LING 3013 - Australian Indigenous Languages

North Terrace Campus - Summer - 2018

There were 250 or more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages spoken in Australia at the time of first contact with Europeans. Now, according to the latest National Indigenous Languages Survey (NILS II), only 13 of these languages are transmitted by normal means from one generation to the next. Australia has arguably the worst rate of language loss in the world. These languages are Australia's unique and complex linguistic heritage, which at times challenge established linguistic doctrines and provide interesting lenses through which to view and categorise the world. This course will provide an introduction to Australia's Indigenous languages (including Aboriginal English varieties, koines and creoles), with a particular focus on the Indigenous languages of South Australia. It will investigate structural features of Australian languages (for example, sounds, spellings, vocabularies, grammars, semantics) as well as their place within Australian society. Particular emphasis will be given to attempts to maintain and revive Australia's unique linguistic heritage and the linguistic tools needed for language work. The course will also investigate a range of topics of social importance including interpreting and translation, language and the law, language and health, language and education, language and identity which are at the heart of Indigenous rights and the very survival of Indigenous peoples. Students will gain an awareness of Australia's Indigenous linguistic heritage, whilst at the same time extending and consolidating their understanding of linguistics, linguistic analysis and the tools it provides for language work.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LING 3013
    Course Australian Indigenous Languages
    Coordinating Unit Linguistics
    Term Summer
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 15 hours per week over 3 weeks
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 6 units of Level II undergraduate study
    Incompatible LING 2014
    Assessment 2 x Practical investigation 25% each, Essay (2500 word) 30%, Tutorial presentation and participation (1000 word) 20%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Rob Amery

    Welcome to Australian Indigenous Languages, a study of Australia's unique linguistic heritage.
    I will be your Course Coordinator, Lecturer and Tutor. I come with nearly 40 years exposure to and engagement with several Australian Indigenous languages, beginning with Gugadja in 1980. I have experience working with both 'strong' languages (such as Pintupi, Pitjantjatjara and Yolŋu Matha) that are still spoken by all generations within their home communities, as well as nearly 30
    years working with the Kaurna language of Adelaide, a language which is reclaimed from written historical sources and is now being re-learnt and re-introduced.

    An intensive Summer course allows us to really focus on the field of study. I am sure that you will find it an interesting and worthwhile course, as students have found in past years. This area of study is rapidly changing with advances in research, implementation of programs and technological innovation and so this course is evolving to accommodate those changes.

    I look forward to working with you as we explore Australian Indigenous languages from a range of different perspectives.
    See you soon
    Nakutha!               Ngula nyakunytjaku!                         Nhäma yalala!



    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    The AIL Summer School will be taught face-to-face over 3 weeks from 9th January till 25th January


    Tuesdays 9.30am – 12.30pm (Ligertwood 231, Lecture Theatre)

    Wednesdays 9.30am - 12.30pm. (Ligertwood 231, Lecture Theatre)

    Thursdays 9.30am - 12.30pm. (Ligertwood 231, Lecture Theatre)


    Tuesday 2pm - 4pm. (Horace Lamb, 422, Teaching Room)

    Wednesday 2pm - 4pm. (Horace Lamb, 422, Teaching Room)

    Thursday 2pm – 4pm (Horace Lamb, 422, Teaching Room)

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Know where to access accurate, reliable and up-to-date information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.
    2 Pronounce Aboriginal words written in established orthographies with confidence.
    3 Engage with, read and make sense of the grammar of an Australian language.
    4 Understand the nature of the relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.
    5 Apply linguistic analytical techniques and problem solving approaches to a body of language data drawn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, thereby strengthening and developing linguistic skills and understandings.
    6 Have a good linguistic foundation upon which to proceed with the learning and/or documentation of an Australian language.
    7 Contribute to promoting understandings and appreciation of Australia’s unique linguistic heritage.
    8 Understand the underlying causes of language loss in Australia and efforts to maintain and revive them.
    9 Reflect on and write coherently about a range of issues confronting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.
    10 Appreciate the significance of Indigenous languages to their owners, speakers and custodians and implications for healing, health and well-being.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    3, 4, 5, 9, 10
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    1, 5, 9
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 10
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources


     SSABSA (1996) Australia’s Indigenous Languages. Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia, Wayville. [book and accompanying CD]

    (There are several copies of the text in the library and copies are available for loan from the Course Coordinator).


