News & Events

2022 News

The origin of the name of the Ayoreo people. 

The origin of the name of the Ayoreo Indigenous people (Bolivia/Paraguay) was a matter of debate among scholars. Dr. Luca Ciucci (LCRC) solved the mystery after having found an old manuscript containing the names of the Indigenous groups of the region in the 18th century. He also found the real name of the first group who centuries ago spoke a documented language that is close to that of the Ayoreo.

A summary of the study is here: https://www.cairnsinstitute.jcu.edu.au/what-s-in-a-name-unearthing-the-origin-of-the-ethnonym-ayoreo/

The original publication (above) appeared in the Journal de la Societé des Américanistes https://journals.openedition.org/jsa/19809

Zamucoan ethnonymy in the 18th century and the etymology of Ayoreo

This study presents new data on Zamucoan ethnonymy and solves an etymological problem concerning the term Ayoreo. The earliest documented Zamucoan language is Old Zamuco, spoken in the 18th century in the Jesuit missions of Chiquitos and close to present-day Ayoreo. The morphology and meaning of ethnonyms used by Zamucoan peoples in the 18th century are analysed.

Dr Nathan M. White has recently had a paper accepted in the journal Language Resources and Evaluation entitled “The Hmong Medical Corpus: A Biomedical Corpus for a Minority Language”.

The Hmong Medical Corpus is a gold-standard biomedical corpus of the Hmong language developed through natural language processing and machine learning following an approach that can be generalised for low-resource and minority languages. An outcome of Dr White’s PhD research, the Hmong Medical Corpus can be accessed here: http://www.hmong-medical-corpus.org/. The recently accepted paper presents the corpus to the general research community and provides the technical details regarding the development of the corpus.

Access the paper (The Hmong Medical Corpus: A Biomedical Corpus for a Minority Language) here

On 12 February 2022, Mario Arrien, adjunct at LCRC, gave a talk in Spanish on “The joy of the end of the world. The Chiquitano myth and Carnival” [La alegría del fin del mundo. Mito y Carnaval chiquitano] at Museum Beni Altillo in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. The talk is available online at: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?ref=watch_permalink&v=3203875996504050

On 14 February 2022, Mario Arrien was also interviewed on the history of Santa Cruz and on Chiquitano culture at Radio Oriental Fm 96 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra Bolivia. The interview is online: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?ref=watch_permalink&v=397157072215839

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Discover the new and exciting Languages and Linguistics major in the Bachelor of Arts at JCU

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On December 11, 2021, the anthropologist Mario Arrien, adjunct at LCRC, held a talk on the architectural and urban heritage of Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia) at the Museum Beni Altillo (Museo de la Ciudad Altillo Beni) in Santa Cruz.

The recording of the talk is available online at the following link:

https://www.facebook.com/CulturaTurismoSCZ/videos/1268418173632081/

Previous News

Upcoming Workshops

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION SERIES

(Unless otherwise advised, this will take place in Room D003-003, The Cairns Institute - between 1530 hrs and 1730 hrs on a Monday)

Members of the LCRC will give a semi-formal talk on an area of grammar. Participants will have the opportunity to give and receive feedback, and discuss the topic together. These are designed for students to be able to attend and be involved, and are planned to be held in person and via Zoom.

Attendance registration and Zoom details please contact: nathan.white1@jcu.edu.au.

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Time: Monday, 21 March 2022 at 3:30 pm

Robert L. Bradshaw, a PhD candidate at JCU, will discuss "Perspectives on orthography issues in Papua New Guinea".

An abstract and bio for R. Bradshaw can be accessed via this link.

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Time: Monday, 15 August 2022 at 3:30 pm

Abu Saleh Mohammad Rafi, an adjunct lecturer at JCU, will discuss “Blending translanguaging and CLIL: pedagogical benefits and ideological challenges”.

The discussion will be in D003 - 003 or via Zoom link.

Attendance registration and Zoom details please contact: nathan.white1@jcu.edu.au

An abstract and bio for  Abu Saleh Mohammad Rafi can be accessed via this link.

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INTERNATIONAL COLLOQUIUM SERIES

(Unless otherwise advised, this will take place in Room D003-003, The Cairns Institute - between 1530 hrs and 1730 hrs on a Monday)

Speakers will be invited to give a formal talk on grammar or discourse from a language of interest. These are designed for students, staff and overseas adjunct faculty to attend, and are planned to be held in person and via Zoom.

