Topic: A grammatical description of Kriol
Supervisor: Prof Jane Simpson
Denise Angelo is a PhD candidate with the School of Languages, Literature and Linguistics in CASS at ANU. She is currently working on a grammatical description of northern Australian Kriol. In addition, English-lexified contact varieties —their historical and present day development, their role in language ecologies, the recognition afforded them, and their impact in education and other areas of social justice—are abiding research interests. Denise is also involved in training Aboriginal pre-service teachers at The University of Sydney.
Denise has worked across Queensland with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, educators and community members on describing English-lexified vernaculars and local language ecologies. She has had extensive experience with channeling this language work back into policy development as well as into systems, curriculum and classroom practice. Denise has also undertaken collaborative research into the second language acquisition trajectories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school students in Queensland who speak English-lexified contact language varieties but who undertake their schooling through English-medium instruction. She is actively engaged in building pre-service and classroom teachers’ capacity to teach their multilingual students. As the first linguist-coordinator of Diwurruwurru-jaru, the Katherine Regional Aboriginal Language Centre, Denise worked to support training, research, documentation, school-based revitalisation programs and resource development in the 30 (traditional) languages of the region. In addition, Denise has worked on raising awareness about the need for services in Kriol, the lingua franca and first language of most Aboriginal residents there, and with colleagues established the first accredited Kriol-English interpreting course in the Northern Territory.
Beware bambai lest it be apprehensive
Angelo, Denise, and Schultze-Berndt, Eva. 2016. "Beware bambai lest it be apprehensive". In Loss and Renewal: Australian Languages since Colonisation, 29-56. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Same but different: Understanding language contact in Queensland Indigenous Settlements
Mushin, Ilana, Angelo, Denise, and Munro, Jennifer. 2016. "Same but different: Understanding language contact in Queensland Indigenous Settlements". In Land and language in the Cape York Peninsula and Gulf Country, 383-408. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Dodgy data, language invisibility and the implications for social inclusion: A critical analysis of Indigenous student language data in Queensland schools
Sally Dixon, and Denise Angelo. 2014. "Dodgy data, language invisibility and the implications for social inclusion: A critical analysis of Indigenous student language data in Queensland schools." Australian Review of Applied Linguistics. 37 (3): 213-233.
Anomalous data about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language ecologies
Angelo, Denise, and McIntosh, Sophie. 2014. "Anomalous data about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language ecologies". In Intersections: Applied Linguistics as a meeting place, 270-293. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Concepts underpinning innovations to second language proficiency scales inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners: a dynamic process in progress
Catherine Hudson, and Denise Angelo. 2014. "Concepts underpinning innovations to second language proficiency scales inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners: a dynamic process in progress." Papers in Language Testing and Assessment. 3 (1): 44-84.
Commenced March 2019
Topic: The Effect of Perceptual Salience on Cross-Situational Word Learning
Supervisors: Assoc Prof Gabrielle Weidemann, Assoc Prof Paola Escudero and Dr Karen Mulak
Jessica Bazouni is a PhD candidate in the School of Social Sciences and Psychology at Western Sydney University. Jessica completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons 1) at Western Sydney University in 2015. She is interested in how novice language learners form word-referent associations in busy word learning settings (i.e., learn the meaning of words in the presence of other words and referents). Her thesis focuses on whether salient features of words (e.g., infant-directed speech relative to adult-directed speech) or referents (e.g., moving objects relative to stationary objects) helps strengthen the association between multiple words and their corresponding referents in a cross-situational word learning paradigm. This research is important as it will help future caregivers, researchers and clinicians understand how the manipulation of words and referents affects word-referent learning. Eye-tracking and behavioural task measures are used to explore this research question.
Topic: TAM Expression in Anindilyakwa
James Bednall is a PhD candidate with the College of Arts and Social Sciences at the ANU. His doctoral research explores the expression of temporal, aspectual and modal categories in Anindilyakwa, a non-Pama-Nyungan language spoken on the Groote Eylandt archipelago in the Northern Territory. Utilising a range of theoretical frameworks and research traditions, including descriptive linguistics (through fieldwork elicitation and corpus work), theoretical and formal linguistics (especially formal semantics and pragmatics), experimental linguistics (e.g. the use of novel elicitation methods in the field), comparative and typological linguistics, discourse analysis, and ethnopragmatics, his research will provide a detailed account of the range of TAM categories and their uses in Anindilyakwa.