     A 2010 reading brick with key readings is downloadable from MyUni.

    Recommended Resources

    Highly Recommended:

    Koch, Harold & Rachel Nordlinger eds. (2014) The Languages and Linguistics of Australia: A Comprehensive Guide. De Gruyter – Mouton, Berlin. BSL:499.15 K762l (also available Online)

    Hobson, John, Kevin Lowe, Susan Poetsch & Michael Walsh (eds) (2010) Re-awakening Languages. Theory and practice in the revitalisation of Australia’s Indigenous Languages. Sydney University Press.

    McGregor, William B. ed. (2008) Encountering Aboriginal Languages. Studies in the history of Australian linguistics. Pacific Linguistics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, ANU Canberra.

    Walsh, Michael & Colin Yallop (1993) Language and Culture in Aboriginal Australia. Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra.

    Dixon, R.M.W. (2002) Australian Languages: Their nature and development. Cambridge University Press.

    Bowern, Clare & Harold Koch (2014) Australian Languages and the Comparative Method. BSL: 410.5 A528.4

    National Indigenous Languages Survey (NILS) Report I (2005)

    National Indigenous Languages Survey (NILS) II (2014)

    Some More Good Books and Articles

    Amery, Rob & Mary-Anne Gale (2008) “But our language was just asleep: A history of language revival in Australia. In William McGregor (ed.) Encountering Aboriginal Languages. Studies in the history of Australian linguistics. pp. 339-382.

    Amery, Rob (2000) Warrabarna Kaurna! Reclaiming an Australian Language. Swets & Zeitlinger, Lisse, The Netherlands.

    Blake, Barry (1977) Case Marking in Australian Languages. Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra.

    Blake, Barry (1987) Australian Aboriginal Grammar. Croom Helm, London.

    Blythe, Joe & R. McKenna Brown eds. (2003) Maintaining the Links. Language, Identity and the Land. Proceedings of the seventh conference presented by the Foundation for Endangered Languages, Broome, 22-24 Sept. 2003. Foundation for Endangered Languages, Bath, UK.

    Calma, Tom (2009) Social Justice Report 2009. Australian Human Rights Commission, Sydney. On-line at

    Clendon, Mark (2014) Worrorra a language of the north-west Kimberley coast. University of Adelaide Press.

    Dixon, R.M.W. (1980) The Languages of Australia. Cambridge University Press.

    Dixon, R.M.W., W.S. Ramson & Mandy Thomas (1990) Australian Aboriginal Words in English. Their origin and meaning. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

    Eades, Diana ed. (1995) Language in Evidence. Issues confronting Aboriginal and multicultural Australia. UNSW Press, Sydney.

    Evans, Nicholas (2003) The Non-Pama-Nyungan Languages of Northern Australia. Comparative studies of the continent’s most linguistically complex region. Pacific Linguistics 552.[BSL 499.05 P1171552]

    Evans, Nicholas (2010) Dying Words. Endangered Languages and What They Have To Tell Us. Wiley-Blackwell, Malden, MA.

    First Languages Australia (2015) Warra. Building teams, building resources.

    First Languages Australia (2015) Angkety map. Digital resource report.

    First Languages Australia (2015) National Indigenous Languages Collection Strategy.

    First Languages Australia (2015) Junyirri. A framework for planning community language projects.

    Gale, Mary-Anne (1997) Dhaŋum Djorra’wuy Dhäwu. A history of writing in Aboriginal languages. Aboriginal Research Institute, UniSA.

    Green, Jenny (2014) Drawn from the Ground: Sound, Sign and Inscription in Central Australian Sand Stories, Cambridge University Press.

