Migration, language minorities and language contact

The linguistics research group has expertise in the area of sociolinguistics, bilingualism and multilingualism, language contact, and language maintenance and loss.

Julie Bradshaw has worked with migrant communities and statistical data, to explore language maintenance and change in Australia. She is also interested in cultural factors, gender and the role of school-based language programs in language maintenance.

Louisa Willoughby is interested in language maintenance, shift and hybridisation in migrant communities, particularly as it relates to identity construction. She also has a strong interest in language policy and planning and works extensively on issues speakers of minority languages (including sign languages) face in accessing health and disability services.

Jim Hlavac has a research interest in grammatical and lexical innovation in migrant languages spoken in Melbourne and in code-switching in general. He is also interested in the domains and networks in which multilinguals use their languages and in language maintenance/shift factors amongst second and third generation speakers.

Simon Musgrave has conducted research in the Maluku region of Eastern Indonesia, an area with a long history of multilingualism and a current situation of language endangerment. His current research on language in the Sudanese community in Melbourne includes an examination of language maintenance and language shift.

Alice Gaby is interested in how speakers bridge the grammatical gaps when using structurally very different languages in multilingual interactions. Specifically, she is investigating how reference tracking is achieved in Pormpuraaw, an Aboriginal community of Cape York Peninsula, where most conversations involve two to four languages. Significantly, the three most widely spoken languages there – English, Kuuk Thaayorre and Kugu Nganhcara – possess extremely different reference tracking systems. In collaboration with postgraduate students, Alice is exploring the semantics and pragmatics of demonstratives in these three languages as they are used alone and in combination, as well as the different kinds of contribution gesture and language make in referring to locations, depending on the language.

Anna Margetts has been working in a small language community in Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea with speaker the Oceanic language Saliba-Logea. The region has a long history of language contact and multilingualism and was a prehistoric contact area with non-Austronesian languages of New Guinea.

Kate Burridge is interested in the role of contact in language change. Specifically, her research focuses on the Pennsylvania German-English contact situation in the Amish/Mennonite communities of Ontario, Canada.

Howard Manns has been exploring a complex case of multilingualism in East Java, Indonesia. He is interested in how these speakers use Javanese, Indonesian, Arabic and English styles to enact conversational stances and the resulting implications for language shift.

Sarah Pasfield-Neofitou is interested in how multilingual individuals communicate online. Her research focuses on Japanese-English contact situations in chat, email, social networking, online games, mobile phone messages and other forms of Computer Mediated Communication.

Marisa Cordella is currently working on an ARC linkage grant in the area of intercultural and intergenerational and second language development