James graduated from the University of Western Australia with a BA(Hons) in linguistics in 2011, where he examined variation in form and semantic function of (primarily deontic) mood across a sample of dialects of the Western Desert language (Pama-Nyungan, Wati) for his honours thesis. He worked as a community linguist at the Bundiyarra - Irra Wangga Language Centre (Geraldton, Western Australia) between 2011 to 2014, where he was involved in research on several Pama-Nyungan languages of the Mid-West of Western Australia, concentrating in particular on lexical and grammatical descriptions of the Badimaya and Wajarri languages (Pama-Nyungan, Kartu). In addition to research, his position involved facilitating community and school-based language revitalisation programs, developing language-learning resources, assisting Aboriginal community members in linguistic and language training, and working in collaboration with Aboriginal Australians to deliver language and cultural awareness training.
Katie Bicevskis completed a BA (Visual) at ANU in 2001 a Graduate (2010) and Post Graduate (2012) Diploma in Linguistics at the University of Melbourne. Her Post Graduate Diploma thesis examined incorporation of modifiers in the Gunwinyguan languages of the Northern Territory. She also completed an MA in Linguistics at the University of British Columbia in 2015 and for her MA thesis she conducted experimental research into the integration of visual and tactile speech information in speech perception. During her time in Canada she also worked on Gitksan, an endangered language of the Tsimshianic family traditionally spoken in northwestern British Columbia. Katie has recently begun her PhD at the University of Melbourne and is working on a grammar of Marri Ngarr, an endangered Australian language of the Daly River region in the Northern Territory.
Australia Loves Language Puzzles: The Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad (OzCLO)
Dominique Estival, Cathy Bow, John Henderson, Barbara F. Kelly, Mary Laughren, Elisabeth Mayer, Diego Mollá, Colette Mrowa-Hopkins, Rachel Nordlinger, Verna Rieschild, Andrea C. Schalley, Alexander W. Stanley, and Jill Vaughan. December 1, 2014. "Australia Loves Language Puzzles: The Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad (OzCLO)." Language and Linguistics Compass. 8 (12): 659-670. doi: 10.1111/lnc3.12096.
Topic: Language acquisition, negotiation and use in multilingual classrooms of a bilingual school in remote central Australia
Supervisors: Carmel O’Shannessy, Jane Simpson and Samantha Disbray
Emma Browne commenced her PhD candidature at ANU in July 2017. Her experience working in schools in the Northern Territory and an interest in Warlpiri language, child language acquisition and contact varieties has sparked many questions around how multilingual children in remote central Australia negotiate language and learning through languages in a bilingual classroom. Her classroom-based project will endeavour to document these processes as complicated by processes of language shift. How children as the central stakeholders in their communities’ linguistic futures view and enact the language choices they make is also fertile ground for exploration.
Emma has a dual degree in Arts (Russian and German) and Social Science (Community Development) from the University of Queensland, an MA in Applied Linguistics (Literacy) from Macquarie University and an MA in International Education and Development (Governance and Planning) from the University of Sussex. She has worked in diverse language and education contexts from training foreign language teachers at the University of the Humanities, Ulaanbaatar (2008-2010), contributing to training and curriculum design at a bilingual school in Addis Ababa (2011), to interning on a project on social citizenship and social policy at the Institute of Social and Economic Research, Rhodes University (2012). Until 2016, she worked on Yuendumu School’s Bilingual Warlpiri/English program as a linguist attached to the Bilingual Resource Development Unit (BRDU). Her current role supporting language and culture programs in schools across the Northern Territory’s Barkly Region has ignited a passion for varieties of contact languages and sociolinguistic theories on language acquisition, multilingualism and language shift.
Topic: A Grammatical Description of Warlmanpa, a Ngumpin-Yapa Language Spoken around Tennant Creek (Northern Territory)
Supervisors: Felicity Meakins and Mary Laughren
Mitch Browne is a PhD candidate working on the Warlmanpa language. The project combines newly collected data and data collected over the past fifty years to provide a detailed description of Warlmanpa grammar. This grammar fills a gap in the documentation and description of the Ngumpin-Yapa languages, allowing further detailed comparative work to unravel the history of the languages. Mitch moved to Brisbane after graduating from the University of Western Australia with a BA(Hons) in Linguistics in 2016.
