Linkage Projects 2020 Round 3 Announcement Banner

Centre of Excellence helps to substantially expand documentation of Australian and Pacific-region languages

Centre of Excellence helps to substantially expand documentation of Australian and Pacific-region languages

ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language logo.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language is celebrating its involvement in the documentation of over 100 languages of Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Vanuatu and the broader Asia-Pacific region.

Research conducted by the ARC Centre of Excellence is contributing immensely to our knowledge of Australian languages and producing tangible resources for communities.

Centre Director Professor Nick Evans says of the 121 languages the Centre is involved in documenting, only nine are not endangered. “That means that there are 112 languages that we are studying that need urgent and detailed documentation,” says Professor Evans.

Professor Evans says it is important to emphasize, celebrate and continue to document the Indigenous languages on our own continent.

“We estimate around 300 languages were spoken when Europeans arrived in Australia. Today, around fifty are still spoken and most are gravely endangered.”

The Centre of Excellence's research is leading to the development of linguistic resources for communities (such as dictionaries, story books and other essential language materials) and on a theoretical level, a greater understanding of under-described languages to help us appreciate the full and diverse range of structures possible in human language.

The ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language is receiving $28 million over seven years to address the most critical questions about language, and to secure language heritage, develop new language technologies, connect policy with indigenous and migrant communities, and build strategies to help 1st and 2nd language learning and those isolated by language difficulties.

Media issued by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language.

 

Back to top