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[From Tamworth export Peter K. Austin, Endangered Languages Academic Programme, SOAS]

There is an article in Tuesday’s Education supplement of the The Guardian newspaper with the byline “Bowling Google a googly" about Tara Brabazon, Professor of Media Studies at Brighton University, who recently gave her inaugural lecture there. Professor Brabazon hails from Perth and the interview article makes much of her Australian connections (including her 2002 book Ladies Who Lunge that includes a discussion of another Australian academic export to the UK, Germaine Greer).

At the Linguistic Society of America annual meeting in Chicago two weeks ago, among the assembled linguists were seven Australians now established overseas:

  1. Anthony Aristar, Director, Institute for Language and Information Technology, Eastern Michigan University, USA, and Moderator, LINGUIST
  2. Peter Austin, Director, Endangered Languages Academic Programme, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, UK
  3. Claire Bowern, Assistant Professor, Linguistics Department, Rice University, USA and author of the Anggarrgoon and OzPapersOnline blogs
  4. Alice Gaby, Assistant Professor, Linguistics Department, University of California Berkeley, USA
  5. David Nathan, Director, Endangered Languages Archive, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, UK and creator and editor of the World Wide Web Virtual Library: Australian Indigenous Languages and numerous other websites
  6. Carmel O’Shannessy, Assistant Professor, Linguistics Department, University of Michigan, USA
  7. Erich Round, PhD student, Yale University, USA

If we can add to these the other Aussie expatriate linguists in the following list, we have a virtual export industry:

  1. Hilary Chappell, Directeur d'études at l'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France
  2. Dianne C. Bradley, Graduate Program in Linguistics, City University of New York, USA
  3. Adrian Clynes, Senior Lecturer, Department of English and Applied Linguistics, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei
  4. Anne Cutler, Director, Language Comprehension Group, Max Planck Institute for Psycholingustics, Nijmegen, Netherlands
  5. Cathryn Donohue, Assistant Professor of Linguistics, University of Nevada, USA
  6. Michael Dunn, Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Psycholingustics, Nijmegen, Netherlands
  7. Domenyk Eades, Lecturer in Linguistics and Arabic-English Translation Studies, College of Arts and Social Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman
  8. Nick Enfield, Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Psycholingustics, Nijmegen, Netherlands
  9. Bethwyn Evans, Simon Research Fellow, University of Manchester, UK
  10. Clair Hill, PhD student, Max Planck Institute for Psycholingustics, Nijmegen, Netherlands
  11. Mark Johnson Professor of Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences and Computer Science, Brown University, USA
  12. Dianne Jonas, Lecturer, Yale University, USA
  13. Sarah Lee, PhD student, Rice University, USA
  14. Que Chi Luu, Computational Linguist, Ask.com, USA.
  15. John Lynch, Pacific Languages Unit, University of the South Pacific, Emalus campus, Vanuatu
  16. Catriona Malau, Pacific Languages Unit, University of the South Pacific, Emalus campus, Vanuatu
  17. Chris Manning, Assistant Professor, Stanford University, USA
  18. Bill McGregor, Professor, Aarhus University, Denmark
  19. Rob Munro, PhD student, Stanford University, USA
  20. Gillian Perrett, Senior Lecturer, Department of English and Applied Linguistics, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei
  21. Marc Peake, PhD student, CNRS DDL Laboratory, Lyon, France
  22. Liz Pearce,School of Linguistics and Applied Languages Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, NZ
  23. Heather Robinson, Assistant Director, Writing Program, Rutgers University, USA
  24. Adam Schembri, Senior Research Fellow, Deafness, Cognition and Language Research Centre, University College London, UK
  25. Hilário de Sousa, Post-doctoral Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, Netherlands
  26. Tania E. Strahan, Post-doctoral Researcher, University of Iceland
  27. Angela Terrill, Research Fellow, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands
  28. Nick Thieberger, Linguistics Department, University of Hawaii, USA
  29. Stephen M. Wilson, postdoctoral researcher in the Laboratory for Cognitive Brain Research, University of California, Irvine, USA

In addition, there are many international scholars who studied linguistics in Australia and who are actively involved with the discipline in their home countries or elsewhere.

Interestingly, a generation ago in the Linguistics Department at the Australian National University where I did my PhD, the staff were from England, USA, Canada and Germany – and not one Australian. Could it be that the tide has turned?

Note: Thanks to Jane Simpson, David Nash and Nick Thieberger for help with compiling the non-LSA attendees list. If there are others we have forgotten, forgive us, add them in the Comments below or email me pa2 AT soas.ac.uk.


Catherine Travis, University of New Mexico

Anthony Jukes (SOAS, right?)

Keira Ballantyne, who I've lost contact with but was a PhD student at Hawai'i.

Sarah Lee, PhD student, Rice University

Geoffrey O'Grady, University of Victoria.

Anne H. Fabricius, Roskilde Universitetscenter, Denmark

Thanks Claire for the additions. Anthony Jukes was at SOAS until August 2007. He has now returned to live in Melbourne.

Rebecca Defina, MPhil student, Linguistics, Leiden University

Where's David Wilkins these days?

Here are the next lists to compile:

Australian linguists who have dedicated their careers to working in Australia (esp. Indigenous Languages)

Linguists from elsewhere who have dedicated their careers to working on Indigenous Australian Languages.


David Wilkins is back in Sydney, from the USA and before that the Netherlands. Maybe we need a list of re-imported exports, top of which list might be Diana Eades (University of Hawai'i and now University of New England).

and, as of Saturday, Jessica Cleary-Kemp is off to Berkeley to do a PhD

Honored to be considered an Australian Linguistic Export. If I'm considered an Aussie expat linguist, then there's Helen Charters (she was at ANU at the same time as, e.g., Michael Dunn), who is a marvelous linguist and applied linguist. On top of that, she is an excellent teacher; (not that I'm a believer of formal syntax, but) her enthusiasm in teaching formal syntax is one of the reasons why I am here.

Colin Harrison (BA ANU, PhD Rice, now at U. La Rochelle, France)

Another re-imported export is Bill Palmer who is now at the University of Newcastle, Australia, after spending several years in the UK, most recently at the University of Surrey.

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The Transient Building, symbolising the impermanence of language, houses both the Linguistics Department at Sydney University and PARADISEC, a digital archive for endangered Pacific languages and music.


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E-MELD The E-MELD School of Best Practices in Digital Language Documentation

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Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project: Language Documentation: What is it? Information on equipment, formats, and archiving, and examples of documentation

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ACLA child language acquisition in three Australian Aboriginal communities

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Murriny-Patha Song Project Documenting the language and music of public songs and dances composed and performed by Murriny Patha-speaking people

DOBES Endangered language documentation and archiving, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and sponsored by the Max Planck Institute, Nijmegen.

DELP Documenting endangered languages at the University of Sydney

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