The Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project  The Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project

Professor Peter K. Austin

Märit Rausing Chair in Field Linguistics, Director Endangered Languages Academic Programme

Peter Austin joined SOAS in October 2002 after having held a Humboldt Research Prize at Goethe University, Frankfurt. He was previously Foundation Professor of Linguistics at the University of Melbourne (1996-2002) and Reader in Linguistics at La Trobe University (1981-1996). He has held visiting appointments at University of Frankfurt, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, University of Hong Kong, and Stanford University. He studied at the Australian National University, completing a BA with first class Honours in Asian Studies (Japanese and Linguistics) in 1974, and a PhD in 1978 on the Diyari language spoken in the far north of South Australia. He taught at the University of Western Australia (1978), held a Harkness Fellowship for post-doctoral research at UCLA and MIT (1979-80), and in 1981 returned to Australia to set up the Department of Linguistics at La Trobe University.

Peter is a Visiting Research Professor in the Department of Linguistics, University of Hong Kong from 2014 to 2016, visiting the Department for two months per year for three years.

Peter's research interests cover descriptive, theoretical and applied linguistics. He has extensive fieldwork experience on Australian Aboriginal languages (northern New South Wales, northern South Australia, and north-west Western Australia) and in 1996 co-authored with David Nathan the first fully hypertextual dictionary on the World Wide Web, a bilingual dictionary of Gamilaraay (Kamilaroi), northern New South Wales, as well as publishing seven bilingual dictionaries of Aboriginal languages. Since 1995 he has been carrying out research on Sasak and Samawa (or Sumbawan), Austronesian languages spoken on Lombok and Sumbawa islands, eastern Indonesia. His theoretical research is mainly on language documentation, syntax (with a focus on Lexical Functional Grammar), morpho-syntactic typology, computer-aided lexicography and multi-media for endangered languages. He has also published on historical and comparative linguistics, typology, and Aboriginal history and biography.

Peter is currently working with the Dieri Aboriginal Corporation on a language revitalisation project funded by an Indigenous Languages Support grant -- you can read about the project and its activities on this blog.

Peter currently is a member of the following bodies:

Peter is currently supervising 8 PhD students (and on the PhD committees of 14 others) working on languages spoken in Australia, Ghana, Nepal, Sarawak, Taiwan, El Salvador, Solomon Islands, and Iran. See here for their names and provisional thesis titles.

Since February 2007 Peter has been an occasional contributor to the "Endangered Languages and Cultures" blog. You can access all his blog posts in reverse chronological order here. He also contributes to EL Blog from the Endangered Languages Archive.

You can follow Peter's work and download recent draft papers and publications on Academia and Powerpoints of presentations on Slideshare.

Selected publications | Hard to find papers | Websites | Podcasts | Blog posts | PhD students | Del.ici.ous bookmarks | Links


Selected publications

Note: to download prepublication versions of these papers click the highlighted links.

Austin, Peter K. 2014 Austin, Peter K. Going, going, gone? The ideology and politics of language revitalisation in eastern Australia. In Peter K. Austin and Julia Sallabank (eds.) Endangered Languages. Beliefs and Ideologies in Language Documentation and Revitalisation. London: British Academy.

Austin, Peter K. 2013 Tense, aspect, mood and evidentiality in Sasak, eastern Indonesia. Nusa 55: 41-56.
http://hdl.handle.net/10108/74325

Austin, Peter K. 2013 Language documentation and meta-documentation. In Sarah Ogilvie and Mari Jones (eds.) Keeping Languages Alive: Documentation, Pedagogy and Revitalization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
http://www.hrelp.org/aboutus/staff/peter_austin/AustinMetadocumentation.pdf

Austin, Peter K. 2013 Too many nasal verbs: dialect variation in the voice system of Sasak, in Alexander Adelaar (ed.), Voice variation in Austronesian languages of Indonesia. NUSA 54, 29-46.
http://hdl.handle.net/10108/71804]

Austin, Peter K. 2012 Tense, aspect, mood and evidentiality in Sasak, eastern Indonesia. In Peter K. Austin and Stuart McGill (eds.) Language Documentation and Description, Volume 11. London: SOAS

Austin, Peter K. 2012 Language documentation. In Mark Aranoff (ed.) Linguistics Bibliography. New York: Oxford Bibliographies Online.

