Associate Professor Jane Simpson

PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
BA(Hons) and MA, Australian National University

Endangered Languages and Cultures Blog

Research Grants Awarded

  • 2003 ARC Discovery grant (with Gillian Wigglesworth, University of Melbourne)
    "How mixed language input affects child language development: case studies from Central Australia".
    [2003 $110,000; 2004 $110,000; 2005 $110,000; 2006 $55,000]
  • 2004-5 Arc Grant with Prof AJ Marett; Prof WA Foley; Dr JH Simpson; A/Prof S Bird; A/Prof ND Evans; Dr JM Fletcher; Dr JT Hajek; Prof AK Pawley; Dr FJ Bowden; Dr A Rumsey; Dr CA Falk; Prof MD Ross; Prof CW Goddard et al
    "PARADISEC, the Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures: Accessibility and Decentralisation" [2005 :$325,873]
  • 2004-5 Arc Grant with Prof Robert Dale, Prof Denis Kingsley Burnham, Dr Catherine Joanna Stevens, Dr David Mark Alais, Prof Sally Margaret Andrews, Dr Nicholas Barnes, Dr Linda M Barwick et al...
    "Enabling Human Communication: Tough problems in human communication with bold but informed solutions drawing on sound, speech, and language research capabilities."

Research Interests

  • Working with Gillian Wigglesworth and Patrick McConvell, Samantha Disbray, Felicity Meakins, Karin Moses and Carmel O'Shannessy on ACLA, a project on child language acquisition in indigenous communities in Central and Northern Australia, funded by the Australian Research Council
  • Working with some colleagues from the Australian National University (Harold Koch, Luise Hercus and David Nash) on comparison and reconstruction of languages spoken in the centre of Australia.
  • Working with Christopher Manning on a computer interface for the Warlpiri Dictionary Project being coordinated by Mary Laughren, including compiling an image bank
  • working with Robert Amery (University of South Australia) on a book of materials of Kaurna, the indigenous language spoken around Adelaide. This includes a grammar and comparative word-lists.
  • a grammar and dictionary of Warumungu, a language spoken around Tennant Creek. A Learner's Guide has been published by IAD Press.
  • working with Luise Hercus and Flavia Hodges on indigenous place-names of Australia. We have edited a book, The Land is a Map.
  • syntax, especially Lexical-Functional Grammar
  • working with colleagues on digital archiving, and on establishing PARADISEC, an archive of Pacific and regional language and endangered culture material, directed by Linda Barwick with Nick Thieberger.
  • language maintenance. I have a long-standing connection with Papulu Apparr-kari, the Tennant Creek Language Centre.
  • Australian English. David Nash and I have compiled a database of hypocoristics of Australian English words, including placenames

