Aboriginal English in the global city: Minorities and language change
Started at UWA: 2019
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 an estimated 80 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.
Yarns from the heart: the role of Aboriginal English in Indigenous health communication
Indigenous Australians experience poorer health outcomes than non-Indigenous Australians.Read more
Decolonising sociolinguistic research
The histories and everyday experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia are etched in the landscape, the waterways and the voices of those who can speak and understand ancestral Aboriginal languages.Read more
ABC Radio Mornings
Ms Glenys Collard and Dr Celeste Rodriguez Louro discuss Aboriginal English: 1:48:57Read more
10 ways Aboriginal Australians made English their own
Aboriginal English is spoken by an estimated 80% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and is the first and only language spoken by many Aboriginal children.Read more
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.
For further reading, please view our selection of published articles below:
- Rodríguez Louro, Celeste & Glenys Collard (2021). Working together: Sociolinguistic research in urban Aboriginal Australia. Journal of Sociolinguistics.
- Rodríguez Louro, Celeste & Glenys Collard (2021). Australian Aboriginal English: Linguistic and sociolinguistic perspectives. Language and Linguistics Compass.
- Rodríguez Louro, Celeste & Glenys Collard (2021). Teaching and Learning Guide for: Australian Aboriginal English: Linguistic and Sociolinguistic Perspectives. Language and Linguistics Compass.
Please contact Celeste Rodriguez Louro on if you would like a copy of these publications.
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