Topic: “Who are you?” in Chile: gauging variation and change in language and society
Supervisor: Catherine Travis
Matthew’s PhD focuses on a change in progress in the second-person singular 2sg (“you”) pronominal and morphosyntactic systems in Chilean Spanish where, in the last fifty years, the historically stigmatised 2sg pronoun vos has come to dominate the standard tú pronoun and verbal paradigm in the speech of young speakers from all social classes. His research addresses the social context in post-Pinochet Chile as well as the linguistic mechanisms which have driven this change.
Matthew grew up in Hamilton, NZ, but finished his schooling in Limerick, Ireland. Before starting his PhD, Matthew completed a BA in English and Spanish at UCD, Dublin, and a Masters in Advanced Translation at the ANU. His interest in variation in Chilean Spanish began as an exchange student in Santiago de Chile in 2007/8, where he subsequently lived for nearly 4 years before coming to Australia in 2012.
An Investigation of the /el/–/æl/ Merger in Australian English: A Pilot Study on Production and Perception in South-West Victoria
Deborah Loakes, Joshua Clothier, John Hajek, and Janet Fletcher. October 2, 2014. "An Investigation of the /el/–/æl/ Merger in Australian English: A Pilot Study on Production and Perception in South-West Victoria." Australian Journal of Linguistics. 34 (4): 436-452. doi: 10.1080/07268602.2014.929078.
Identifying /el/-/æl/: A comparison between two regional towns
Janet Fletcher, Deborah Loakes, John Hajek, and Joshua Clothier. 2014. "Identifying /el/-/æl/: A comparison between two regional towns". In Proceedings of the 15th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology 2-5 December 2014, 41-44. Christchurch, New Zealand.
Carlo Dalle Ceste
Topic: Reconstructing the mother tongue: new evidence for Proto Oceanic from the languages of Western Melanesia
Supervisor: Bethwyn Evans
Carlo is investigating the Oceanic languages of Western Melanesia, which may constitute a grouping within the Oceanic subgroup of the Austronesian family. His project aims at reconsidering the genetic relationships among Western Melanesian languages, revising the existing phonological and lexical reconstructions of Proto Oceanic (Ross 1988), and attempting grammatical reconstruction. As this project will require extensive data collection, Carlo will use published and unpublished materials, fieldnotes and existing grammars. A strong supporter of the philological approach to historical linguistic studies, Carlo will carefully apply the comparative method integrating both top-down and bottom-up reconstructing works.
Carlo holds a BA (Hons) in Modern languages from the University of Genoa (Italy); he then moved to the University of Pavia (Italy) to pursue his MA in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics. Carlo has been consistently involved with the study of historical linguistics since the inception of his academic path, with a special focus on linguistic reconstruction at the grammatical level. Despite the "(Indo-)Eurocentrism" of his former education, he has developed a keen interest for the Oceanic and Papuan languages of Island Melanesia.
I have an Honours degrees in Philosophy and Linguistics, both completed at ANU.
My main research interests are in the philosophy of cognitive science and the philosophy of linguistics. In general, I am interested in the many places that philosophy and linguistics interact (or should interact).
My PhD thesis centres on a proposal about the basic concepts that underlie our cognition, essentially the “atoms of thought”. I suggest that the atoms of thought might be roughly identified with the semantic primes of Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) research, as developed by Anna Wierzbicka and Cliff Goddard. I intend to home in on some of the significant psychological and evolutionary implications of such a proposal. I also want to show how the view compares to the "language of thought" hypothesis in classical cognitive science.
Project: Examining the Assessments: Investigating the usefulness of remote Aboriginal students’ systemic reading test scores
Leonard Freeman started his PhD candidature at The University of Melbourne in February 2018. Leonard’s primary supervisor is Prof. Gillian Wigglesworth. Before commencing his dissertation, Leonard worked for the Northern Territory Department of Education for two years on a Literacy & Numeracy project developing curriculum resources for teaching remote Aboriginal language-speaking students.
During 2015, Leonard completed a Master’s thesis titled Empowering Indigenous-language speaking students: Challenging the deficit discourse as part of Masters of Education (International) at Charles Darwin University and received the Chancellor’s medal for his work.
Leonard completed a combined Bachelor of Arts (Economics and Geography), Bachelor of Education degree at the University of New South Wales. After completing his teaching qualification, Leonard worked for 10 years in remote Indigenous community schools in the Northern Territory. Leonard initially worked as a classroom teacher at a primary school on the Tiwi Islands. Working in this rich language context where students speak an Indigenous-language as their first language and learn English as a foreign language at school sparked Leonard’s interest in teaching English to speakers of other languages. Leonard then took on the role of teacher-linguist at the school and completed a Master of Applied Linguistics (TESOL) at Charles Darwin University.
