My research interests cover documentary, descriptive, theoretical, historical and applied linguistics. I have extensive fieldwork experience since 1972 on Australian Aboriginal languages (northern New South Wales, northern South Australia, and north-west Western Australia) and co-authored with David Nathan the first fully page-formatted hypertext 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 2011 I have been working with the Dieri Aboriginal Corporation on revitalisation of the Dieri language spoken in South Australia (see Dieri WordPress).

Since 1995 I have been carrying out research on Sasak and Samawa, Austronesian languages spoken on Lombok and Sumbawa islands, eastern Indonesia, in collaboration with colleagues at Mataram University and Frankfurt University. My theoretical research is mainly on syntax and focuses on Lexical Functional Grammar, morpho-syntactic typology, computer-aided lexicography and multi-media for endangered languages. I have also published on historical and comparative linguistics, typology, and Aboriginal history and biography. I am currently working with Dr Julia Sallabank and with colleagues at University of Warsaw and Leiden University on an EU Horizon2020 Twinning project called Engaged Humanities, and with Professor Stefanie Pillai, University of Malaya, on a British Academy-funded collaborative research project in Malaysia.


PhD honoris causa Uppsala University 2015

PhD Australian National University 1978

BA (Asian Studies) honours Australian National University 1974

Blog Posts


    Documentation and description of the Diyari language, South Australia

    Documentation and description of the Sasak language, eastern Indonesia

    Theory and practice of language documentation and revitalisation

    Engaged Humanities

    Upcoming Talks and Conferences

    DLAP-2 Documentary Linguistics: Asian Perspectives University of Hong Kong, May 2017


    Linguistics Society of America

    Linguistics Association of Great Britain

    Philological Society

    Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies


    Peter Austin

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    Active 6 years, 6 months ago