Aboriginal English in the global city: Minorities and language change
Started at UWA: 2020
Documenting patterns of variation and change in metropolitan Aboriginal English
This project examines how Aboriginal English is used in urban Nyungar country, Perth, Western Australia, and documents patterns of variation and change in metropolitan Aboriginal English, a contact language spoken by 90 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and a powerful carrier of ethnic identity.
Aboriginal English in the global city: Minorities and language change offers the first quantitative study of how Aboriginal English storytelling functions cross-generationally, and whether global linguistic innovations are apparent.
Our project team works as a bicultural team, within a two-way research model that emphasises informed decision making, with the insider’s perspective of Ms Glenys Collard – the Nyungar researcher – at the core.
This research design has allowed for yarning, an Indigenous cultural form of conversation and storytelling, to emerge as the best method to collect a rich corpus of linguistic data, relate to others and make sense of our research. Our approach is based on the position that it is imperative to recognise Indigenous ownership of Aboriginal English.
This research project relates to the disciplines of:
- Anthropology and Sociology
Inform the implementation of cross-cultural teaching programs in Australia, assisting teachers and curriculum developers with materials design.
Provide opportunities for teacher professional development through workshops.
Empower and support Indigenous Australians by documenting how Aboriginal English is changing.
Work with us
Our project team welcomes enthusiastic volunteers. We seek honours, masters and PhD student candidates to further analyse the data in our expanding corpus. If you’d like to get involved or ask about our list of research topics, contact Dr Celeste Rodriguez Louro on the details below
PhD and scholarship opportunities
A successful PhD student will work closely with Dr Rodriguez Louro and Ms Collard in understanding, analysing, interpreting and presenting findings based on our project teams existing corpus. Opportunities to collect further data are also available.
An applicant must possess the following qualifications:
- A Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Linguistics is essential for Honours student volunteers or;
- A Bachelor of Arts (Honours in Linguistics) is essential for PhD student volunteers
At present, applicants will be required to apply for scholarship funding through The University of Western Australia’s funding schemes.
Malcolm, Ian (2018). Australian Aboriginal English: Change and continuity in an adopted language. Boston/Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter.
Please contact Dr Rodriguez Louro for a list of other suggested readings.
Aboriginal English in the global city: Minorities and language change has received the following grant funding:
- Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, 2018-2022
- Australian Linguistic Society Research Grant, 2019