    Grimes, Charles E. (2009) Indigenous languages in education: what the research actually shows. Australian Society for Indigenous Languages. Palmerston NT.

    Harkins, Jean (1994) Bridging Two Worlds. Aboriginal English and Crosscultural Understanding.
    University of Queensland Press, St Lucia.

    Hartman, Deborah & John Henderson eds. (1994) Aboriginal Languages in Education. Alice Springs, IAD Press.

    Henderson, John & David Nash eds. (2002) Language in Native Title. Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra.

    Hercus, Luise, Flavia Hodges & Jane Simpson eds. (2002) The Land is a Map. Placenames of Indigenous Origin in Australia. Pandanus Books, ANU Canberra.

    Hercus, Luise & Harold Koch eds. (2009) Aboriginal Placenames: naming and re-naming the Australian landscape. ANU e-Press, Canberra.

    House of Representatives (1992) A Matter of Survival. Report of the Inquiry into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Language Maintenance.  AGPS, Canberra.

    Kendon, Adam (1988) Sign Languages of Aboriginal Australia. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

    Koch, Harold & Luise Hercus eds. (2009) Aboriginal Placenames. Naming and Re-Naming the Australian Landscape. Aboriginal History Monograph 19. ANU E Press, Canberra.

    McConvell, Patrick, Rob Amery, Mary-Anne Gale, Christine Nicholls, Jonathan Nicholls, Lester Irabinna Rigney and Simone Ulalka Tur (2002) “Keep that Language Going!” A Needs-Based Review of the Status of Indigenous Languages in South Australia. A consultancy carried out by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
    Commission, South Australia.

    McConvell, Patrick & Nicholas Evans eds. (1997) Archaeology and Linguistics. Aboriginal Australia in a global perspective. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

    McConvell, Patrick & Nicholas Thieberger (2001) The State of Indigenous Languages in Australia - 2001. Second Technical Paper Series No. 2. A report compiled for Environment Australia, Department of Environment and Heritage, Canberra.

    McKay, Graham (1996) The Land Still Speaks. NBEET, AGPS Canberra.

    Meakins, Felicity (2014) A Grammar of Bilinara: An Australian Aboriginal Language of the Northern Territory. De Gruyter – Mouton,

    Mühlhäusler, Peter (2008) History of research into Australian pidgins and creoles. In William McGregor (ed.) Encountering Aboriginal Languages. Studies in the history of Australian linguistics. pp. 437-457.

    Purdie, Nola, Tracey Frigo, Clare Ozolins, Geoff Noblett, Nick Thieberger, Janet Sharp (2008)
    Indigenous Languages Programmes in Australian Schools. A Way Forward. ACER Report. Department of Education,Employment and Workplace Relations, Canberra. On-line at:

    Romaine, Suzanne (1991) Language in Australia. Cambridge University Press.

    Schmidt, Annette (1990) The Loss of Australia's Aboriginal Language Heritage. Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra.

    Shnukal, Anna (1988) Broken. An introduction to the Creole language of Torres Strait. Pacific Linguistics, ANU Canberra.

    Simpson, Jane, Mary-Anne Gale and Rob Amery (2008) I could have saved you linguists a lot of time and trouble: 178 years of Research and Documentation of South Australia’s Indigenous Languages. In William McGregor (ed.) Encountering Aboriginal Languages. Studies in the history of Australian linguistics. pp. 85-144.

    Simpson, Jane, David Nash, Mary Laughren, Peter Austin & Barry Alpher eds. (2001) Forty Years On. Ken Hale and Australian Languages. Pacific Linguistics.

    Simpson, J. and G. Wigglesworth (2008) Children's language and multilingualism: Indigenous language use at home and school. Continuum International Press, London.

    Sutton, Peter & Michael Walsh (1979) Revised Linguistic Fieldwork Manual for Australia. Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra.

    Thieberger, Nicholas (ed.) (1995) Paper and Talk: A manual for reconstituting materials in Australian Indigenous languages from historical sources.  Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra.

    Thieberger, Nicholas & William McGregor eds. (1994) Macquarie Aboriginal Words. Macquarie Library, Sydney.