Austin, Peter K. 2010 Reading the lontars: endangered literary practices of Lombok, eastern Indonesia. In Mark Turin & Imogen Gunn (eds.) Language Documentation and Description, Volume 8. London: SOAS.

Austin, Peter K. (ed.) 2010 Language Documentation and Description, Volume 7 London: SOAS

Austin, Peter K. 2010 Current issues in language documentation. In Peter K. Austin (ed.) Language Documentation and Description, Volume 7, 12-33. London: SOAS

Austin, Peter K. 2010 Communities, ethics and rights in language documentation. In Peter K. Austin (ed.) Language Documentation and Description, Volume 7, 34-54. London: SOAS

Austin, Peter K. 2010 Applying for a language documentation research grant. In Peter K. Austin (ed.) Language Documentation and Description, Volume 7, 285-299. London: SOAS

Austin, Peter K. 2009 Review of Christopher Moseley (ed.) "Encyclopedia of the world's endangered languages" Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 165(1):134-138.

Austin, Peter K. (ed.) 2009 Language Documentation and Description, Volume 6 London: SOAS

Austin, Peter K. (ed.) 2008 1,000 Languages London: Thames and Hudson; and Berkeley: University of California Press.
See here, here and here.
A review in the New York Times says: "Anyone interested in world culture or the history of mankind should take a look at One Thousand Languages: Living, Endangered, and Lost, edited by Peter K. Austin, the director of the endangered languages program at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. I know I found it irresistible."
Translations are now available in Dutch, German, Icelandic, Spanish, Italian, Rumanian, Estonian, and Japanese.

Austin, Peter K. 2008 The classification of Pinikura, Western Australia. In Claire Bowern, Bethwyn Evans and Luisa Micelli (eds.) Morphology and Language History: In honour of Harold Koch, 31-41. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
http://www.benjamins.com/cgi-bin/t_bookview.cgi?bookid=CILT%20298

Austin, Peter K. 2008 The Gamilaraay (Kamilaroi) Language, northern New South Wales — A Brief History of Research. In William McGregor (ed.) Encountering Aboriginal languages: studies in the history of Australian linguistics, 37-58. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
http://www.hrelp.org/aboutus/staff/peter_austin/AustinGamil.pdf

Austin, Peter K. 2008 Training for language documentation: Experiences at the School of Oriental and African Studies. In Margaret Florey and Victoria Rau (eds.) Documenting and Revitalising Austronesian Languages,25-41. Language Documentation and Conservation Special Publication No. 1. Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press
http://hdl.handle.net/10125/1372

Austin, Peter K. 2008 Survival of Languages. In Emily F. Shuckburgh (ed.) Survival: The Survival of the Human Race, 80-98. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
http://www.hrelp.org/aboutus/staff/peter_austin/AustinDarwinLecture.pdf

Austin, Peter K. 2006 Content questions in Sasak, eastern Indonesia: an optimality theoretic syntax account. In Fritz Schulze and Holger Warnk (eds.) Insular Southeast Asia: Linguistic and Cultural Studies in Honour of Bernd Nothofer, 1-12. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.
see http://www.buske.de/product_info.php?products_id=2794

Austin, Peter K. 2006 Data and language documentation. In Jost Gippert, Nikolaus Himmelmann and Ulrike Mosel (eds.) Essentials of Language Documentation, 87-112. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
http://www.hrelp.org/aboutus/staff/peter_austin/AustinDoc.pdf

Austin, Peter K. 2006 Gamilaraay. In Keith Brown (ed.) International Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd edition, 4:724-727. Oxford: Elsevier.
http://www.hrelp.org/aboutus/staff/peter_austin/Austin5040.pdf