Selected Publications

  • [Book] 2002. [with Luise Hercus and Flavia Hodges]. (ed.) The land is a map: Placenames of indigenous origin in Australia. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics and Pandanus Press.
  • [Book] 2002. A learner's guide to Warumungu: Mirlamirlajinjjiki Warumunguku apparrka. Alice Springs: IAD Press.
  • [Book] 2001. [with David Nash, Mary Laughren, Peter Austin, and Barry Alpher] (ed.) Forty years on: Ken Hale and Australian languages. Pacific Linguistics 512. Canberra:Pacific Linguistics
  • [Book] 1998. [with Luise Hercus]. (ed.) History in portraits: biographies of nineteenth century South Australian Aboriginal people. Canberra: Aboriginal History Monograph Series 6.
  • [Book] 1991. Warlpiri morphosyntax: a lexicalist approach. Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
  • [Book Chapter] 2005. Depictives in English and Warlpiri. In Secondary predication and adverbial modification. The typology of depictives , eds. Nikolaus P. Himmelmann and Eva Schultze-Berndt. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • [Articles and chapters] 2004. [with Miriam Corris, Christopher Manning, and Susan Poetsch] 'How useful and usable are dictionaries for speakers of Australian Indigenous languages?' International Journal of Lexicography 17:33-68.
  • [Articles and chapters] 2004. [with Luise Hercus] 'Thura Yura as a subgroup'. In Australian languages: classification and the comparative method, eds. Claire Bowern and Harold Koch, 179-206, Appendices 582-645. Philadelphia/Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • [Articles and chapters] 2003. Representing information about words digitally. In "Researchers, Communities, Institutions, Sound Recording", an Academy of Humanities sponsored workshop, ed. Linda Barwick. Sydney: PARADISEC. Online proceedings at:
  • [Articles and chapters] 2002. 'From common ground to syntactic construction: associated path in Warlpiri'. In Ethnosyntax: explorations in grammar and culture, ed. Nick J. Enfield, 287-307. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • [Articles and chapters] 2002. [with Miriam Corris, Christopher Manning, and Susan Poetsch] 'Dictionaries and endangered languages'. In Language endangerment and language maintenance, eds. David Bradley and Maya Bradley, 329-347. London: Curzon Press.
  • [Articles and chapters] 2001. 'Hypocoristics of place-names in Australian English'. In Varieties of English: Australian English, eds. P. Collins and D. Blair. 89-112. Amsterdam, Philadelphia:Benjamins.
  • [Articles and chapters] 2001. 'Preferred word order, argument structure and the grammaticalisation of associated path'. In Time over matter: diachronic perspectives on morphosyntax, eds. M. Butt and T. H. King. 173-208. Stanford:CSLI.
  • [Articles and chapters] 2001. [with Luise Hercus]. 'The tragedy of Nauo'. In Forty years on: Ken Hale and Australian languages, eds. J. Simpson, D. Nash, M. Laughren, P. Austin and B. Alpher. 263-290. Canberra:Pacific Linguistics.
  • [Articles and chapters] 2000. [with Miriam Corris, Christopher Manning, and Susan Poetsch]. 'Bilingual dictionaries for Australian Aboriginal languages: user studies on the place of paper and electronic dictionaries'. In Proceedings of the ninth EURALEX International Congress, EURALEX 2000, eds. U. Heid, S. Evert, E. Lehmann and C. Rohrer. 169-181. Stuttgart:EURALEX.
  • [Articles and chapters] 2000. Camels as pidgin-carriers: Afghan cameleers as a vector for the spread of features of Australian Aboriginal pidgins and creoles. In Processes of language contact: studies from Australia and the South Pacific, ed. J. Siegel. Collections Champs linguistiques. 195-244. Saint-Laurent, Quebec:Fides .[AGMV Marquis, member of the Scabrini Group].
  • [Articles and chapters] 1999. Comments on K.P. and T Mohanan. In Grammatical semantics: evidence for structure in meaning, edited by T. Mohanan and L. Wee, pp.261-275. Stanford: CSLI Publications.
  • [Articles and chapters] 1998. 'Warumungu morphology'. In Handbook of Morphology, edited by A. Spencer and A. Zwicky, pp.707-736. Basil Blackwell Ltd: Oxford.
  • [Articles and chapters] 1998. 'Personal names'. In History in portraits: biographies of nineteenth century South Australian Aboriginal people, edited by J. Simpson and L. Hercus, pp.221-229. Canberra: Aboriginal History Monograph Series 6.
