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International Workshop: Classifiers and genders in Amazonia and beyond

Held 9-10 August 2017 Organised by Distinguished Professor Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and Dr Elena Mihas of LCRC.
International Workshop: Classifiers and genders in Amazonia and beyond

International Workshop - August 2017

Official launch of Conversational structures in Alto Perene (Amsterda,, John Benjamins), by Elena Mihas and Commands: a cross-linguistic typology (Oxford: Oxford University Press), edited by Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and R.M.W. Dixon.

Workshop papers presented:

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald
Genders and classifiers; the framework

Pilar Valenzuela
Classifiers in Kawapanan languages of Peru

Elena Mihas
Genders and classifiers in Kampa (Arawak) languages of Peru

Luca Ciucci
Possessive classifiers in Zamucoan languages

Kasia Wojtylak
Verbal classifiers in Murui (Witotoan) - what are they?

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald
A view from the North: genders and classifiers in Arawak languages of north-west Amazonia

Sihong Zhang
The grammaticalisation of 'numeral plus classifier construction': a contrastive study of Chinese and Ersu

Bai Junwei
Classifiers in Munya, a Tibeto-Burman language

Nathan White
Classifiers in Hmong

Prof. R. M. W. (Bob) Dixon launches three new volumes

Prof. R. M. W. (Bob) Dixon launches three new volumes

Prof. Bob Dixon & Dr Ernie Grant

On at 2 p.m. on Wednesday 3rd May at the Cairns Institute, Cairns campus, Prof Bob Dixon launched 3 volumes of work on one of the original languages of North Queensland.

The VC, Prof. Sandra Harding & Dr. Ernie Grant (Aboriginal elder of the Jirrbal group) spoke to the assembled crowd & thanked Prof. Dixon for his tireless work in producing such an important resource for language preservation.

The volumes consist of a Dyirbal thesaurus and dictionary, covering Girramay, Jirrbal, Mamu, Ngajan and six other dialects. Part 1. Nominals: Nouns, Adjectives and Time words. xv, 411 pp. Part 2. Alphabetical for Part 1. iv, 136p.Dyirbal Texts: 78 Legends, Stories, Autobiographies, Conversations, and Remedies in Jirrbal, Girramay, Mamu, and Gulngay. viii, 350 pp

'Murui Filmmakers' a film by Kasia Wojtylak & Kristian Lupinski

'Murui Filmmakers' is a short documentary made by the filmmaker Kristian Lupinski and the PhD student at LCRC Kasia Izabela Wojtylak. The film is made entirely in the Murui language (with English subtitles), a language spoken in northwest parts of the Amazon by about 1,000 people. It features film students from a small Murui village called Tercera India, located in southern Colombia. Over 3 months, not only did members of the community learn how to make their own films, they lead the production of a full feature documentary. Kristian is currently editing the full feature, due to be released mid-2017.

The film is available at:

See more about the project at

Grammatical Categories & Information Structure Special Workshop 29-30 June 2016

Dr Alice Gaby from Monash University was plenary speaker at the latest LCRC Workshop held at the Cairns Institute, JCU. Prof Stewart Lockie, Director of the Cairns Institute opened the Workshop with the launch of Bob Dixon's latest book "Are some languages better than others?".

Dr Anne-Laure Dotte @ Tides of Transformation: Pacific Pasts, Pacific Futures. The 6th Biennial Conference of the Australian Association for Pacific Studies. 1st - 3rd April 2016

From 1st - 3rd April the Cairns Institute & the College of Arts, Society & Education hosted the Tides of Transformation: Pacific Pasts, Pacific Future Conference. Dr Anne-Laure Dotte from the University of New Caledonia presented a talk on "Iaai on the move: Dynamics of Linguistic Changes in a Kanak Language of New Caledonia" View her presentation here.

The Murui oral literature collection project

In June 2014, Kasia Wojtylak and Kristian Lupinski were awarded a Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research Fellowship for the documentation of oral literature among the Murui people in Colombian parts of the Amazon. Kasia is a PhD student in linguistics at the Language and Culture Research Centre (LCRC). She has been studying the Murui language since 2009 and has a substantial knowledge of the Murui culture. Her Research Master thesis dealt with the Murui phonology and verbal morphology (VU University, Amsterdam 2012). Kristian, on the other hand, is gifted BA student of the Creative Industries program at the James Cook University. He is an aspiring cinematographer with a great deal of experience in media design and film production. The couple is passionate about documenting indigenous languages and cultures. Both Kasia and Kristian are active members of ALTAR (Anthropological Laboratory for Tropical Audio-visual Research). Currently, they are preparing for their fieldwork in Colombia, which will commence in November 2015.

To follow their project see more here 

Bridging Linkage in Cross-Linguistic Perspective - a Workshop

On the 25th & 26th February members of the LCRC & special guest Rob Pensalfini gathered for a special workshop

Bridging Linkage in Cross-Linguistic Perspective

Valérie Guérin and Simon E. Overall convened.

The Workshop was officially opened by Andrew Krockenberger, Dean of Research at JCU who spoke on the "perilous" nature of linguistics fieldwork & launched new books by members of the LCRC. For more information on book launch & workshop program click here (pdf download).

International Workshop: The secret and the sacred: working with such knowledge

International Workshop: The secret and the sacred: working with such knowledge

Attendees at workshop

A follow-on workshop from the Taboo in Language conference was held in Cairns an 15/16 November 2017. Organised by Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and Anne Storch, the workshop was entitled The Secret and the Sacred, and papers covered topics such as hidden words, secret initiation rituals, origin myths and ritual songs.

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