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Australex 2013 Welcome

On the forthcoming AUSTRALEX conference, 25-28 July 2013, University of Adelaide:

Language is an archaeological vehicle, full of the remnants of dead and living pasts, lost and buried civilizations and technologies. The language we speak is a whole palimpsest of human effort and history. Russell Hoban, children’s writer, 1925-2011 – cf. Haffenden 1985: 138.

Welcome to adorable Adelaide, Australia Australis (Latin for South Australia), a somewhat hidden Australian gem where the hills meet the ocean. 

The University of Adelaide was established in 1874 and is the third oldest university in Australia. So far we have had five Nobel laureates and 104 Rhodes scholars. 

Adelaide Linguistics is internationally known for its public impact and social contribution, especially in the field of Revivalistics, language reclamation and empowerment, Indigenous wellbeing, and Native Tongue Title. 

Supported by the Australian Government’s Office for the Arts (OFTA), Adelaide University linguists (including our Mobile Language Team members) lead the revival of various Aboriginal Australian languages such as Kaurna, Barngarla, Ngarrindjeri and Wirangu. Hence the fascinating and multifaceted theme of AustraLex 2013: Endangered Words, and Signs of Revival.

AustraLex 2013 will feature not only world-class scholarly papers but also emotional celebrations, marking for example Professor Luise Hercus’s 50-year work on Aboriginal languages, and Professor Peter Mühlhäusler’s 20 years of scholarship at the University of Adelaide. 

Furthermore, in accordance with la deutsche vita, we will also celebrate exactly 175 years of Lutheran missionaries’ Aboriginal lexicography, with a special guest from Germany:  Reverend Volker Dally, the director of the Leipzig Lutheran Mission, will enlighten us about Triple-A: Christian missionaries as preservers of Indigenous languages in Australia, Asia and Africa.

Professor Christopher Christopher Hutton is coming all the way from the University of Hong Kong to deliver a keynote on ‘Reclaiming Socio-Cultural Memory: Creating a Reference Dictionary of Hong Kong Cantonese Slogans and Quotations’. 

Professor Michael Walsh, from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Studies (AIATSIS), will  deliver a keynote on ‘Endangered Words in the Archive: The Rio Tinto / Mitchell Library Project’.

Various refereed papers and posters will be presented by scholars from all over the glove, for example Australia, Austria, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden and the Ukraine. 

They will address a wide range of areas associated with Revival Linguistics, lexicography, lexicology, lexpionage, endangered languages, semantics, endangered meanings, extinct concepts, contact linguistics, social empowerment through language, and words, culture and identity. 

Topics will include dictionaries in Indigenous, minority and other endangered communities, dialectal lexicons, the educational and cultural roles of dictionaries, talknological dictionaries, and lexical engineering. We shall touch upon controversies such as the ‘Give us authenticity or give us death’ argument and the descriptive/prescriptive debate. Other subjects include learners’ dictionaries, specialist dictionaries, phraseology, proverbs, onomastics and terminology.

We would like to thank Professor Mike Brooks (Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), University of Adelaide), Adelaide City Council, and the Yipti Foundation.

Ex oriente LUX, ex occidente LEX. 

Seek light!

Yours respectfully,

Ghil‘ad, Julia and Adam

Professor Ghil'ad Zuckermann, D.Phil. (Oxford), Ph.D. (Cambridge) (titular)
Convenor of AustraLex 2013, Vice-President of AustraLex
Chair of Linguistics and Endangered Languages
School of Humanities, The University of Adelaide, SA 5005

Dr Julia Miller
AustraLex Secretary
Lecturer, Creator of the English for Uni website, Co-editor of theGrammar Gang blog
School of Education, 10 Pulteney Street, The University of Adelaide, SA 5005

Mr Adam Smith
President of AustraLex
Linguistics Department, Macquarie University, Editor ofAustralian Style


Dr Julia Miller

Street Address

Dr Julia Miller
School of Education
The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, 5005


T: 08 8313 4721

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