From 2008 to 2011 Leonard coordinated the bilingual school program of a small Pitjantjatjara speaking community in Central Australia. Leonard then moved to North East Arnhem Land to work as a school principal from 2012 to 2014.
Manuel David GonzaLez Perez
Topic: A linguistic description of Ngwi language
Manuel's PhD involves the documentation of a (South-Eastern) variety of Ngwi (Tibeto-Burman) in Yunnan, China. The project will focus on grammar and semantics and will include descriptive, explanatory (functional/cognitive/diachronic), philological, lexicographic and etymological work. The main outcome will be a grammar, a lexicon and a collection of texts.
After doing some coursework in Philosophy and Classics, Manuel completed a BA in Linguistics and two MAs in Classics and Linguistics. During this time he gathered some research and teaching experience in cognitive linguistics, functional syntax, typology, corpus methods, experimental psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, diachrony, etymology, philological analysis of texts, ancient languages, grammatical and philosophical traditions.
Beyond academically grounded pursuits, he has had the opportunity to acquire spoken, literary and sociocultural proficiency in Spanish, French, Catalan, German, English, Russian and Chinese, as well as rudimentary skills in other languages. His personal commitment to linguistic and cultural diversity as a lifestyle, as a goal in and of itself, combined with his theoretical interest in the possibilities, limits and implications of linguistic plasticity led him to undertake a PhD with Nick Evans.
During her bachelor and master studies in Linguistics at the University of Leipzig, Tina Gregor became very interested in the linguistic diversity of the world. Linguistic typology and the documentation and description of languages quickly became the focus of her studies. Now, her interest in linguistic diversity has led her to a project in one of the most linguistically diverse regions of the world, the island of New Guinea. The aim of the project is to document and describe Yelmek and Maklew; two closely related non-Austronesian languages in Papua Province, Indonesia. Yelmek (400 speakers) and Maklew (120 speakers) form an isolate language family and are both highly endangered due to language shift to Indonesian. The existing material on them is scarce and essentially all based on work from the 1950s. Her project will result in a description of one language with comparative remarks on the other, an annotated digital corpus and a small dictionary. These can be used as a resource for the speakers themselves and as a basis for further research.
Amanda Hamilton is originally from the United States, and completed her previous studies at Georgetown University (BA in English) and at the University of Hawaii (MA in Linguistics--Endangered Language Documentation and Conservation). In 2010 she assisted with the Alor and Pantar Languages Project, helping collect data for research on the historical relationships among the languages spoken on Alor and Pantar islands in eastern Indonesia. Her involvement with Australian Aboriginal languages began in 2011, when she moved to Port Hedland in northwestern WA to work as a linguist at Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre. While she worked with speakers of many of the region’s 31 languages, much of her research there focused on Nyangumarta, one of the most commonly spoken languages in Port and South Hedland. She completed a pilot study on child Nyangumarta, analyzing the differences between it and the language as it is spoken by adults. This sparked her interest in language contact and change, and she plans to pursue these topics through her research at CoEDL.
Huade Huang completed his MA of General and Applied Linguistcs at the ANU. During the study, he focused on syntax and his MA thesis supervised by Prof. Jane Simpson discussed the information structure of Mandarin Chinese under the framework of Lexical-Functional Grammar. His PhD project will focus on Kua-nsi, one of under-documented Loloish languages in Yunnan Province, China. Kua-nsi has around 5000 speakers and is reported to be endangered. The aim of the project is to document and describe this language and the main outcome will be a descriptive grammar of Kua-nsi.
Bruno holds a BA (Hons) and a BSc, both from the Australian National University. Bruno has a general background in cognitive science and his Honours thesis, supervised by Kim Sterelny, discussed Chomsky’s saltationist view of language evolution and argued for a gradualist alternative to it. His PhD project concerns the role of theoretical linguistics in language evolution theorising. Bruno has a particular interest in the (present and possible) contribution of so-called generative grammar to evolutionary debates about language.