    Tunstill, Guy (2004) Adnyamathanha R to 10. A teaching framework for revival and second language learning in years reception to ten. Department of Education and Children’s Services, Adelaide.

    Wilkins, David (2008) ‘W(h)ither language, culture and education in remote Indigenous communities of the Northern Territory?’ Australian Review of Public Affairs. October 2008.
    On-line at:

    Wilson, Greg (2004) Arabana Years R to 10. An Arabana teaching framework for reception to year 10. Language revitalisation and second language learning. Department of Education and Children’s Services, Adelaide.



    Voice of the Land


    Australian Journal of Linguistics (AJL)

    Australian Aboriginal Studies (AAS)

    New Internationalist (NI 473 June 2014 edition ‘The Politics of Language Loss’)



    Online Learning

    Additional course-related material will be posted on MyUni, including Lecture Content, Announcements and other resources.

    Useful Websites

    First Languages Australia

    Mobile Language Team (MLT) based at the University of Adelaide

    Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) website

    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) – 1996 Statistics

    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) – Indigenous Language and Culture

    Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education

    David Nash’s Australian Languages pages

    David Nathan’s Aboriginal Languages of Australia Virtual Library

    Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet, Office of the Arts: Indigenous Languages Support (ILS)

    Department for Education and Child Development (DECD)

    Federation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages and Cultures (FATSILC)

    Kaurna Warra Pintyanthi

    Pitjantjatjara Language course at the University of South Australia

    Yolngu Languages courses at Charles Darwin University

    Centre for Australian Languages and Linguistics (CALL) Batchelor Institute for Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE)

    Australian Human Rights Commission

    Transient Languages & Cultures Blog

    Iltyem-iltyem: Sign Languages in Central Australia

    Centre of Excellence of the Dynamics of Language
    International Web Sites:

    Foundation for Endangered Languages (FEL)

    The Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project, SOAS

    First Voices web pages (British Columbia) at

    Kualono, University of Hawai’i webpages at

    Māori Language Commission pages at

    Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival

    Linguistics, University of California at Berkeley

    Manx Heritage Foundation

    Language Documentation & Conservation



  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is delivered through an intensive Summer School. Whole-day lecture/workshop sessions will be held on Tues/Wed/Thurs in Weeks 1 and 2 and on Wed/Thurs/Fri of Week 3 over a 3-week period, leaving long weekends for students to pursue their own reading, research and assignment preparation.
    Material for completion of Assignment #1 will be presented to class during the 1st week. Students will hand up this assignment early in Week 2.
    Similarly, material needed for completion of Assignment #2 will be presented in Week 2 and should be handed in by the end of the lecture break.
    The Summer School will be a combination of presentation of material through Lectures, group discussion, practical workshops and small group work focussed on practical engagement with specific language data and problem-solving. Formative work will be undertaken in workshop mode and in small groups to prepare students for the completion of summative assessment tasks.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    15 hours lecture/workshop per week (x 3) 45 hours
    Reading 36 hours
    Research 36 hours
    Assignment Preparation 36 hours
    TOTAL: 156 hours

    Learning Activities Summary

    Week 1 Lecture/Workshop Content Associated Readings Associated Assignments
    Day 1
    12 Jan.
    Overview; Key Issues Text Ch.1; Evans (2010); McConvell & Thieberger (2001); Calma (2009); Elkin (1970); Walsh (1997); Rigney (2002) Essay
    topic #2
    Day 1
    12 Jan.
    Language, Land and Identity Text Ch.2; Bell (2002); Henderson (2002); Sutton (1979); Hercus & Simpson (2002)
    Day 2
    13 Jan.
    The Distribution of Australia’s
    South Australia’s Indigenous Languages
    Text Ch.3; DECS (2009); Simpson et al (2008); McConvell et al (2002); Schmidt (1990)
    Day 3
    14 Jan.
    Sound Systems and Writing Systems Text Ch.5; Gale (1998); Thieberger (1995); Schebeck (2004); Fletcher & Butcher (2014) Assign #1
    DUE 18 Jan. 2016

