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Video interview: Meet Professor Rachel Nordlinger

Rachel Nordlinger, Shape, University of Melbourne

Date: 1 February 2019

Professor Rachel Nordlinger is the Director of the Research Unit for Indigenous Language at the University of Melbourne and a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language.

In this interview, she talks to PhD scholar Catalina Torres about her life's work in describing, documenting and analysing indigenous languages, delving into theoretical paradigms, and what inspires her about working with Australian Aboriginal communities.

Rachel mentions some of the unique grammatical feaures of our Indigeous languages, the "moments you live for" when discoveries are made, and the "fun part" of negotiating the intricacies of working in very different cultural environments. She outlines her hopes for the future of the "strong" discipline of Australian linguistics, including for the advancement of Indigenous languages within their communties and mainstream education systems.

"If I was just doing this in a university, it would lose half the appeal."

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