Commencing February 2017
Topic: TMA Expressions in Nafsan (South Efate) from a Typological Perspective
Supervisor: Nick Thieberger and Manfred Krifka (HU Berlin)
Ana Krajinović is a joint PhD student at the University of Melbourne and Humboldt University in Berlin. Her PhD project is supported by the collaboration between the MelaTAMP project (‘A corpus-based contrastive study of tense, aspect, modality and polarity in Austronesian languages of Melanesia’) based at the Humboldt University in Berlin and the Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language.
Her PhD research focuses on TMA expressions in Nafsan, also known as South Efate, spoken on the island of Efate in Vanuatu. The study of TMA in Nafsan gives special attention to mood and aspect, the most prominent categories of its TMA system. Starting from a more detailed description of grammatical encoding of TMA in Nafsan, the main goal of Ana’s PhD project is to show what a mood-prominent language like Nafsan can clarify when put in typological and theoretical debates. This also concerns the discussion about the realis/irrealis distinction and the role of linguistic categories in language description and typology. She also intends to rely on different theoretical frameworks for a deeper semantic and pragmatic analysis of TMA in Nafsan. The main source of language data is the Nafsan corpus collected by Nick Thieberger. Ana will also conduct her own fieldwork in order to answer more specific research questions.
Ana holds a BA in Linguistics and Portuguese language and literature from the University of Zagreb (Croatia), and MA in Linguistics from the University of Lisbon (Portugal). Her MA thesis is a description of the verbal system of Malabar Indo-Portuguese, a moribund Portuguese-based creole in Kerala, India.
One of several philosophers honoured to be a member of CoEDL, Stephen focuses on animal communication and evolutionary dynamics. Connecting the literature on natural signalling systems with wider topics in the philosophy of information, he seeks to understand the various notions of semantic content that play a role in simple communicative interactions. While human language is steeped in pragmatics and changes with the speed and complexity of cultural evolution, animal communication is for the most part purely semantic and has simpler dynamics. He investigates the extent to which evolutionary modelling can inform the study of communication and information in the philosophy of biology. With a background in mathematics, Stephen draws on both empirical biology and computer simulations to support claims about naturalistic approaches to meaning and its evolution. He completed a four-year Master in Science (equivalent to three-year Bachelor's and one-year Master's) in mathematics and philosophy at the University of Bristol (UK) in 2010, before working as a software developer. In 2013 he began a PhD in philosophy at King's College, London, before visiting ANU in 2015 and making the move permanent in 2016.
Zara is interested in using speech recognition and other technologies in education; second language acquisition; Indonesian; language variation; and sign languages. As part of her PhD, she is currently running a pilot to test speech recognition on data from an Indonesian language classroom and plans to analyse word frequency for different Indonesian varieties.
Zara also teaches the ANU Extension Program - Performing Indonesian. She co-wrote the program, which blends skills-based learning, guided research, and theories of linguistic social identity to look at Indonesian political and cultural keywords.
Gloria Pino Escobar
Topic: Bridging the gap between domain-general cognitive processes and word learning in monolingual and bilingual children
Supervisors: Assoc Prof Paola Escudero, Dr Alba Tuninetti and Dr Mark Antoniou
Gloria Pino Escobar is a PhD candidate in the MARCS Institute at Western Sydney University. Gloria completed a Bachelor of Arts (Interpreting and Translation) at WSU and a Master of Science at the MARCS Institute. Gloria is interested in the cognitive processes involved in different aspects of language (e.g., word learning, comprehension and production) in bi/multilingual and monolingual speakers. Gloria’s thesis investigates which key executive functions predict monolingual and bilingual children's word learning abilities under three conditions (i.e., mutual exclusivity, cross-situational and incidental novel word learning), and their capacity to retain the newly learnt words throughout time. This study will potentially demonstrate individual language learning strategies that can be used to leverage vocabulary learning in children in a tailor-made fashion.
Beyond academia, Gloria’s interests extend to language-related activities working as a NAATI-accredited Spanish interpreter and translator and as volunteer teacher at Amistad Latina Spanish Community Language School.
Making the ESL classroom visible: Indigenous Australian children’s early education
Dixon, Sally, Gawne, Lauren, Morales, Gemma, Poetsch, Susan, and Wigglesworth, Gillian. 2016. "Making the ESL classroom visible: Indigenous Australian children’s early education". In Early Childhood Education in English for Speakers of Other Languages, 111-136. London: British Council.