    Week 2
    Lecture/Workshop Content Associated Readings Associated Assignments
    Day 4
    19 Jan.
    Lexicon, Semantics & Metaphor
    Indigenous taxonomies
    Text. Ch.6; Hansen (1984); Walsh (1992); Goddard (1993); McConvell (2000); Amery (1993).
    Day 4
    19 Jan.
    Language & Culture
    Linguistic etiquette
    Sign language
    Text Ch.4; Walsh & Yallop (1993); Ways of Thinking video Essay topic #2
    Essay topic #3
    Essay topic #4
    Essay topic #6
    Day 5
    20 Jan.
    Australian Aboriginal Grammars Text Ch.7; Green (1994); Blake (1989); Evans (2003); Dixon (1982); Nordlinger (2014)
    Day 6
    21 Jan.
    Language Connections Text Ch.8; Koch (2014); Bowern & Koch (2014); Pensalfini
    (2001); Evans (2003); Dixon (2002);
    Assign #2
    DUE 15 Feb. 2016

    Essay topic #4

    Week 3
    Lecture/Workshop Content Associated Readings Associated Assignments
    Day 7
    27 Jan.
    Aboriginal Languages in Education Grimes (2009); Devlin (2009); Walsh (2003);
    Wilkins (2008); Simpson et al (2009); Mühlhäusler et al (2004); Purdie et al
    Essay topic #1
    Essay topic #7
    Day 8
    28 Jan.
    Language Maintenance and Language Revival Text Ch. 9; Amery & Gale (2008); Walsh in Hobson et al (eds) (2010); NILS I and II Reports; First Languages Australia (2015) Essay topic #1
    Essay topic #7
    Day 8
    28 Jan.
    Aboriginal English; Australian Creales and Koines Text Ch.10; DEET (1995); Harkins (1994); Sandefur (1985); Urry & Walsh (1981); McConvell (2008); Eades (1995); Amery (1993) Essay topic #11
    Day 9
    29 Jan.
    Language and the Law
    Language and Health
    Interpreting and Translation
    Future Prospects
    Eades (1988)
    Cooke (1995)
    Trudgen (2000)
    Cass et al (2002)
    ARDS (2009)
    Essay topic #8
    Essay topic #9
    Essay topic #10
    Specific Course Requirements
    Attendance of all 9 days of the Summer School iscompulsory. Students will be expected to complete additional exercises and
    small-scale investigations working within small groups and overnight between teaching sessions. Application to these tasks will contribute to the 10% awarded to attendance and participation.

    Small Group Discovery Experience

    Students will work together in small groups on internet search tasks; transcription tasks and practical analytical tasks and small-scale investigations. Many of these tasks will be formative tasks leading up to the summative assessable tasks.
    SGDE tasks will be especially relevant to days 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9.
    The class will relocate to Horace Lamb 422 ‘the sandpit’ for many of these SGDE exercises.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Practical Investigation #1 25% 2, 5, 6 Due 15 Jan. 2018
    Practical Investigation #2 25% 3, 4, 5, 6 Due 5 Feb. 2018
    Essay (3,000 words) 40% 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 Due 26 Feb. 2018
    Attendance & Participation 10% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Attendance of all 9 days of the Summer School is compulsory. Students will be expected to complete additional exercises and small-scale investigations working within small groups and overnight between teaching sessions. Application to these tasks will contribute to the 10% awarded to attendance and participation.
    Assessment Detail

    Assignment 1: Practical Investigation: Sound Systems

    Word Count Equivalence: 1,000 words

    Due Date: 15 Jan. 2018


    A. Sound Systems of Australian Languages:

    Compare and contrast the sound systems and orthographies of 5 Australian Languages from diverse regions: Worrorra (Kimberley WA), Anmatyerr (Central Australia, NT), Kathang (north coast NSW), Ngarrindjeri (Coorong & Lower Murray SA) and Kala Kawaw Ya (Western Torres Strait).

