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Personal profile

Research

My research draws on two primary threads: meaning in language (semantics and pragmatics) and language contact, variation, and change.

I focus on issues related to semantic and pragmatic cross-linguistic variation, contact-induced grammatical change, contact languages, and sociolinguistics. I have worked on a range of areas at the semantics/pragmatics/morpho-syntax interface including tense, aspect, modality, discourse particles, reflexives, reciprocals, and argument ellipsis.

I am especially interested in the semantics and pragmatics of contact languages, and what the configuration of these domains can tell us about how meaning is transferred, retained, lost or innovated in situations of language contact and emergence.

My research also considers the description of contact languages in Australia, their histories and synchronic language ecologies, as well as ideologies about, and attitudes towards, these languages. 

Since 2019, I have been working closely with speakers of a variety of Northern Australian Kriol spoken in Kununurra, a small town located in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia. More recently, I have begun working with Miriwoong, a critically endangered Jarragan language (non-Pama-Nyungan) of the East Kimberley region.  

Research interests

Discourse, pragmatics, semantics, morpho-syntax and their various interfaces.
Language variation, change and contact; grammaticalization.
Contact languages, particularly in Australia.
Language in education.

Languages

English

Northern Australian Kriol 

Miriwoong

Scottish Gaelic

Community engagement

My work with Kriol and Miriwoong speakers in the East Kimberley has involved a range of community engagement in addition to my research. I am currently involved with a revitalization program for the critically endangered Miriwoong language in Kununurra, adminstered by the local language centre Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring. Since 2020 I have also been working with Kriol speakers in Kununurra and Frog Hollow Community to produce an orthography for their variety of Kriol, to be used in both publications and educational materials. The first edition of this orthography was released in 2023. 

Education/Academic qualification

BA (Hons), The University of Western Australia

External positions

Linguist, Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring Language and Culture Centre

2023 → …

Australian Linguistic Society Social Media Assistant

20192021

Research expertise keywords

  • Language Contact
  • Semantics
  • Pragmatics
  • Grammaticalisation
  • Tense and aspect
  • Language Change
  • Creoles
  • Mixed Languages
  • Modality
  • Discourse
  • Semantic fieldwork

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