Kyla Quinn is starting her PhD in 2015. Her PhD will examine syncretism in the world's languages with a view to determining the utility of syncretic patterns as a tool for diagnosing phylogeny and contact relationships between languages. For the past 14 years Kyla has been working for the Australian Government in IT and Engineering related fields. She has experience in the statistical analysis of large datasets, computer programming and scripting in several languages. Most recently, she has been involved in strategic planning. Seven years ago Kyla started studying part time for fun and found a new passion for linguistics. In 2014, she graduated from ANU with a BA(Hons) majoring in Linguistics and Indonesian. Her Honours thesis was based on fieldwork she undertook in Wando Village, located on the Torassi River in Western Province, Papua New Guinea. The thesis outlined the verbal morphology of Thuntai and constituted the first documentation of the language. Kyla volunteers for local wildlife rescue organisation, Wildcare. She is a venomous snake catcher and raptor rehabilitator. She is also gaining experience as a toddler-wrangler, looking after her 18 month old son William.
Topic: Connecting community with Corpora: annotated media resources meet language teaching Supervisors: Assoc Prof Caroline Jones (Principal supervisor), Dr Jennifer MacRitchie, Prof Francesca Merlan
Overview: In 1994 the Katherine Regional Aboriginal Language Centre (later Diwurruwurru-jaru), at the behest of the Elders, the community and the school, initiated a Mangarrayi language-teaching programme within the school curriculum. A small group of key Elders in the community, in partnership with linguists working through the Language Centre, delivered the programme and developed a range of materials and resources. The principal, teachers and Aboriginal Teacher assistants (who had some knowledge of Mangarrayi), actively supported the program. Twenty-two years on, many of these elements no longer obtain. Most crucially, there are critically few fluent speakers left in the community. However, many recordings of fluent speakers of Mangarrayi have been recorded over the years and are stored in archives such as AIATSIS (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies). My thesis explores the steps that need to be taken to translate this valuable material into useful teaching and learning materials for the Jilkminggan community. The research will include a study of three different modes of delivery for teaching Mangarrayi within a school context: a more traditional communicative-based approach; a song presentation; and an app-based approach.
Research questions: What are the important target themes for learning and teaching Mangarrayi in the eyes of Aboriginal teachers and community members? How can media be extracted from annotated audio-visual corpora to allow teachers in an Aboriginal community to create teaching resources via an app? What role does the mode of delivery play in the experience of teaching and learning Mangarrayi at Jilkminggan school?
Jilkminggan is an Aboriginal community 135 km south-east of Katherine in the Northern Territory. The traditional language of the community is Mangarrayi.
Carly Steele has started her PhD in 2016 at the University of Melbourne under the supervision of Professor Gillian Wigglesworth. She will be working with Indigenous Kriol speaking children in educational settings. Prior to this, Carly has been employed as a teacher, both Primary and Secondary, in NSW, WA, and QLD and later as a literacy consultant in Cairns. She has worked in Indigenous education in remote WA, Cairns and the Torres Strait. During this time, Carly completed a Master of Arts (Applied Linguistics) at Curtin University. Her Master's thesis investigated whether Indigenous students' literacy levels impact upon the way they process language and, as a consequence, their oral Second Dialect Acquisition (SDA).
Philip Thierfelder is investigating cognitive processes involved in reading using eye-tracking and electroencephalogram (EEG) technology. His research focuses on deaf users of Hong Kong Sign Language and how orthographic, phonological and semantic information encoded in Chinese characters can affect their cognitive processing during sentence reading tasks.
Philip holds a BA in Linguistics from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (applied linguistics stream) from the Education University of Hong Kong. He worked at the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Centre for Sign Linguistics and Deaf Studies as a research assistant and language instructional officer from 2011 until 2017.
Topic: Decolonising ethics? Acritical analysis of researchers intended ethical research practices and the role of Indigenous communities in ensuring ethical research
Supervisors: Assoc Professor Jane Freemantle, Prof Rachel Nordlinger, Prof Ian Anderson
Alister Thorpe is a proud Aboriginal man from the Gunai (East Gippsland) Yorta Yorta (Goulbourn Valley), and Gunditjmara (Western Districts) clans in south-eastern Australia with many family and connections throughout Victoria.
