Our panel of linguists
Nick Evans is a linguist who works on languages of Australia and New Guinea. In addition to documenting and describing small indigenous languages of this region, he is interested in what historical linguistics can tell us about how languages get to have their fascinating particularities, and conversely in how language comparison can help us to understand the deep human past of parts of the world with no written records, particularly in Sahul (the ancient continent of Australia and New Guinea). Nick is also interested in the application of historical linguistics to the Native Title process in Australia. Among his most relevant publications to historical linguistics is his popular book Dying Words: Endangered Languages and What They Have to Tell Us .
Celeste Rodriguez Louro
Celeste Rodriguez Louro is Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at The University of Western Australia in Perth. Her recent research focuses on language variation and change in the Englishes spoken in Australia, on how linguistic and social factors shape language usage and change in language across time. Celeste’s research relies on contemporary and historical language data collected in naturalistic settings, and her latest research explores the development of quotation in narratives, including the use of BE LIKE. In a new project she is documenting sociolinguistic variation in Aboriginal English across generations.
Mary is the Senior Linguist on the Vanuatu Languages and Lifeways project in the Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany. Mary’s research focuses on the evolution and interaction of Pacific languages, specifically in Polynesia and Vanuatu. Through language documentation and comparison of many understudied languages in these areas, she works to uncover not only historical linguistic relationships but also sociohistorical relationships between the speakers of these languages.
Henry is a third-year undergraduate linguistics student at the Australian National University, broadly interested in how and why languages vary across time and space. As a Sanskrit and Literary Chinese student, he is currently trying to understand how we can use models of language contact to better understand what exactly happened when Buddhist texts were being translated into Chinese from Indian languages for the first time during the second-century CE and onwards. He is also interested in other aspects of human cultural variation and contact, such as material culture and religion.