Indigenous communities and among the Australian public in general, of the significance of Australian Indigenous Languages, including new languages, and to the documentation, learning and teaching of these languages. Projects are mostly conducted in collaboration with particular language communities.

Featured projects Duration
Something old, something new: Indigenous languages since colonization
ARC Future Fellowship
Saibai Island Language and Cultural Knowledge Project
Australian Research Council
Lexical splits: a novel perspective on the structure of words (Arts & Humanities Research Council Grant administered by Uni of Surrey)
Arts & Humanities Research Council Grant administered by Uni of Surrey
Humor in Taiwan
Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange
Talking knowledge, doing learning: the early years
ARC Discovery Projects
High-definition carbon-dating of linguistic pasts
ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award
Trilingual language contact in an Indigenous community
ARC Discovery Projects
Out of the Mouthes of Babes
ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award