    What are the commonalities and differences between the sound systems of these 5 languages?

    Compare and contrast the orthographies employed.


    Assignment 2: Practical Investigation #2 (Comparative Linguistics)

     Word Count; 1,000 words

    Due Date: 5 Feb. 2018

    Investigate the linguistic relationships between two South Australian languages (or any two languages chosen in consultation with the Course Coordinator). Consider genetic relationships, as well as relationships resulting from language contact and diffusion. Consider a range of aspects of language, including phonological,
    lexical, semantic and grammatical similarities and differences.


    Assignment 3: Essay

    Word Count: 3,000 words (Level 3)

    Due Date: 26 Feb. 2018

    Select one of the following topics
    Essay Topics

     1.       The theme of NAIDOC Week in 2017 “Our Languages Matter” focussed attention on Australia’s Indigenous Languages. What indications are there that Australian society is increasingly embracing this theme? Discuss.

    2.       The public (and indeed many Indigenous people) often want a ‘pronunciation guide’ which entails spelling Indigenous words using English conventions (eg Pitjantjatjara “(pronounced as pigeon-jarrah)” or “pit-jan-jah-jarra” and “anangu (pronounced arn-ahng-oo” ). See also
    Is this a good idea? What problems are introduced? Be sure to discuss with copious reference to specific examples.

    3.       Can Aboriginal languages survive? The number of languages still transmitted by natural means to the younger generation continues to decline. At last count (NILS II) only 13 of an original 250 or more distinct languages are still being acquired as an L1 by children. Discuss. Consider the fate of all of Australia’s Indigenous languages, not just those acquired as an L1.

    4.       Taxonomies (the ways in which different entities are grouped together) provide a window into the worldview of the speakers of a language. In some languages these categories are overt, in others they are covert. In what ways do Indigenous Australian taxonomies differ to English (and other European languages)? Be sure to provide examples from a range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.

    5.       What is a ‘revival grammar’ or a ‘recovery grammar’ (see for instance John Giacon’s (2017) Yaluu. A Recovery Grammar of
    Yuwaalaraay and Gamilaraay and how does it differ to a ‘regular’ grammar of an Aboriginal language (eg Felicity Meakins & Rachel Nordlinger’s (2013) A Grammar of Bilinarra An Australian Aboriginal Language of the Northern Territory ?

    6.       What is language planning? What role does language planning play in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages? Compare with language planning efforts in New Zealand and Hawai’i.

    7.       Review the Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages developed within the Australian Curriculum. See How well does this Framework accommodate the special needs of Australia’s diverse Indigenous languages?

    8.       Specialist interpreters (eg medical, legal, social security etc) are needed in Aboriginal Australia. Explain how interpreting in Yolngu Matha or Pitjantjatjara is different to interpreting for French or Japanese speakers in Australia.

    9.       What is Kriol? How and why did Australian creoles develop? How do they differ from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander English varieties? Be sure to illustrate with copious examples.


    Be sure to draw on reputable published print-based references, though of course you may complement these with sources
    accessed from the internet, popular press or other ephemeral material. Wherever possible, relate your own experience to issues discussed in the literature.


    1.        Assignments to be submitted via Canvas/MyUni.

    2.       All assignments must be accompanied by a signed cover sheet (includes plagiarism declaration)

    3.        Ensure that your Course Coordinator’s Name, Course Title (including Level II or III) and Assignment Title appear on the cover sheet.

    4.        All assignments must be in grammatical English.

    5.        Phonetic transcription may be hand-written legibly, though use of electronic IPA symbols is preferred. Typed assignments must be double-spaced with a minimum 10 font.

    6.        Alwayskeep a copy of your work. (Just occasionally things do go astray)

    7.        Assignments submitted late require a doctor’s certificate, counsellor’s certificate or similar proof/documentation.

    8.        Extensions (normally up to one week) MUST be organised prior to the due date.

    9.      Penalty with no extension is 2% per day up to 7 working days.

    10.      Unless an extension has been approved, late assignments will not be accepted more than 7 days after the due date.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.