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Video: Meet Catherine Travis

Catherine Travis, Evolution, Sydney Speaks

Date: 12 November 2019

Centre Chief Investigator Catherine Travis is Professor of Modern European Languages in the School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics at ANU. Her work addresses questions related to language evolution at a micro level, where she applies quantitative methods to probe the impact of linguistic and social factors on language variation and change in the speech community.

Watch on YouTube.

In the Centre, she leads the Sydney Speaks project, a sociolinguistic study of Australian English, examining the speech of Sydney-siders of diverse social backgrounds, recorded at different times, and born over a 100-year period (from the 1890s to the 1990s). In the video, Catherine introduces some interesting recent findings from the project. To hear recordings of Sydney Speakers across time, listen to these samples of people born between the 1930s and 1990s.

Another of Catherine's projects examines outcomes of language contact in a long-standing Spanish-English bilingual community in New Mexico, USA. A co-authored book in collaboration with Partner Ivestigator Rena Torres Cacoullos (Penn State University)  deriving from this work, Bilingualism in the Community: Code-switching and Grammars in Contact, has been published by Cambridge University Press.

(This video was recorded at the Centre's annual member conference, CoEDLFest 2019.)

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