Alister is currently a PhD candidate with the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne and a recipient of a Lowitja Institute PhD scholarship. His research will incorporate a decolonising methodological approach from an Indigenous standpoint and aims to explore how Indigenous communities ensure researchers adhere to Indigenous health research ethical principles. Alister intends to use the skills and knowledge he has acquired to contribute to positive outcomes around health and wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Catalina Torres Orjuela
Supervisors: Janet Fletcher and Gillian Wigglesworth
Topic: Bilingual prosody of French and Drehu
Catalina is a PhD candidate working in the Phonetics Laboratory at the University of Melbourne. Her doctoral research focuses on language contact in New Caledonia and the prosodic systems of Drehu, an Oceanic language, and New Caledonian French. A substantial part of her research consists of a detailed description of the acoustic correlates of prosody in both languages. Catalina is interested in bilingualism as a language contact phenomenon and wants to investigate what are the social and psycholinguistic factors influencing bilingual prosody. With her research, she wants to investigate if there exist bi-directional effects related to bilingual prosody acquisition. As part of her project she will visit the University of New Caledonia and conduct fieldwork in Lifou (in the Loyalty Islands).
Catalina holds a BA in French (major) and Portuguese literature and linguistics and a MA in linguistics, both completed at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. In her Master’s thesis, she studied the intonation contours of yes-no interrogatives by bilingual Portuguese and German speaking children from a two-way immersion school in Berlin.
Jesse is a PhD candidate doing inter-discipline research between Computer Science and Linguistics. His project seeks to discover an effective way to data-visualise Linguistic data with the use of machine learning and HCI techniques.
Topic: The role of affect and infant-directed speech on infants’ early word learning
Supervisors: Paola Escudero, Gabrielle Weidemann, Karen Mulak, and Marina Kalashnikova
Overview: Nicole Traynor is a PhD candidate in psycholinguistics at the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development at Western Sydney University. Nicole completed a Bachelor of Psychology with Honours at Western in 2016. Her Honours research investigated positive affect and its involvement in infants’ early word learning. Nicole’s doctoral research develops this work, with a particular focus on the cognitive resources required to learn, and the effects of task demands. Further, the project will assess affect and infant-directed speech at an individual level.
Sasha Wilmoth’s PhD project is a study of intergenerational variation and change in Pitjantjatjara, a Western Desert language spoken in Central Australia. Sasha completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours at the University of Melbourne in 2014. Her Honours research focused on the distribution of some under-described discourse-marking clitics in Murrinhpatha. Since completing her Honours degree, she has been working in the language technology industry at the Sydney-based company Appen, using computational methods to develop various types of language data for machine learning. She has also been working as a research assistant with Felicity Meakins at the University of Queensland, developing a longitudinal corpus of Gurindji Kriol.
Lesley is from the Ngiyampaa language group from Western New South Wales. She grew up in and around Ivanhoe and has lived and has worked in the Pilbara region of Western Australia for many years.
She completed her Masters at Monash University and is currently a PhD candidate at Australian National University.
Lesley collaborated on Ngiyampaa language projects with linguist Dr Tamsin Donaldson over many years. Lesley spent several years working in her own community in New South Wales, teaching language classes to community members and developing a Ngiyampaa language program at the local school. She has also been collaborating with her singer/songwriter niece to write songs incorporating their mother tongue.
More recently, Lesley has been interested in ethics in linguistic research, this has come about through her own experiences and insights into linguistics in Australia and was the topic a research project for her Master’s degree.
Topic: Prosody and Syntactic Disambiguation in English and German
Supervisors: Dr Heather Kember, Professor Anne Cutler, and Dr Robert Mailhammer
Overview: Jenny is a PhD candidate in psycholinguistics at the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development at Western Sydney University. Her thesis will compare how English and German speakers use prosody (features of speech such as loudness, pitch, and duration) to understand and produce sentences when word order is ambiguous. Jenny has previously completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) at The University of Sydney in 2015.
Yarjis Xueqing (Norah) Zhong
Supervisor: Jane Simpson
Topic: Rescuing a language from extinction: practical steps with the community for revitalisation of the Western Yugur language
Yarjis Xueqing Zhong is a PhD candidate with the School of Culture, History & Language in the College of Asia & the Pacific at the Australian National University. She is a native speaker of the Western Yugur language and grew up in the local community in China. She has been trained in linguistics and is currently involved in language documentation, revitalisation and lexicography. Her current PhD thesis is about “Rescuing a language from extinction: practical steps with the community for revitalisation of the Western Yugur language”, which involves the study of the ecology of language, bilingual education, orthography design, grammatical description and making a trilingual dictionary. She is also contributing to a Western Yugur-English-Chinese online dictionary using an open-source crowdsourcing platform.