Peter Kenneth Austin

Peter Kenneth Austin
SOAS, University of London | SOAS · Department of Linguistics

PhD (ANU) 1978, BA (AS) ANU 1974

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78
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Publications

Publications (78)
Research
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In the last decade of the 20th century a new sub-field of linguistics emerged that has come to be known as ‘language documentation’ or ‘documentary linguistics’ (Himmelmann 1998, 2002, 2006, Lehmann 2001, Austin 2010a, Grenoble 2010, Woodbury 2003, 2011). In this paper we explore how it was defined in the seminal work of Himmelmann (1998) and other...
Research
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Annotated bibliography of language documentation published in Oxford encyclopedia online
Book
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This is the first part of a planned comprehensive reference grammar of the Mantharta Languages (Jiwarli, Thiin, Warriyangka, Tharrkari) traditionally spoken in the Gascoyne-Ashburton region in the north-west of Western Australia.
Chapter
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The history of indigenous Aboriginal languages in eastern Australia for the 200 years following first European settlement in 1788 has been one of loss and extinction. By 1988 it appears that none of the approximately 70 languages originally spoken in what is now New South Wales and Victoria had fully fluent speakers who had acquired them as a first...
Chapter
Introduction: The past fifteen years have seen the emergence of a new sub-field of linguistics that has been termed ‘language documentation’ or ‘documentary linguistics’ (Himmelmann 1998, 2002, 2006, Lehmann 2001, P. Austin 2010a, Grenoble 2010, Woodbury 2003, 2011a). Its major goal is the creation of lasting multi-purpose records of languages or l...
Presentation
The Sasaks of Lombok island, eastern Indonesia, have a literary tradition of writing manuscripts on palm leaves (lontar) in a manner similar to that of the Balinese (Rubinstein 2000), and historically, the Javanese. Lombok today remains only one of three places in Indonesia (along with Bali and Riau) where reading lontar (called in Sasak, pepaosan)...
Article
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1 I owe a debt of thanks to all the Gamilaraay people who assisted me with the study of the language over the past thirty-odd years, to R.M.W. Dixon and the late Stephen A. Wurm for access to their unpublished field materials, to John Giacon for discussion of recent events, especially the language and cultural revival, and to Bill McGregor for deta...
Article
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Although one- and two-participant events, as expressed by intransitive and transitive constructions, have been extensively studied from a crosslinguistic perspective, little work has been done on three-participant events and the ways they operate in different languages. Where there is description and analysis it is typically confined to syntactic t...
Article
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Since 2003 the Endangered Languages Project at SOAS has been involved in various types of training for documentation of endangered languages, ranging from one-day workshops through to MA and PhD post-graduate degree programs. The training events have been attended by specialists, research grantees, students, and members of the general public, and h...
Article
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Documentary linguistics is a newly emerging field of linguistics that is "concerned with the methods, tools, and theoretical underpinnings for compiling a representative and lasting multipurpose record of a natural language or one of its varieties" (Gippert, Himmelmann and Mosel 2006:v). Documentary linguistics has developed over the last decade in...
Article
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This paper consists of two interrelated parts. In the first section is a discussion of the issue of transitivity and transitivity alternations in Australian Aboriginal languages — I point to some basic distinctions that it is necessary to make for a coherent empirical account of this issue in Australian languages. In the second part of the paper I...
Article
This paper is a description of an interactive database model which I have developed to describe and analyse data on Australian Aboriginal languages. The approach is exemplified with materials from Malyangapa, an extinct language once spoken in western New South Wales. I have done this for a number of reasons. Firstly, I wish to test the concept of...
Article
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Introduction Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG) is a theory of language structure that deals with the syntax, morphology, and semantics of natural languages. It is distinguished from other theories by having several parallel representations for sentences, each with its own architecture and vocabulary, and subject to its own organizational constraints...
Article
Jiwarli is an Australian Aboriginal language that was formerly spoken in the north-west of Western Australia. It shows a high degree of (suffixing) morphological complexity, has a split-ergative case-marking system, and a switch-reference system in dependent clause linkage. Verbs are also strictly subcategorized for transitivity and there are inter...
Article
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The syntax of the Australian Aboriginal language Warlpiri has led to two opposing models of non-configurationality: a dual structure hypothesis, which abandons the projection principle for a grammatical architecture that separates constituency and functional representations (Simpson 1983, 1991, Hale 1983, Kroeger 1993), and a pronominal argument hy...
Article
This paper is an investigation of the distribution of morphological case markers in two groups of Aboriginal languages spoken in the north-west of Western Australia. They are the Kanyara languages (comprising Payungu, Thalanyji and Purduna) and the Mantharta languages (consisting of Jiwarli, Thiin, Warriyangka and Tharrkari). These languages have s...
Article
This paper discusses keyword finderlists for bilingual dictionaries, focussing on their structure and a system for computer-generating them. We examine the concept of finderlist and discuss techniques for specifying finderlist headwords. We develop a typology of finderlist format and argue for the merits of a particular type. A description is prese...
Article
Comparison of two groups of Western Australian languages and reconstruction of their ancestors shows that one language from each group has undergone a number of striking phonological changes which have resulted in their having typologically unusual phonologies. The changes include loss and stopping of nasals, together with voicing, lenition and los...
Article
A number of Australian Aboriginal languages have syntactic mechanisms which can be analysed as instances of 'switch-reference'. These languages have verb suffixes indicating whether or not the subjects of syntactically-related main and subordinate clauses are referentially the same or different. The distribution of switch-reference in various subor...
Thesis
Diyari is an Australian language spoken by approximately twenty five people living at various places in the north east of South Australia. It consists of two dialects, Dhirari with one remaining speaker, and Diyari proper, The future of the language is not bright as children are no longer learning to speak it and the youngest fluent speaker is aged...
Article
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Australia hosts a rich array of languages and a unique varieties of English, as a result of its indigenous and immigrant linguistic heritage. The official government policy of multiculturalism sees a wide range of languages taught at school, including community languages and other languages of economic importance. Many indigenous Aboriginal and Tor...
Article
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OLAC (Open Language Archives Community) (Simons and Bird 2003) and IMDI (ISLE Meta Data Initiative), metadata within language documentation is now coming to be understood as information that is attached to a file or document for cataloguing purposes (see Johnson, this volume). We call this focus on cataloguing metadata 'thin metadata'. It runs the...
Article
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The Sasak language is spoken on the island of Lombok (immediately east of Bali) by around 2 million speakers. It shows great internal variation, both geographical and social, with a complex linguistic ecology (Austin 2003) that includes five 'dialects' recognized by native speakers and named for the shibboleth terms for 'like this-like that' (eg. N...
Article
Full-text available
Documentary linguistics (or language documentation) has been defined by Himmelmann as the subfield of linguistics that is 'concerned with the methods, tools, and theoretical underpinnings for compiling a representative and lasting multipurpose record of a natural language or one of its varieties' (Himmelmann 2006:v). A similar definition is given b...
Article
Since 2003 the Endangered Languages Project at SOAS has been involved in various types of training for documentation of endangered languages, ranging from one-day workshops through to MA and PhD post-graduate degree programmes. The training events have been attended by specialists, research grantees, students, and members of the general public, and...
Article
This volume explores various problems in the syntax of Austronesian languages, which are found primarily in Malaysia and the Polynesian islands. Using the framework of constraint-based theories of syntax, contributors discuss the nature of these voice systems, the function of their verbal morphology, valence, verbal diathesis and transitivity in su...

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