Course abstract - Gaby

Course: The Dynamics of Australian Indigenous Languages

Instructors: Alice Gaby (Monash University)

Description: The size of Australia and its long history of human occupation have produced much linguistic diversity. Nevertheless, Australian Indigenous languages show many similarities in their patterns of sound, structure and meaning. This course will provide an overview of the languages of this island continent, explained through the historical and contemporary context of Indigenous languages and linguistic research. In particular, we explore what ethical linguistic research can look like in a decolonising context and why Indigenous languages cannot be understood in isolation from the social, political and cultural contexts of their speakers. 


1. Historical and contemporary context of Australian Indigenous languages (including ethical linguistic research)

2. Typological overview: sounds and structures

3. Meaning and culture

4. Discourse and communication (including new Indigenous languages such as Kriol, Aboriginal English, mixed languages, language revival)

  • Australian Government
  • The University of Queensland
  • Australian National University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Western Sydney University