Austin, Peter K. 2006 Jiwarli. In Keith Brown (ed.) International Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd edition, 6:125-129. Oxford: Elsevier.
http://www.hrelp.org/aboutus/staff/peter_austin/Austin5042.pdf

Austin, Peter K. 2006 Australia: Language Situation. In Keith Brown (ed.) International Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd edition, 1:580-585. Oxford: Elsevier.
http://www.hrelp.org/aboutus/staff/peter_austin/Austin1711.pdf

Austin, Peter K., Oliver Bond, Monik Charette, David Nathan and Peter Sells (eds.) 2009 Proceedings of Conference on Language Documentation and Linguistic Theory 2. London: SOAS.

Austin, Peter K., Oliver Bond and David Nathan (eds.) 2007 Proceedings of Conference on Language Documentation and Linguistic Theory. London: SOAS.

Austin, Peter K. and Lenore Grenoble 2007 Current Trends in Language Documentation. In Peter K. Austin (ed.) Language Documentation and Description, Vol 4, 12-25. London: SOAS.

Austin, Peter K. and Luise Hercus 2004 The Yarli languages. In Claire Bowern and Harold Koch (eds.) Subgrouping and Australian Languages, 227-244. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
http://www.hrelp.org/aboutus/staff/peter_austin/HercusAustin.pdf

Austin, Peter K. and Stuart McGill (eds.) 2011 Endangered Languages. Oxford: Routledge. Critical Concepts in Linguistics Series. Further details

Austin, Peter K. and Simon Musgrave (eds.) 2008 Voice and Grammatical Functions in Austronesian Languages. Stanford: CSLI Publications.

Austin, Peter K. and Julia Sallabank (eds.) 2014 Endangered Languages. Beliefs and Ideologies in Language Documentation and Revitalisation. London: British Academy.

Peter K. Austin and Julia Sallabank (eds.) 2014 Endangered Languages. Beliefs and Ideologies in Language Documentation and Revitalisation. London: British Academy.

Austin, Peter K. and Julia Sallabank (eds.) 2013 Endangered Languages. Special issue of Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 34(4), July 2013.

Austin, Peter K. and Julia Sallabank (eds.) 2011 The Cambridge Handbook of Endangered Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Further details

Austin, Peter K. and Andrew Simpson (eds.) 2007 Endangered Languages. Linguistische Berichte Sonderheft 14. Hamburg: Helmut Buske Verlag.
http://www.buske.de/product_info.php?products_id=2794

Lise Dobrin, Peter K. Austin & David Nathan 2009 Dying to be counted: the commodification of endangered languages in language documentation. In Peter K. Austin (ed.) Language Documentation and Description, Voume 6, 37-52. London: SOAS.

Dobrin, Lise, Peter K. Austin and David Nathan 2007 Dying to be counted: commodification of endangered languages. In Peter K. Austin, Oliver Bond and David Nathan (eds.) Proceedings of Conference on Language Documentation and Linguistic Theory, 59-68. London: SOAS.
http://www.hrelp.org/publications/ldlt/papers/dobrin_austin_nathan.pdf

Margetts, Anna and Peter K. Austin 2007 Three participant events in the languages of the world: towards a cross-linguistic typology Linguistics 45:393-451.
http://www.hrelp.org/aboutus/staff/peter_austin/MargettsAustin.pdf


Some hard to find papers and work in progress

Austin, Peter K. 2005 Clitic pronouns in Sasak, eastern Indonesia. SOAS manuscript.
http://www.hrelp.org/aboutus/staff/peter_austin/AustinSasak.pdf

Austin, Peter K. 2002 Developing interactive knowledgebases for Australian Aboriginal languages - Malyangapa. University of Melbourne, MS [Presented at 2003 E-MELD workshop]
http://emeld.org/workshop/2003/Malyangapa.pdf

Austin, Peter K. 2001 Word order in a free word order language: the case of Jiwarli. In Jane Simpson, David Nash, Mary Laughren, Peter Austin and Barry Alpher (eds) Forty years on: Ken Hale and Australian languages, 305-324. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
http://www.hrelp.org/aboutus/staff/peter_austin/AustinHale.pdf