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Monday 7 February 2022

Guest  Speaker  Theodore Nash – Mycenaean Orthography Through Space and Time

Theodore Nash has published on the development of writing systems in the Bronze Age Mediterranean and participates in the University of Cincinnati ‘Palace of Nestor’ excavations at Pylos in southern Greece.

Attendance registration and Zoom details please contact: neil.alexander.walker@gmail.com

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Monday 28 February 2022

Guest Speaker Joe Blythe - "Are you my mother? Learning to discern who's who within a universal kinship system"

Joe Blythe's research focuses on Indigenous Australian languages, including Murrinhpatha, Gija, and Jaru. He is the Associate Secretary for the Australian Linguistic Society.

Attendance registration and Zoom details please contact: neil.alexander.walker@gmail.com

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Monday 14 March 2022

Guest Speaker Knut Olawsky - Community Identity and Kununurra Kriol Orthography

Knut Olawsky works with Indigenous languages of Australia, including documentation work and language maintenance and revitalization efforts.

Attendance registration and Zoom details please contact: neil.alexander.walker@gmail.com

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Monday 11 April 2022

Guest Speaker Daniel W. Hieber - Obsolescence or diachronic change? Embracing variation in linguistic analysis.

Daniel Hieber’s work focuses on Indigenous North American languages, especially the Chitimacha (Sitimaxa) language of Louisiana. He currently works with heritage speakers to revitalize the language.

Attendance registration and Zoom details please contact: neil.alexander.walker@gmail.com

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Monday 2 May 2022

Guest Speaker Professor Fernando O. de Carvalho - On the relationship between the Arawakan and Arawan families of South America: a (so far) unwritten chapter in Western Amazonian language history.

Professor Fernando O. de Carvalho, is an expert on the historical linguistics of the languages of the Amazon and neighbouring regions.

Attendance registration and Zoom details please contact: neil.alexander.walker@gmail.com

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Monday 13 June 2022

Guest Speaker Dr Simon Overall - Reconstructing diversity: The Marañón river basin in North Peru

Dr Overall works with South American Indigenous languages and has published a comprehensive grammar of Aguaruna. Since 2013, he has also worked with speakers of Kandozi-Chapra, a language isolate in the north of Peru.

Attendance registration and Zoom details please contact: neil.alexander.walker@gmail.com

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Monday 4 July 2022

Guest Speaker Lameen Souag - Korandje: Between Linguistic Areas

Lameen Souag explores language change and linguistic history, especially in northern Africa. His fieldwork focuses mainly on Korandje (Songhay, Algeria) and Siwi (Berber, Egypt), two endangered languages whose long isolation from their nearest relatives has helped induce multiple layers of exceptionally intense contact effects.

Attendance registration and Zoom details please contact: neil.alexander.walker@gmail.com

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Monday 1 August 2022

Guest Speaker Dr Timothy Henry-Rodriguez - Forming a Community-friendly and Community-informed Orthography for Ventureño Chumash

Dr. Henry-Rodriguez researches the Chumashan languages of California. His recent project was a grammar and lexicon of the now extinct Purisimeño Chumash language of Central California.

Attendance registration and Zoom details please contact: neil.alexander.walker@gmail.com

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ROTATING WORKSHOP SERIES

(Unless otherwise advised, this will take place in Room D003-003, The Cairns Institute - between 1530 hrs and 1730 hrs on a Monday)

Members of the LCRC and Linguistic students will give updates on their ongoing work, present analytical problems or other discoveries of interest, and get ideas and feedback from colleagues. These are planned to be in-person gatherings only.

Attendance registration, please contact: nathan.white1@jcu.edu.au

Program to be advised

2022

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LANGUAGES AND LINGUISTICS

James Cook University is offering a new and exciting opportunity to study languages and linguistics.

The Languages and Linguistics major introduces you to the analysis of human speech through the study of the major languages spoken near Australia: Chinese, French, Indonesian, and Tok Pisin. As you learn to speak a new language, you will also study the principles of linguistic analysis.

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Language and Linguistics subjects are available to anyone with the desire to study languages and/or linguistics, as electives in another course or within the Bachelor of Arts specialisation in another major.

You don't need to be enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts to study Languages and

Linguistics subjects. Individual subjects are available to those who:

  • are interested in learning one or more of the languages that JCU offers
  • who wish to start learning the foundations of linguistics
  • who wish to enrol in language subjects as part of/or in addition to their current course at JCU or another Australian university.

Not everyone has the same time frame for their studies, you can choose what works for you by pursuing your Languages and Linguistics subjects externally (online).

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For more information and enrolment, please email the CASE Services on: caseadmin@jcu.edu.au