Units of Study

LNGS2611 - Australia's Indigenous Languages

Semester 1, 2011  |  Credit Points: 6

Coordinator: Assoc Prof Jane Simpson


This unit of study aims to give an overview of the languages of indigenous Australians. Of the 250 distinct Aboriginal languages spoken in 1788, most are dead or dying and just 20 languages are expected to survive another few generations. This unit of study will challenge this grim and oft-quoted statistic. We will see that new Aboriginal languages have emerged, apparently moribund languages have been gaining strength and distinctive Aboriginal ways of talking have survived. We consider why some languages have prospered while others have declined. We explore how Australian languages have responded to the challenges of non-Aboriginal settlement, in such arenas as education, land rights and health.


2x1000wd problem sets (40%), 1x2500wd project (60%)


1x2-hr lecture,1x1-hr language learning tutorial/week


(One of LNGS1001, LNGS1004, LNGS1005) and (one of LNGS1002, LNGS1003)

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