The ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL) is an ambitious series of interlinked projects, focusing on language as a dynamic and variable system, and drawing on the full diversity of the world’s languages, through four programs focusing on the design space of language (shape), how it is learned (learning) and processed (processing), and how linguistic structures evolve at various timescales (evolution).

Two ‘threads’ (archiving, and new generation technologies) will enable the technological advances needed to drive forward the language sciences in the coming decades. The Centre is strongly interdisciplinary and features researchers from linguistics, speech pathology, psychology, anthropology, philosophy, bioinformatics and robotics. CoEDL is centred on four Australian Universities (Australian National University, University of Melbourne, University of Western Sydney and The University of Queensland), with partner institutions in Australasia and the Pacific, Asia, Europe and North America.

In the School of Languages and Cultures we have a number of projects underway including the documentation of Ngumpin-Yapa languages in the Northern Territory (Ngardi, Gurindji, Mudburra, Ngarinyman and Warlmanpa), as well as projects focusing on the development of new Indigenous languages (Kriol, new varieties of Mudburra and Gurindji Kriol, Gurindji sign language). These projects are being undertaken in collaboration with Karungkarni Art, Murnkurrumurnkurru Central Land Council ranger group, Warlayirdi Art, ICTV, Batchelor Press and the Bromham Lab in Macroevolution and Macroecology at Australian National University.

Dr Felicity Meakins
Linguistics Discipline and ARC Future Fellow, School of Languages and Cultures