Austin, Peter K. 2001 Verbs, valence and voice in Balinese, Sasak and Sumbawan La Trobe Working Papers in Linguistics 11
http://bit.ly/76aiKr

Austin, Peter K. 1997 Causatives and applicatives in Australian Aboriginal languages. In Kazuto Matsumura and Toru Hayashi (eds.) The dative and related phenomena, 165-225. Tokyo: Hituzi Syobo.
http://www.hrelp.org/aboutus/staff/peter_austin/AustinCausatives.pdf

Austin, Peter K. 1992 Word order in a free word order language: the case of Jiwarli La Trobe Working Papers in Linguistics 5
http://bit.ly/8Wrx0u

Austin, Peter K. 1990 Classification of Lake Eyre languages La Trobe Working Papers in Linguistics 3
http://bit.ly/51KWrh


Websites

Gamilaraay (Kamilaroi) bilingual dictionary
http://bit.ly/7DZpwb


Podcasts
Gresham College Symposium: Rare and Endangered Languages
http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/symposium-rare-and-endangered-languages

A podcast about Endangered Languages Week 2011
http://soasradio.org/content/endangered-languages-week-2011-peter-austin-interview

A podcast about Endangered Languages Week 2008, recorded by Cathy Edwards 23 April 2008
http://bit.ly/5SKy3x

Interview with Patrick Cox on The World in Words number 23 on 26 September 2008
http://bit.ly/8j5QBu


Blog posts

Peter is an occasional contributor to the Endangered Languages and Cultures blog based in Australia. All his posts from now back to February 2007 can be found here.


Current PhD students
Main supervisor
Nana Ama Agyeman 'Complex predication in Effutu, southern Ghana'
Gerardo De Caro 'Argument coding in Taleshi, northern Iran'
Cephas Delalorm 'Sekpele noun classes'
Ebany Dohle 'A documentation of traditional Pipil ethnobotanical knowledge'
Charlotte Hemmings 'Documentation and description of Kelabit'
Douglas McNaught 'Documentation of Sakizaya, Taiwan'
Tom Owen-Smith 'Grammatical relations in Tamang, a Tibeto-Burman language of Nepal'
Eleanor Ridge 'Semantic variation in South Ambrym, Vanuatu'
Radu Voica 'Documentation of Blablanga, Solomon Islands'

Committee member
Ghalia Al Mubarak 'Sociolinguistics of Al Ahsa Arabic'
Jade Al-Saraf 'Loanwords in Iraqi Arabic'
Louise Ashmore 'Documentation of Wik Ngatharr, Cape York Peninsula, Australia'
Tracey Carro-Noya 'Verbal morphosyntax of Chamacoco, Paraguay'
Sarah Croome 'Dressed to kill? The impact of superficial revitalization measures on language vitality'
Karolina Grzech 'Documentation and description of Tena Kichwa and research into the use of evidentials in the language'
Soung-U Kim 'A corpus-based morphosyntactic description of Jeju, an endangered language of South Korea'
Samuil Marusca 'Phonetics of Rumanian'
Samran Mompagul 'An analysis of translation shifts in Thai translations of English novels'
Burcin Mustafa 'The politics of translation'
Sandy Ritchie 'Valence changing processes in Chimane'
Rachel Watson 'A documentation of Mlomp and research into its nominal and verbal derivational morphology'
Birgul Yilmaz 'Kurdish language and identity'

Completed PhD students (main supervisor)
2008
Henrik Bergqvist 'Temporal reference in Lakandon Maya'

2009
Peter Budd 'Realis and irrealis in Biriebo, Vanuatu'
Mary Chambers (nee Raymond) 'Spatial location in Kubakota, Solomon Islands'
Chaithra Puttaswamy 'Verbs in Malto'
Stuart McGill 'Agreement in Cicipu, north-west Nigeria'

2014
Narayan Sharma 'Morphosyntax of Puma, Nepal'

Links

SOAS Linguistics Department

Other links