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The Australian National University

Research projects


  • The Understanding Human History in Asia through linguistic analysis project will calibrate our understanding of linguistic change, and explore social interaction in Asia in areas and times for which there are no written records.
  • The Grammar and Social Cognition project examines the way diverse grammars crystallise human reasoning about social reality.
  • The Social Cognition and Language project.
  • The Mon-Khmer Languages project focuses on language documentation and comparative-historical studies of mainland Southeast Asian languages.


  • The AusTalk (An audio-visual corpus of Australian English) project, which aims at compiling a large state-of-the-art database of spoken Australian English from all around the country. The ANU is one of the participating institutions.
  • The Pragmatic acquisition project, which examines how adult Australian learners of Indonesian acquire the pragmatics of that language during a seven week stay in Central Java.
  • The Western Arnhem Land Song Languages project, which documents the interaction of language in song in a number of languages in northern Australia.
  • The Oceanic Lexicon project, which aims at producing a six volume set of essays on the lexicon of Proto Oceanic, the language ancestral to nearly 500 Austronesian languages of the Pacific.


  • The East Nusantara (Rongga and Waima'a) project, plus Helong is concerned with documenting and describing little-known languages of East Timor and eastern Indonesia as well as with their typology and genetic relationships.
  • The Indonesian Parallel Grammar (ParGram) project, which build resources by carrying out research on Indonesian to create a cutting edge empirically robust computational grammar, corpus and lexicon.

Japan & Korea

  • The Japanese education project, which examines a variety of issues in Japanese education in the Australian context.
  • The Korean-Japanese spoken discourse project, which explores the special features of spoken conversation in Korean and Japanese.
  • The Greater Realism in Testing Forensic Voice Comparison project, which investigates the potential of the consonantal phonemes as forensic voice comparison features in Japanese using the Likelihood Ration-based approach.

New Guinea

  • New Guinea's place in Southeast Asia: a study integrating archaeology, linguistics and genetics will carry out the first systematic investigation of the languages of the Southern New Guinea region, which spans southwest PNG and southeastern parts of Papua province, Indonesia. Prosodic Systems in New Guinea: Integrating computational and typological approaches to linguistic analysis will incorporate technology into linguistic field work and develop an exemplary model of prosodic description.
  • The Kalam Ethnobiology project investigates the perception and use of the natural environment by the Kalam people of Papua New Guinea, in collaboration with indigenous experts and biologists.
  • The Papuan Linguistics project, aimed at extending the descriptive record of non-Austronesian languages of New Guinea and investigating their historical relationships and development.
  • The Languages of Southern New Guinea project, the first systematic investigation of the languages of the Southern New Guinea region, with the outcomes including detailed grammatical descriptions of six languages - five from the Morehead-Maro family plus one of the the isolate Marori - shorter descriptions of two more, a handbook and comparative database of the entire region.

Updated:  20 February 2015/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language /Page Contact:  CHL webmaster