  • [Articles and chapters] 1997. 'Perceptions of meteorology in some Aboriginal languages'. In Windows on meteorology: Australian perspective, edited by E. K. Webb, pp.20-28. Collingwood: CSIRO Publishing/Australian Metereological and Oceanographic Society.
  • [Articles and chapters] 1996. 'Early language contact varieties in South Australia'. Australian Journal of Linguistics 16.2: 169-207.
  • [Articles and chapters] 1996. [with Ken Hale and Mary Laughren].'Warlpiri Syntax' in Handbook of Syntax, edited by J. Jacobs, pp.1430-1451. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter.
  • [Articles and chapters] 1995. 'Making sense of the words in old word-lists' in Paper and talk, edited by N. Thieberger, pp.121-145. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press.
  • [Articles and chapters] 1994. [with Rob Amery.] 'Kaurna' in Macquarie Aboriginal Words, edited by N. Thieberger and W. McGregor, pp.144-172. Sydney: Macquarie Library.
  • [Articles and chapters] 1994. 'Confidentiality of linguistic material: the case of Aboriginal land claims' in Language and the law, edited by J. Gibbons, pp.428-439. London and New York: Longman.
  • [Articles and chapters] 1993. 'Making dictionaries' in Language in Aboriginal Australia, edited by M. Walsh and C. Yallop, pp.123-144. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press.
  • [Articles and chapters] 1992. 'Notes on a manuscript dictionary of Kaurna' in The language game: papers in memory of Donald C. Laycock, edited by T. Dutton, M. Ross and D. Tryon, pp.409-415. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
  • [Articles and chapters] 1990. 'A note on an inversion marker in Warumungu pronominal clitics' in Language and History: Essays in honour of Luise A. Hercus, edited by P. Austin, R. M. W. Dixon, T. Dutton and I. White, pp.259-269. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
  • [Articles and chapters] 1988. 'Case and complementiser suffixes in Warlpiri' in Complex sentence constructions in Australian languages, edited by P. Austin, pp.205-218. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Co.
  • [Articles and chapters] 1987. 'In support of regional language centres'. Aboriginal Languages Association Newsletter Oct./Nov. 1987: 5-13.
  • [Articles and chapters] 1986. [with Meg Withgott]. 'Pronominal clitic clusters and templates.' in The Syntax of Pronominal Clitics, edited by H. Borer, Orlando: Academic Press.
  • [Articles and chapters] 1985. 'How Warumungu people express new concepts'. Language in Central Australia 4.12-25.
  • [Articles and chapters] 1983. 'Discontinuous verbs and the interaction of syntax and morphology' in Second Proceedings of the West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, edited by M. Barlow, D. P. Flickinger and M. T. Wescoat, pp.275-286. Stanford:
  • [Articles and chapters] 1983. 'Resultatives' in Papers in Lexical-functional Grammar, edited by L. Levin, M. Rappaport and A. Zaenen, pp.143-157. Bloomington: Indiana University Linguistics Club.
  • [Articles and chapters] 1983. [with Joan Bresnan]. 'Control and obviation in Warlpiri'. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 1.1: 49-64.
  • [Articles and chapters] 1981. [with Lori Levin]. 'Quirky case and the structure of Icelandic lexical entries.' in Seventeenth Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, edited by Carrie S. Masek, pp.185-196. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.
  • [Articles and chapters] 1981. [with David Nash]. '"No-name" in Central Australia' in Papers from the Parasession on Language and Behavior, edited by Carrie S. Masek, pp.165-177. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.
  • [Conference Paper] 2005. Expressing pragmatic constraints on word order in Warlpiri. Presented at: Blackwood by the Beach: Fourth Australian Languages workshop , 20/3/05. Pearl Beach, Australia.
  • [Conference Paper] 2004. Word order in Australian languages, 160 years on. Invited paper, Lexical Functional Grammar Conference, 10 July 2004. Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • [Conference Paper] (with Disbray, Samantha) 2004. Preliminary report on possessors in Wumpurrarni English, Tennant Creek. Presented at: Languagecontact, hybrids and new varieties: Emergent possessive constructions. Workshop, Monash University, Friday 3 - Saturday 4 September 2004.
  • [Conference Paper] (with O'Shannessy, Carmel). 2003. An LFG approach to Central Australian languages. Invited presentation [ approx. 6 hours], 25-26 April 2003. Osnabrueck University, Germany.